Day 26 of our Lenten Journey through Dr. King’s “Beyond Vietnam” speech.
In 1957 a sensitive American official overseas said that it seemed to him that our nation was on the wrong side of a world revolution. During the past ten years we have seen emerge a pattern of suppression which has now justified the presence of U.S. military advisors in Venezuela. This need to maintain social stability for our investments accounts for the counterrevolutionary action of American forces in Guatemala. It tells why American helicopters are being used against guerrillas in Cambodia and why American napalm and Green Beret forces have already been active against rebels in Peru.
It is with such activity that the words of the late John F. Kennedy come back to haunt us. Five years ago he said, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”Increasingly, by choice or by accident, this is the role our nation has taken, the role of those who make peaceful revolution impossible by refusing to give up the privileges and the pleasures that come from the immense profits of overseas investments. I am convinced that if we are to get on to the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin, 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, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.
On this day, exactly 51 years ago from the Oshkosh Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin), March 26, 1966. A timely word:
Headline: King Berates Medical Care Given Negroes [sic]
CHICAGO (AP) – Massive direct-action is needed to “raise the conscience of the nation” to the segregated and inferior medical care received by Negroes, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said Friday night.
Calling for court suits to force doctors and hospitals to comply with the Civil Rights Act, King and officers of the Medical Committee for Human Rights accused the American Medical Association of a “conspiracy of inaction” in civil rights.
At a press conference before his speech to the committee’s annual meeting. King said: “We are concerned about the constant use of federal funds to support this most notorious expression of segregation. Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and the most inhuman because it often results in physical death.
“I see no alternative to direct action and creative nonviolence to raise the conscience of the nation.”
Dr. John L. S. Holloman, a New York City physician who heads the interracial committee, told reporters: “There is scarcely a hospital North or South that does not overtly or covertly discriminate against Negroes. County medical societies, especially in the South, have discriminated in admitting qualified Negro doctors.” he said. “We put the blame right on their (the AMA’s) doorstep.”
The AMA had no immediate comment.