Monthly Archives: April 2009

The Ghost of John F. Kennedy

THE GHOST OF JOHN F. KENNEDY

by Ernie Mannix

“Strange…”  he blurted, on feeling that familiar pain in his lower back. “I’m just vapor and thought, and I still need a chiropractor.”

The handsome man instinctively brushed aside the hair barely hanging down on his forehead as he pressed on towards the residence portion of the house.

“Ah… I am here to see Obama” he told the secret service guard inside the residence. The guard did not react at all.  John Fitzgerald Kennedy knew right off that his presence would be seen only by his intended audience and the guard saw nothing. “Fix your tie pal.” Kennedy joked as he walked passed the oblivious sentry.

“You must be President Kennedy”, Obama sheepishly asked the figure now standing above him as he lay in bed.  ”Thesevisits are getting quite regular, are you the last?” 

“Well, Teddy Roosevelt wants to come and see you, but ahh… we talked him out of it… well okay we restrained him.  Well,  I wouldn’t worry too much about that… for now.

Obama turned and looked towards his wife.

“Don’t worry Mr. President, your wife will hear and see nothing… time is standing still.” Kennedy mentioned, as he pointed to then tapped his watch.

Obama moved to get up, and President Kennedy interrupted; “Please don’t get up on my part, what I have to tell you won’t take too long, and you will be needing your rest for the coming months and years my friend.”

“Well, here it is Barack;

 I’m all for social programs that really work, and I know you need money to pay for them, but when you create bureaucracy that can only barely pay for its own fat self with those hard earned tax dollars, burdening the government itself and of course the poor taxpaying citizen, well son, then you are on the road to socialism.

You are creating agencies and bureaus that exist to feed themselves, and how the hell is that going to help a nation that is in deep debt? The state is not always the answer Obama, American know-how, and the unfettered creativity that powers it almost usually is. Yes, tighten the belt on business cheaters and scammers, but don’t choke off the growers and the doers. It’s real simple Barack, if you turn each and every time to bureaucracy, well, let’s just say you’ll be turning our country in the wrong direction.

We aren’t Europe. We aren’t communists. We aren’t socialists. And we sure as hell aren’t in the business of making the latter two of those particular groups stronger.

For you to raise a communist island that enslaves it’s people up to equal our democracy with so called talks is just nuts son. They are rotting away faster than their ‘57 Chevrolets and you want to bring them into a dialogue? You notice how Fidel’s brother said that the prerequisite is that you talk as equals? This guy is now gonna dictate the talks? Instead of trying to ‘understand’ what every other country is about, I suggest you study and understand what we are all about. Not every one on this earth is worth being friends with.

“Mr. Kennedy, you are a Democrat!” Barack exclaimed incredulously.

“Don’t give me that crap Barack. Your party does not even resemble the Democratic party of my day. You’re acting like a teenager that thinks he knows everything there is to know, and all that came before him was so ‘uncool’. Come on, the only ones you won’t talk to are the people in your own country who are hopping mad at you and your policies. For instance, you can ignore that Tea Party all you want, but it sure is a group I’d be talking to, before the seeds they are sowing start taking root. Those are Americans for God’s sake, and you got that Pelosi out there belittling them. That is just silly. I don’t hear her even saying one cross word to the despots and dictators you both are facing.

“President Kennedy, I ‘ve gotta say, on that note sir, you once said: ‘Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.’

“Yes I did Barack, but there must be some kind of a goal there. Cuba? Iran? Chavez?  Unless you are now in the business of helping communists and terrorists, what are we as a democracy to gain from them?  And I think you really need to think about the first part of that quote and search your soul Obama.  You might think you are making it easier to be liked, but what you might just be doing is making it easier for us to be beat. Obama, understanding who your real enemies are is much more important than being nice to everyone. And for goodness sake, start using the word terrorist again. 

Listen, I’ve got to go, but let me leave you with another one of my quotes; ‘The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission.’ 

