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Unneland, Gunnar

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Letter from MLK to a Former Supporter

This is an edited copy of Dr. King's response to someone withdrawing support due to his position on the Vietnam War. King's detailed rewrites show efforts to avoid further misunderstandings about his position. He applies nonviolent philosophies to both the civil rights and peace movements, however, does not attempt to link the two. Rather than asking for Negroes to be exempt from the draft as a special privilege, he believes Negroes have an intimate knowledge of the effects of violence. As such, they should have a special moral obligation not to inflict violence on others.