Robert Kennedy-Indianapolis-April 4, 1968 - U2 Feedback

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Old 04-26-2006, 11:47 PM   #1
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Robert Kennedy-Indianapolis-April 4, 1968

Robert Kennedy announces the death of Martin Luther King Jr.

Let's sit back and reflect upon how great this speech was and the circumstances surrounding it. Robert Kennedy did it all through his own words, not a speechwriter...and it is one of the most moving speeches I have ever heard.


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Ladies and Gentlemen - I'm only going to talk to you just for a minute or so this evening. Because...

I have some very sad news for all of you, and I think sad news for all of our fellow citizens, and people who love peace all over the world, and that is that Martin Luther King was shot and was killed tonight in Memphis, Tennessee.

Martin Luther King dedicated his life to love and to justice between fellow human beings. He died in the cause of that effort. In this difficult day, in this difficult time for the United States, it's perhaps well to ask what kind of a nation we are and what direction we want to move in.

For those of you who are black - considering the evidence evidently is that there were white people who were responsible - you can be filled with bitterness, and with hatred, and a desire for revenge.

We can move in that direction as a country, in greater polarization - black people amongst blacks, and white amongst whites, filled with hatred toward one another. Or we can make an effort, as Martin Luther King did, to understand and to comprehend, and replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand, compassion and love.

For those of you who are black and are tempted to be filled with hatred and mistrust of the injustice of such an act, against all white people, I would only say that I can also feel in my own heart the same kind of feeling. I had a member of my family killed, but he was killed by a white man.

But we have to make an effort in the United States, we have to make an effort to understand, to get beyond these rather difficult times.

My favorite poet was Aeschylus. He once wrote: "Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God."

What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black.

(Interrupted by applause)

So I ask you tonight to return home, to say a prayer for the family of Martin Luther King, yeah that's true, but more importantly to say a prayer for our own country, which all of us love - a prayer for understanding and that compassion of which I spoke. We can do well in this country. We will have difficult times. We've had difficult times in the past. And we will have difficult times in the future. It is not the end of violence; it is not the end of lawlessness; and it's not the end of disorder.

But the vast majority of white people and the vast majority of black people in this country want to live together, want to improve the quality of our life, and want justice for all human beings that abide in our land.

(Interrupted by applause)

Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world.

Let us dedicate ourselves to that, and say a prayer for our country and for our people. Thank you very much. (Applause)

Robert F. Kennedy - April 4, 1968
This was 18 years before I was born, but it still gives me goosebumps. In 1968 we lost MLK and RFK...there has not been a leader of their calliber since, in my opinion. Just a void. May they continue to rest in peace.

Sorry for the depressing post, this is out of character for me...but so much seems to be forgotten that should not be. __________________

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Old 04-27-2006, 12:21 AM   #2
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He was a great public speaker, had a wonderful presence and a way with words. That's a very good example of just what he was capable of.

His son (Jr) is an interesting figure.
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Old 04-27-2006, 08:07 AM   #3
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When we went to the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis my Mother told me about that speech and how it is still in her mind to this day. Where are the politicians like RFK now?
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Old 04-27-2006, 10:50 AM   #4
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I get chills listening to that speech.
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Old 04-27-2006, 12:39 PM   #5
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A friend of mine was actually there when he made that speech...when he told me he was there I was in awe. I can't even imagine what that must have been like to witness firsthand.
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Old 04-27-2006, 02:01 PM   #6
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Imagine the flood of emotion pouring out of the crowd during that speech. I sit in silence, lost in thought, when I hear or see it - I can't even begin to comprehend what it would have been like to have actually been there when it happened.
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Old 04-27-2006, 02:04 PM   #7
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That's an amazing speech. What an awesome experience it must have been to have actually been there.
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Old 04-27-2006, 03:12 PM   #8
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Why is it, I wonder, that we have been lacking in such great leadership since '68? What has caused this void? Sure we've had some great leaders, but no one that could move people, and bring people together through such turbulent times the way MLK and RFK did.



Will we ever have a pair like them again?
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Old 04-27-2006, 03:22 PM   #9
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Well, what about JFK?? JFK should be included. Leadership in this country has gone downhill. Once in a while I will listen to MLK's "I have a dream" speech on my ipod. I think I want to add RFK's speech next.
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Old 04-27-2006, 08:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black.


Have you heard the song "Abraham, Martin, and John?" If you haven't, you should try to listen to it, or at least look up the lyrics online. Great song. My mom still has the 45.

For my birthday a few years ago, my aunt gave me an editorial "cartoon" printed in the St. Louis Globe Democrat after Bobby was murdered...it's Bobby and JFK standing on a cloud, arms around each other, and they're looking down at Earth. Bobby's saying to his brother, "Things haven't changed much, Jack."
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Old 04-27-2006, 08:05 PM   #11
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Robert was my hero. A true republican.
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Old 04-27-2006, 08:13 PM   #12
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Originally posted by Dreadsox
Robert was my hero. A true republican.
Until the last 4 years of his life...then he became a true liberal.


Abraham Martin and John is a great song.
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Old 04-27-2006, 08:44 PM   #13
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Originally posted by U2democrat


Until the last 4 years of his life...then he became a true liberal.


Abraham Martin and John is a great song.
When are we going to the Kennedy Library together?
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Old 04-27-2006, 09:33 PM   #14
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When are we going to the Kennedy Library together?
Someday I hope!!! I can't wait to go to Boston one day...when I don't know...I can't really afford any travel at this point.
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