Well, I wish you luck son, .. oh and I’ll try to dissuade Teddy Roosevelt from charging on in here” 

With that he smiled that million dollar smile, turned, and disappeared into the golden light beaming through the bedroom window.

 

Source: http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/emannix/2009/04/21/the-ghost-of-john-f-kennedy/

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Curious and Curiouser: Kennedy Supports Gillibrand?

* EDITOR’S NOTE: I’m having one of those Alice in Wonderland moments after reading Elizabeth Benjamin’s NY Daily News column in which she reports that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is now Senator Kirsten Gillbrand’s new BFF. (Um…WTF?)

Here’s the story:

Gillibrand Pitches The WFP, Appears With RFK Jr.

April 20, 2009

The latest stops on Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s “I love the left” tour: A meeting with Working Families Party leaders and a press conference with the son of the man whose Senate seat she now holds, Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

untitled

The state’s junior senator met this morning with members of the labor-backed party’s executive committee, a WFP spokesman confirmed. The con-fab took place at the downtown HQ of the CWA, whose political director, Bob Master, is a WFP co-chair.

“We want to start working together on the big issues facing working people – Green jobs, healthcare, and campaign finance and immigration reform. Now more than ever, New York needs a progressive champion,” said WFP Executive Director Dan Cantor. “We hope Senator Gillibrand can be that.”

The meeting was strictly informational since it’s far too early to discuss endorsements for the 2010 cycle. (The party hasn’t even picked a mayoral candidate yet).

But there’s no doubt Gillibrand would surely love to land the WFP’s support next fall – particularly if she ends up facing a primary challenge from one or more of the Democratic House members currently circling her.

 

The WFP would be the ultimate validator of the liberal credentials Gillibrand is now striving so hard to polish up. She wouldn’t have the party’s line in a Democratic primary, but, thanks to Assemblyman Richard Brodsky’s legal skills and a 2006 court decision, the WFP could put its crack field operation to work on her behalf.

The WFP has a long-standing relationship with one of Gillibrand’s potential primary rivals: Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.

The party worked on Stringer’s behalf during the 2005 Democratic BP primary, which led to a complaint by his opponent, then-Councilwoman Eva Moskowitz. The CFB ultimately sided with Stringer and the WFP.

Gillibrand has her work cut out for her, according to today’s Siena NY poll. Her favorable/unfavorable rating is slowly tilting in her favor (33-23 compared to 26-20 last month), but 47 percent of New Yorkers polled this month said they’d prefer someone else be elected to Hillary Clinton’s old US Senate seat compared to 37 percent in March.

Also today, Gillibrand appeared with RFK Jr., an environmental lawyer and vice chair of Riverkeeper, who was briefly touted as a potential as a contender for the Senate seat once held by his father.

RFK Jr. ultimately withdrew his name from consideration and threw his support to his cousin, Caroline Kennedy, who was passed over by Gov. David Paterson in favor of Gillibrand.

Gillibrand and RFK Jr. held a press conference at the South Street Seaport along with students from the Urban Assembly New York Habor School to call ofr federal investment in environmental education. 

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RFK Jr. Attacks ABC for “Inaccurate, Purposefully Provocative” Story

EDITOR’S NOTE: Interesting little kerfuffle last week between Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and ABC News‘ investigative reporter Brian Ross. Seems that Kennedy may have criticized the Obamamessiah’s support of “Clean Coal” a bit too harshly in an interview he gave to ABC, lumping the president in (like an old lump of coal, as they say) with other politicians who are “indentured servants” of the coal industry. 

Needless to say, the political ramifications of this statement were far-reaching and caused Kennedy considerable embarassment. Envirobloggers and the party faithful were outraged, blaming ABC for shoddy reporting and misrepresenting what Kennedy actually said..or meant to say. Calls for an apology from Brian Ross were made. The next day, RFK Jr. then issued a statement taking issue with ABC’s presentation of his Obama remarks. (ABC continues to defend their story, offering no apologies. They also posted a transcript of the interview as a response to RFK Jr.’s denial.)

In an effort to clear up the confusion and set the record straight, Kennedy claimed that no, he wasn’t actually talking about Obama, but some other politicians on Capitol Hill, and that when he said he was “including” Obama with the rest of these corrupt officials, he didn’t really mean that Obama…um, must’ve been some other Obama. Also, when he said that “everybody” who carries water for the coal industry, including President Obama “should be ashamed of themselves,”…he didn’t really mean that, either. Well, okay, actually he did mean it, but he was only talking about those other corrupt politicians (the Republican ones, presumably), but not the President and leader of his own political party.

So in other words, it depends on what your definition of “including” is.

Kennedy says that furthermore, when Ross asked him to clarify his statement about political leaders being “indentured servants” to industries like Big Coal (“Are you saying that about President Obama?” Ross asks, to which Kennedy replied, “Yeah.”)…his response in the affirmative was taken out of context. 

Whew…got all that? More confused than ever now about who said what and what Kennedy really meant to say? And what is the definition of “including,” anyhow? What does “everybody” mean?

The original interview transcript of Kennedy and Ross is below – as it happened, word-for-word – so you can see the context of Kennedy’s remarks for yourself and decide whether or not you think he was talking about that Obama. You know, the only dude in American politics with the name Obama. Who also just happens to be the President. Yeah, that one.

ABC News

Interview with Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

ABC News’ Brian Ross talks to RFK Jr. on the Issue of Clean Coal

April 14, 2009—

 

ROSS: So what’s going on here then with these extensive campaigns and all the candidates in the presidential election last year endorsing this?

 

KENNEDY: The coal industry and the carbon industry in general are the largest contributors to the political process. So, you know, you have politicians who have essentially become indentured servants to these, and adopt the talking points of these industries. And that’s really, it’s not in the best interest of the American public certainly but it’s one of the sad fallouts of having a lackadaisical campaign finance system in this country, which really compromises, ultimately American democracy. Because you don’t have politicians representing the American public, but rather the people who finance their campaigns. And that’s the coal industry and the oil industry, who are the primary funders.

 

ROSS: So when you watched last fall with all the candidates, including President Obama talking about clean coal, what were you thinking when you watched all that?

 

KENNEDY: Oh, not only was I dismayed to see that, but also, if you looked at the presidential debates, the networks were allowing the coal industry to sponsor the debates. So that every single one of the presidential debates was sponsored by clean coal. So it’s not just that it’s corrupted the political process, but it’s corrupted essentially the American media as well.

 

ROSS: Have you seen the commercials they’re running now with President Obama, “Yes, we can” talking about clean coal? What’s your reaction to that?

 

KENNEDY: Well, again, I think it’s sad when political leaders feel that they are so indebted to these industries that they, and so fearful of them, essentially, that they have to endorse conditions that clearly are wrong.

 

ROSS: And you say that about President Obama?

 

KENNEDY: Yeah.

Anybody who looks at this understands that the term “clean coal” is a dirty lie. That coal is neither cheap nor clean. It’s devastating to our country, it’s bad for our economy, it’s devastating towards our communities, and we have wonderful alternatives in this country if we’d only invest in them.

 

ROSS: And you see in the stimulus package that there’s $3 billion plus for clean coal. When the White House went for that did you raise an objection or do you object now?

KENNEDY: Well, we raised the objection when they were trying to put $17 billion dollars worth of stimulus for so-called “clean coal”. We, so at the end, by the time we got to $3.6 billion it was looking pretty good. But it’s much less than they asked for at the beginning. And I think in truth that this country is going to be moving away from carbon, because carbon, coal simply cannot compete in the marketplace. This morning I cut the ribbon on a new plant by a company called Abound, which is producing solar thermal panels in Colorado. And it’s the largest production of solar, thin filmed solar panels in Colorado. It’s the largest solar panel production in the world today, and it opened today. And they are producing solar panels for people’s roofs at grid parity. That means they are producing it cheaper than you can produce coal.

So even with all of the subsidies that are going to the coal industry, the coal industry receives almost a trillion dollars in subsidies every year from our country, and yet even with those huge subsidies that allow them to sell their energy at 6 cents a kilowatt or 11 cents a kilowatt, we can still beat them in the marketplace. Even though they have all these subsidies, these distorted advantages, we’re still beating them in the marketplace. And so their time, I think, is limited.

 

ROSS: Do you think President Obama‘s been hoodwinked or has there been political pressure? What do you think accounts for his continued endorsement of clean coal?

 

KENNEDY: As I said, I think that it’s a sad testament to the impact of campaign contributions in our system and the political clout of this industry that you have very sensible politicians, including great men like Barack Obama, who feel the need to parrot the talking points of this industry that is so destructive to our country, to the communities of Appalachia, to the millions of Americans who’d like to take their kids fishing.

 

You know, we’re living today, truthfully, in a science fiction nightmare. Our country, where my children and the children of most Americans can no longer engage in the seminal primal activity of American youth, which is to go fishing with their father in the local fishing hole and then come home and safely eat the fish. Because somebody gave money to a politician and poisoned more than half of the fish in this country with mercury. And it’s the coal industry, and they are privatizing a public trust resource, the fish of our country, which belong to us, they belong to the people. But now the coal industry owns them and the utilities. Because they poison them so much we can’t use them anymore.

ROSS: But is it unusual for you? You’re speaking out against the leader of your party, the President of the country. That’s not going to help your chance of a job in this administration.

 

KENNEDY: My loyalties are to my country and not to any particular politician. And you know, I’ve been non-partisan. I’ve been 25 years as an environmental advocate, I’ve been non-partisan and bi-partisan. I don’t believe in partisanship. If somebody does something wrong, I’m going to say it whether they’re Democrat or Republican.

 

ROSS: And do you think President Obama should reverse his course on this?

 

KENNEDY: Absolutely. There’s no such thing as clean coal, we’re destroying the Appalachians. And I guarantee you if we could get President Obama to fly over the Cumberland, to fly over the Appalachian mountains and see the destruction that’s occurring there, he would…

ROSS: And what do you think this $3.6 billion will mean to the clean coal push?

KENNEDY: What will $3.6 billion mean? I don’t think it’s really going to make a big difference in terms of a lot of coal plants being built. We’ve been able to shut down 40 proposals for coal plants over the past two and half years. People are understanding that nobody wants a coal plant in their community because they don’t want the autism rates to climb because of the mercury contamination. They don’t want to be getting sick. The University of Texas just published a study that shows that people who live in the plume downwind of a coal burning power plant have much greater, in their schools, they have much greater special education needs because of the damage it’s doing to our children. So nobody wants one of these in their neighborhoods, so I think more and more people across our country are just saying no to coal. They’re saying we want alternative forms of energy, we know they’re out there.

 

We’re building them today, the companies I’m involved with are building them and we don’t have to be hookwinked by the coal industry anymore. And the politicians who are continuing to carry the industry water and to parrot the industry talking points ultimately should be ashamed of themselves.

 

ROSS: Including President Obama?

 

KENNEDY: Everybody.

 

ROSS: This must be one of the great propaganda campaigns of all time.

KENNEDY: Well, there’s a lot of propaganda campaigns by big industry. Look at the tobacco industry which was able to for 50 years, while it was killing one out of every five of its customers that used its product as directed, was able to persuade the political process, the political structure that there was nothing wrong with tobacco. I remember seven years ago that seven heads of the tobacco companies swearing under oath before Congress that they did not believe that tobacco was bad for public health. Well, the tobacco industry is tiny compared to the coal industry. And you saw that the destruction, the lies, the creation of these phony scientists, these tobacco scientists, and the coal industry has its own tobacco scientists. We call them “biostitutes”, and they keep them in these phony think tanks on Capitol Hill and they’ve got their slick PR firms and they’ve got their indentured servants in our political process who, and they’ve got their toadying corporate toadies on talk radio who are mouthing the talking points that there’s such a thing as clean coal.

 

And they’ve got a huge advertising campaign, a propaganda campaign, and we know that propaganda works. You know, It actually works. And that’s unfortunate, but it does, and they will succeed in persuading some members of the American public there’s such a thing as clean coal. And they’ll be able to provide cover for some of their indentured servants in our political process who feel that they need to mouth the talking points of the coal industry. But I think most Americans are not going to be fooled. Nobody wants a coal plant in their backyard, and everybody now I think understands that clean coal is a dirty lie.

 

 

 

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MSNBC Celebrates Earth Week With RFK Jr.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” earlier this week to plug his annual Earth Day fundraiser:

Click here to watch the video:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036789#30344593

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Funniest RFK Jr. Impersonation Ever

Just happened to be surfing YouTube and ran across this little gem. Ya gotta give it up to the dude on the left – he’s got RFK Jr.’s voice down to an art. Maybe a bit politically incorrect, but this s–t is just too funny not to share!:)

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Where Do You Stand? Time To Choose.

GET OFF THE FENCE…IT’S TIME TO SAVE YOUR COUNTRY

(in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)

 

I stand for TRUTH.

I  stand for FREEDOM.

I stand for LIBERTY.

I stand for the CONSTITUTION.

I stand for THE REPUBLIC.

Do you? 

Time to choose, people!

 

Infowars

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Of Kennedys and Kings: Remembering 1968

* On the 40th anniversary of the MLK Assassination last year, our founding editor New Frontier wrote this remembrance of the tragic events which took place this week in 1968. We wanted to share it with you again today.

MLK and RFK

RFK and MLK

MARCH 31-APRIL 4, 1968 – A WEEK THAT CHANGED AMERICA

“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.”

 

— Aeschylus, as quoted by Robert Kennedy upon the death of MLK

Φ

40 years ago this week brought us to a critical turning point in the American experience.

By March of `68, with the peace movement rapidly growing and anti-war sentiment at its’ peak, it seemed that things might finally be turning around for the better. Robert F. Kennedy had just entered the presidential race opposing the war. There was a brewing sense of hope that a Kennedy presidency would be restored five years after the death of JFK.

Little did America suspect that the era known as “Camelot” was not to rise again. On the contrary, it was about to come to an abrupt, ironic, tragic, and bloody end.

Over the course of just five short days, we watched in shock as President Lyndon B. Johnson stepped aside and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was brutally murdered. We saw race riots erupt in the streets of our cities, and wondered if the whole world just might burn. We heard one of the most stirring pleas for peace and unity ever spoken by any politician when Robert F. Kennedy delivered the news of Dr. King’s assassination in the heart of an Indianapolis ghetto.

Looking back with the hindsight of history, we can now fully comprehend the importance of this pivotal moment. Those who lived through it will never be able to shake the memory. For for the ones who weren’t old enough to remember or had not been born yet, the events of that week still fascinate, even when experienced secondhand through books or grainy old news footage.

It’s a tale of stunning upsets, unimaginable horrors and stark contrasts: of presidents and peace, of war and love, of confusion and clarity, of Kennedys and Kings. Of pain which cannot forget – even after forty years.

LBJ GETS OUT OF THE WAY

The first jolt came on March 31, President Lyndon B. Johnson stunned the nation with the surprise announcement that he would not seek re-election to the presidency in 1968.

Appearing on TV at 9 p.m. that evening, LBJ first announced that he was taking steps to limit the war in Vietnam. He outlined his plan at some length; then, in what seemed almost an afterthought, dropped this unexpected bombshell:

“Fifty-two months and 10 days ago, in a moment of tragedy and trauma, the duties of this office fell upon me. I asked then for your help and God’s, that we might continue America on its course, binding up our wounds, healing our history, moving forward in new unity, to clear the American agenda and to keep the American commitment for all of our people.

