“Muhammad Ali Speaks Out Against the Vietnam” and Martin Luther King’s “Beyond Vietnam”

The primary sources “Muhammad Ali Speaks Out Against the Vietnam” and Martin Luther King’s “Beyond Vietnam” are dissenting opinions against America’s intervention in Vietnam War. In their separate speeches, Both Ali and King express their strong opposition to America’s military operations in Vietnam. Being African Americans, Ali and King state that they find no justifiable reason for the American government to focus on Vietnam at a time when the U.S. is marred with racial segregation against the blacks. Particularly, Ali refuses to be drafted for military service in Vietnam, arguing that he is not going to kill poor people who are fighting for their freedom.

“I will not disgrace my religion, my people or myself by becoming a tool to enslave those who are fighting for their own justice, freedom, and equality…” .
Muhammad Ali

Subsequently, King shares similar sentiments in his speech “Beyond Vietnam”. He argues that America’s advancement of war in Vietnam is worthless as the government should be focusing on building a fair and just society back home.

“We have been watching Negro and white boys on TV screens as they kill and die together for a nation that has been unable to seat them together in the same schools”.
Martin Luther King

Based on the statements made by Ali and King, America should be solving the problem of racism instead of waging a war against a country that is thousands of miles away. The main importance of the arguments presented by Ali and King is that they try to show Americans that racism against blacks poses a more threat to the country’s peace than external enemies. More importantly, they are advocating for a society that upholds racial tolerance and peace.

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