On Monday, we celebrated the birth of beloved social activist, Martin Luther King Jr. with a day off from school. While colorful banners around campus immortalize the words from the “I Have a Dream” speech, there is a more contentious King speech that is often neglected in favor of the more positive, universal themes of the famous words uttered from the Lincoln Memorial in 1963.

In 1967 King delivered his speech “Beyond Vietnam – A Time to Break Silence” in New York City. In this address, King condemned the United States’ involvement in Vietnam and denounced our government as the world’s greatest sponsor of violence and its neglect of the poverty of its own citizens.

The words of King resound: “I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed … without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today – my own government.”

Eerily, one year to the day after King spoke against the violence and government corruption, he was assassinated in Memphis.

This April 4, America will remember the 40th anniversary of his death.

Since then, we’ve fashioned a warm and fuzzy image of King as the champion of the American Dream but conveniently censored his more controversial principles.

King was a great champion of civil rights, but history textbooks cleverly neglect his anti-military, pacifist viewpoints.

Middle schoolers across the nation can proudly recite the phrase “I have a dream,” but aren’t really sure what follows that phrase.

On Monday, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates affirmed his own version of King’s dream in his speech recognizing the activist: “We must keep pushing for progress. In the words of Martin Luther King, ‘Let us march to the realization of the American dream.'”

Ironically, King aggressively denounced the American government in his speech in 1967, yet it initiated a national holiday to memorialize him 20 years later.

Despite his dream, yet another Martin Luther King Day goes by, and we are still at war.

“Beyond Vietnam” has even more relevance today as Washington continues to stoke the violence in Iraq and Afghanistan, meanwhile neglecting problems at home.

Young men and women die overseas each day, our government is driven further into debt and the reputation of our country continues to depreciate as a result of a senseless and unpopular conflict that has divided America and its leaders.

This is not King’s dream.