Veterans to discuss King’s message as it relates to militarism


The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. denounced what he said were three evils of society: racism, excessive materialism and militarism.

Two military veterans will talk about those concepts and how King might apply them to the end of the war in Afghanistan during “MLK, Militarism and the Future.” The event will take place from 2-4 p.m. Jan. 17 in the Hussey Room of the Michigan League.

The talk is part of the annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium.

Bill Shea, a member of Veterans for Peace Chapter 93 and one of the co-presenters, said he hopes attendees leave the session with a better understanding of King’s message and how it is relevant today.

 “King saw that poverty was not distinct, militarism was not distinct and racism was not distinct,” Shea said. “They’re all interrelated. If you address the issue of defense spending and take some of that money and put it toward addressing poverty and racism, things will be better.”

Shea said people can only guess what King would have to say about events of the modern world.

“But with his views on militarism, the idea that going to war in any regard is morally wrong, one could speculate that King would probably be anti-war in regard to Afghanistan and recognize that the huge amount of financial outlay on that could (have been) applied to poverty programs and medical programs.”  

Shea said that during “MLK, Militarism and the Future” he and fellow veteran Bob Krzewinski will examine King’s beliefs and play audio clips of him speaking. Attendees will be able to ask questions and participate in the discussion.

“We should be striving, even today, to follow King’s steps,” Shea said.

Veterans for Peace Chapter 93 is presenting the event with support from the U-M Office of Veteran and Military Services.

According to its website, Veterans for Peace is a global organization that seeks to increase public awareness about the costs of war, restrain the government from intervening in the affairs of other nations, reduce the arms race (including the elimination of nuclear weapons) and abolish war as an instrument of international policy.


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