United we have kept that commitment. United we have enlarged that commitment.

Through all time to come, I think America will be a stronger nation, a more just society, and a land of greater opportunity and fulfillment because of what we have all done together in these years of unparalleled achievement.

Our reward will come in the life of freedom, peace, and hope that our children will enjoy through ages ahead.

What we won when all of our people united just must not now be lost in suspicion, distrust, selfishness, and politics among any of our people.

Believing this as I do, I have concluded that I should not permit the Presidency to become involved in the partisan divisions that are developing in this political year.

With America’s sons in the fields far away, with America’s future under challenge right here at home, with our hopes and the world’s hopes for peace in the balance every day, I do not believe that I should devote an hour or a day of my time to any personal partisan causes or to any duties other than the awesome duties of this office–the Presidency of your country.

Accordingly, I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your President.”

LBJ's address to the nation, March 31, 1968

President Johnson addresses the nation on television – March 31, 1968 

At that exact moment, Kennedy (who had just announced his intention to run for the presidency two weeks earlier) was coming in for a landing at La Guardia airport. The New York State Democratic chairman, John Burns, raced aboard the plane and breathlessly told Kennedy, “The president is not going to run.”

Kennedy just stared at him. “You’re kidding,” he said.

On the drive in from the airport, RFK seemed lost in thought. Finally, he said, “I wonder if he (LBJ) would have done this if I hadn’t come in.”

MLK ASSASSINATED

Bobby wouldn’t have much time to ponder Johnson’s motivations. While on the campaign trail four days later — again on an airplane — he recieved word that Martin Luther King had just been shot and killed by a sniper in Memphis.

Kennedy “sagged. His eyes went blank,” said New York Times reporter Johnny Apple, who delivered the news to RFK.

By the time Bobby arrived in Indianapolis, King had been reported dead. Fearing a race riot, the chief of police advised Kennedy to cancel his scheduled appearance in a mostly black neighborhood. Ignoring the warnings, RFK arrived at the speech site – a wind-blown lot surrounded by tenements – in his brother’s old overcoat with the collar turned up.

About a thousand people were gathered there, rallying and cheering for Bobby with all the usual excitment generated at his campaign stops. The crowd awaited his speech, happily oblivious to the news that Dr. King had been shot down. 

Throwing out his prepared remarks, Bobby pulled from his pocket a crumpled piece of paper with his own hastily scribbled notes and began to speak in quiet, reverent tones, his voice occasionally cracking with nervous emotion:

“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.

(Audible gasps and cries of “No! No!” can be heard from the crowd)

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.”

 
Listen to the entire speech 6:12

The murder of MLK, Lorraine motel, Memphis
(The murder of MLK. Lorraine Motel, Memphis, TN. April 4, 1968.) 

PAIN WHICH CANNOT FORGET

Late that night, a sleepless, restless Kennedy was seen wandering the halls of his hotel alone. At 3 a.m., he knocked on the door of Joan Braden, an old friend who had also worked on JFK’s 1960 campaign. Bobby confided to her the true source of his agony.

“Joanie,” he said, “that could have been me.”

Two months later to the day Robert Kennedy was gunned down during a celebration following his victory in the California primary, June 4, 1968. He would die 26 hours later.

While it would be easy to look back after 40 years and dwell on 1968’s sorrows, its’ crippling series of tragedies, perhaps we should instead remember and take to heart Bobby Kennedy’s advice:

“Tragedy is a tool for the living to gain wisdom, not a guide by which to live.”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“And then I got into Memphis. And some began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers?

Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop.

And I don’t mind.

Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land.

I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!

And so I’m happy, tonight.

I’m not worried about anything.

I’m not fearing any man!

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!!”

 

— Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s final sermon.

 Memphis, TN, April 3, 1968

 

 

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