Martin Beyond Vietnam

Martin Beyond Vietnam

martin-luther-king

Almost 50 years later, the issues that Dr. King raised in his speech are still hauntingly relevant to the poverty, racism, and militarism that face us in the United States and around the globe.

On April 4, 1967, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a powerful speech titled “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence”. In “Beyond Vietnam,” Dr. King outlines the armed conflict in Vietnam from its birth in French colonialism through its inheritance by the United States in 1954. Dr. King skillfully highlights interconnections between “racism, extreme materialism, and militarism” and links the struggles for racial justice in the United States to anti-war and anti-poverty movements around the globe. Exactly one year later, Dr. King was murdered.

Almost 50 years later, the issues that Dr. King raised in his speech are still hauntingly relevant to the poverty, racism, and militarism that face us in the United States and around the globe. To better explore these issues and a speech that is often overlooked in favor of Dr. King’s seemingly less controversial “I Have a Dream” address, The Free Poster Program enlisted Oakland MC Do D.A.T. and San Francisco producer Jacobo to collaborate on a track that touches on the speech’s themes. What resulted is pure sonic ambrosia, punctuated by poignant prose that takes aim at U.S. military imperialism, economic inequality, and state violence at home and abroad. D.A.T. and Jacobo’s Martin Beyond Vietnam serves as a powerful reflection piece that both reminds us of the ongoing work of racial, social, and economic justice that Dr. King championed and “breaks the silence” about the scourges of racism, militarism, and poverty that still hang all over this nation like a wet shirt.

LISTEN NOW: Martin Beyond Vietnam by Do D.A.T. & Jacobo

Click here to download “Martin Beyond Vietnam” by Do D.A.T. & Jacobo

 

Martin Beyond Vietnam

Lyrics by Do D.A.T.

Music by Jacobo

 

 

Verse 1

It’s not my intent to romanticize Martin Luther,

in many ways his legacy was used to maneuver

black population into a sedated stupor

I’m super apologetic if the statement offends, but

that’s my opinion, and if he’s listening,

I got a feeling he’d probably agree to some degree with what I’m penning.

Towards the ending

of his life, his focus shifting

to human rights and poor people’s economic conditions.

Take for instance,

Beyond Vietnam

where he pointed out the problem of money and race in our armies;

sending impoverished

young men to fight for rights when they ain’t even got ‘em.

So ironic.

Name a war that doesn’t generate profit

the poor fight the conflict

the rich collect deposits

and rockets sail into a village cottage

all in the name of freedom–please stop it!

 

 

Hook

Churches and liquor stores, turfs in-between

men claim king but cash reign supreme.

Money, power, respect, that’s the American dream

mourning at the wake of the king.

 

Churches and liquor stores, turfs in-between

men claim king but cash reign supreme.

War make money, that’s what feed the machine

screaming out, “Let freedom ring!”

 

 

Verse 2

I can’t get beyond Vietnam,

it’s on my front lawn.

Same soldiers, different uniforms

in my hood night to morn.

I don’t even notice any more,

‘cause I been militarized since I was four:

conditioned to consume more and more,

programed racism into my thoughts

so even my interactions with my self are so false.

War is war,

domestic to abroad,

external to the core.

Who’s that tugging on my cord, extorting me for fortune?

I can’t even afford the cost living anymore, man.

 

See, I can’t get beyond Vietnam.

 

I can’t get beyond Vietnam.