"I speak now because I agree with Dante, that the hottest place in hell is reserved for those that, in a time of moral
crisis, maintain their neutrality.
I see this war as an unjust, evil and futile war. I preach to you today on the war in Vietnam because my conscience leaves
me with no other choice. The time has come for America to hear the truth about this tragic war. In international conflicts
the truth is hard to come by, because most nations are deceived about themselves. Rationalizations and the incessant search
for scapegoats are the psychological cataracts that blind us to our sins.
America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures like Vietnam
continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic destructive suction tube. So I was increasingly compelled to
see the war as an enemy of the poor and to attack it as such.
one of the difficulties in speaking out today grows out of the fact that there are those who are seeking to equate dissent
with disloyalty. It is a dark day in our nation when high level authorities will seek to use every method to silence dissent.
Something has happened and people are not going to be silent, the truth must be told. Yes we must stand, and we must speak.
There comes a time when silence is betrayal.
As I have walked among the desperate, rejected and angry young men I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would
not solve their problems.
I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully
through nonviolent action. But they asked -- and rightly so -- what about Vietnam? They asked if our own nation wasn't using
massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted.
Their questions hit home, and 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.
For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence,
I cannot be silent.
These are revolutionary times. All over the globe men are revolting against old systems of exploitation and oppression
and out of the wombs of a frail world new systems of justice and equality are being born. The shirtless and barefoot people
of the land are rising up as never before. "The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light."
Now let me tell you the truth about it, they must see Americans as strange liberators...They watch as we poison their water,
as we kill a million acres of their crops. They must weep as the bulldozers roar through their areas preparing to destroy
the precious trees. ..We have destroyed their two most cherished institutions: the family and the village. We have destroyed
their land and their crops. This is the role our nation has taken.
I am 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. We must rapidly begin the shift from a "thing-oriented" society to a "person-oriented" society. When machines and
computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism,
and militarism are incapable of being conquered.
A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies...we
must come to see that the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed
as they make their journey on life's highway. True compassion is more that flinging a coin to a beggar. A true revolution
of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation."