Martin Luther King and Shirley Chisholm: Exposing the True Costs of War

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Throughout U.S. history, there have been many ordeals to take place outside the U.S.A’s jurisdiction. When situations occur outside the U.S., many would assume that the U.S.’s involvement would be at a staggering zero percent. Unfortunately, most times, when things do happen outside the American borders, the U.S. is one of the first countries to join another countries fight. When things like this take place within a country, the citizens have a right to know! When the Vietnam War took place, it was such a surprise that it took the country to devastating poverty rates.

Vietnam War’s Toll: Robbing Innocent Children’s Futures

But when both Dr.Martin Luther King Jr and Shirley Chisholm wrote and spoke their speeches on what had happened, it was evident that their speeches were talking about how the war “robbed” innocent children’s well-being in order to have a successful war and when taking damages caused from foreign countries conflicts, it seems that all americans should know and understand conflicts/problems that are vital to their life.

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First off, when thinking, one of the largest disadvantages caused by the Vietnam War that was stated in both speeches would be the “robbed” of innocent children’s well-being. Chisholm mentioned, “As a teacher, and as a woman, I do not think I will ever understand what kind of values can be involved in spending $9 billion and more, I am sure – on elaborate, unnecessary, and impractical weapons when several thousand disadvantaged children in the nation’s capital get nothing.” “Two more years. Two more years of hunger for Americans, of death for our best young men, of children here at home, suffering the lifelong handicap of not having a good education when they are young.

Chisholm and King Decry Diversion of Funds from Education to Warfare

Two more years of high taxes collected to feed the cancerous growth of a Defense Department budget that now consumes two-thirds of our federal income.” By Chisholm adding this in her speech, she shows how the government is taking from these innocent children who have no say in what is going on. They are legitimately taking these kids’ future by using money that should be for their education and food but is being used for materials for war.

To add to how these children were robbed of a bright future, King mentioned, “Perhaps a more tragic recognition of reality took place when it became clear to me that the war was doing far more than devastating the hopes of the poor at home. It was sending their sons and their brothers and their husbands to fight and die in extraordinarily high proportions relative to the rest of the population. With the war going on in Vietnam, it is seen that the government is taking money from public education and putting it toward the war effort.

The government doing this shows why young boys and men had to die for the war efforts because by doing so, their families would receive the money that the government stole from the public back for their services. Looking at how money used for war efforts can affect the public and its people makes it important to put things like this in the paper because this will help the people prepare for what is to come to all of them.


  1. U.S. Department of History. (2020). American Involvements in International Conflicts. U.S. Government Publishing Office.

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Martin Luther King and Shirley Chisholm: Exposing the True Costs of War. (2023, Aug 29). Retrieved from

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