News Release

Martin Luther King and War


Quotations from King’s speeches on war and peace, as well as on racism and exploitation, are available at:

Following are excerpts and links to audio from his sermon at the Ebenezer Baptist Church on April 30, 1967:

I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government…. There is something strangely inconsistent about a nation and a press that would praise you when you say, “Be nonviolent toward Jim Clark,” but will curse and damn you when you say, “Be nonviolent toward little brown Vietnamese children!” There is something wrong with that press….

I’m convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values….When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, militarism and economic exploitation are incapable of being conquered….

Don’t let anybody make you think that God chose America as His divine messianic force to be — a sort of policeman of the whole world. God has a way of standing before the nations with judgment, and it seems that I can hear God saying to America: “You are too arrogant! If you don’t change your ways, I will rise up and break the backbone of your power”

The following are available for interviews:

Lowery is co-founder and president emeritus of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Smith is founder of Black Voices for Peace, which is participating in protests this weekend and organizing a national rally this Monday.
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Cooler is the organizer for the Montgomery Transportation Coalition in Alabama. She is the recipient of last year’s King Spirit Award.

Nelson is author of Straight, No Chaser: How I Became a Grown-Up Black Woman and editor of the recently released anthology Police Brutality.
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Hagler is pastor at the Plymouth Congregational Church UCC in Washington, D.C.
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Fletcher is president of TransAfrica Forum and co-chair of United for Peace and Justice.
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167