Today is the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's most profound and most prophetic teaching: "Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break the Silence," on April 4, 1967
First, a suggested action for us to take in the Spirit of Dr. King; then an explanation of why.
Action: On April 15, we lug sacks of pennies to the local Federal building to pay part of the Federal tax we owe -- pennies that are broken pieces of the Golden Calf that Trump’s proposed Death Budget would force us to worship.
Just as a household budget puts into action the real moral and ethical outlook of the family -- “How much for a new car? How much for solar collectors on the roof? How much for rent? For medicine? For a fancier TV? How much for a college education? How much for a charity that feeds the poor? How much to support a Congressional election campaign?” –
Just so the US Federal budget carries out the real moral and ethical choices of the American people, or at least of the US government.
The Trump Administration has released its proposed Federal budget.
There are major increases in money for the military, which already spends more money than the next 14 national military systems all added together. Big increases for “Homeland Security,” and to build a Wall Against Mexico.
There are enormous cuts for all climate-healing work and for protection of pure water, pure air, and pure food.
Enormous cuts to research on cures and prevention of disease.
Enormous cuts in money to treat poor kids suffering from asthma caused by coal dust and oil fumes.
Enormous cuts in free lunches for poor kids and poor elders.
Enormous cuts in money to feed starving children in Africa, caught in famines caused by unprecedented droughts caused by global scorching.
Enormous cuts in taxes on the Hyper-wealthy.
Today, reading Dr.King's prophetic sermon, you might easily think he was writing a column this very morning, commenting on the Trump budget for America.
This is what he said:
“True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.
“A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth.
“A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order and say of war: “This way of settling differences is not just.”
“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."
Is it enough to wistfully remember Dr. King?
Or should we be hearing him calling on us to act?
Act – how?
On April 15, could we lug sacks of pennies to the local Federal building to pay part of the Federal tax we owe -- pennies that are broken pieces of the Golden Calf that Trump’s proposed budget would force us to worship?
Could we march in hundreds of thousands to insist on healing Mother Earth and healing our selves from floods, droughts, asthma, cancer brought on by the Corporate Carbon Pharaohs, as the People’s Climate March will do on April 29?
Could we visit the home offices of our Congressional Reps and Senators, demanding they reject this budget that will make the poor fall into hunger, make the middle class much poorer, make the rich far richer, and send more Americans to kill and die?
Could we demand they hold town meetings to explain how these provisions of the Trump budget will actually affect their neighbors, and to say publicly how they will vote on the budget?
If they won’t hold town meetings on the Budget, could we sit down on the doorsteps of their home offices until they do?
Exactly one year after his "Beyond Vietnam" prophecy, on April 4, 1968, Dr. King was murdered. We are now beginning the 50th anniversary of his last year. Let us make it a Jubilee Year of Truth and Transformation, through action month by month.
As we have just done, we will each month send out a brief passage from the prophetic sermon/spech, wth some suggstions for action to cary forth the message.
You can read and hear the whole “Beyond Vietnam” prophetic speech/ sermon, with many powerful learnings that emerge from it, at <MLK50.org>.