interesting, because the next question is there was a debate within the
Civil Rights Movement about whether to link it with the Anti-War
Movement. That’s what I want to ask you about now.
Whereas you were opposed to war and if you could include that, I mean,
that you knew a strong, had come to that conclusion, could you then go
on to describe a little bit about that debate and give your arguments as
to why you didn’t think they should be joined up?
the debate within the black community had begun a long period before Dr.
that debate...because the war had been going on some time before Dr.
King took a
position. When Dr. King took a position against the war, all hell broke loose in
the black community because the white community in its newspapers and
columns were raising the question as to whether Civil Rights leaders had
the right to raise questions!
Now, this is interesting because I wrote a column uh on this for March 3rd, 1967, in which I said number
one, “Since Dr. King is a citizen of the United States, like all other citizens
he has a moral obligation to let us know what his position is on the
war.” Secondly, I said that he had won the Nobel Peace Prize and he had,
therefore, an obligation to speak.
then I would like to quote, "On the other hand, however, if Dr. King makes proposals
that others disagree with, they have the duty to differ with him on the
merits or demerits of his proposals. Dr. King knows this and would expect no less. Such
honest differences have encouraged Dr. King to embark upon an examination of his own
position was, and I said this to Dr. King and I wrote it in this column, “If Dr.
to combine the Civil Rights Issue and the Vietnam Issue in one
institution, then he will be doing harm to both, because that
institution cannot stand with those two elements. And therefore, Dr.
work for civil rights with those elements which are for civil rights,
and for against the war with those elements which are against it.” And
particularly I encouraged him to get involved with Clergy Concerned, because I
knew they did not have ulterior political motives as some of the others