During the course of his sermon, King quoted this sentence from the statement of a group that called itself the Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam: “A time comes when silence is betrayal.” Regarding race, it appears that the great majority of Americans have now rejected such silence. This is good. It remains an open question, however, when their silent acceptance of militarism, materialism, and the abuse of Planet Earth will end.
That’s not America. After all, Lady Liberty used to welcome newcomers with a torch, not an AR-15. We don’t wall ourselves in while bombing others in distant parts of the world, right?
Militarism in the USA & The Decay of Democracy
Democracy shouldn’t be about celebrating overlords in uniform. A now-widely accepted belief is that America is more divided, more partisan than ever, approaching perhaps a new civil war, as echoed in the rhetoric of our current president. Small wonder that inflammatory rhetoric is thriving and the list of this country’s enemies lengthening when Americans themselves have so softly yet fervently embraced militarism.
Sjursen says U.S. foreign policy “has been unmoored and drifting away from anything close to sober strategy for coming up on 17 years now. I think the post-9/11 wars have been an absolute tragedy, and probably the greatest foreign policy disaster since the Vietnam War. … I truly believe we are less safe because of American foreign policy and American militarism in the world since 9/11.”