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The Forgotten Brother Part 2

June 5, 2011

Down before he got to shine.


As I mentioned yesterday, RFK won California and South Dakota in the Democratic Primary, 43 years ago. He addressed a crowd at midnight in Los Angeles. After that, he was headed to a press conference in the hotel. On his way there, he would be shot. Here is the second round of quotes from his campaign.

“…I believe that once the active and concerned citizens of this nation organize, and build new bonds between themselves, to reassert control over our political lives—once we have done that, we will also be able to assert control over the government programs which so deeply affect our personal lives.”

“Despite all the discord and dispirit, despite all the extremists and their actions, there remains, in this country today, an enormous reservoir of hope and goodwill. Americans want to move forward; they want to better their communities, to make this country not only more livable for all Americans but a shining example for all of the world.”

“We must reach across the false barriers that divide us from our brothers and countrymen, to seek and find peace abroad, reconciliation at home and participation in the life of our country that is the deepest desire of the American people and the truest expression of our national goals.”

“Together we can attack the problems that seem so overwhelming, and master them.”

“…we can make an effort, as Martin Luther King did, to understand and to comprehend, and to replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand with compassion and love.”

“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 the world. Let us dedicate ourselves to that, and say a prayer for our country and for our people.”

“…violence breeds violence, repression brings retaliation, and only a cleansing of our whole society can remove this sickness from our soul.”

“We learn…to look at our brothers as aliens, men with whom we share a city, but on a community; men bound to us in common dwelling, but not in common effort. We learn to share only a common fear, only a common desire to retreat from each other, only a common impulse to meet disagreement with force. For all this, there are no final answers.”

“Should we be forced to turn our cities into garrisons then the liberty of every citizen will be diminished. If we do not bring about lasting peace then the day may come when no one will be able to send his child to school or to take a bus without fear. We must act, therefore, not only for the sake of the Negro, but for all of us and for the nation.”

“…if we try to look through the eyes of the young slum-dweller—the Negro, and the Puerto Rican, and the Mexican American—the world is a dark and hopeless place indeed.”

“…the people of the ghetto live today with an unemployment rate far worse than the rest of the nation knew during the depth of the Great Depression.”

“…the most immediate need is for a national impact project: to put men to work, to restore possibility to the young and to give the resident of the ghetto some sense that the nation is committed to fulfillment of his hopes.”

“…let us stop thinking of the poor—the dropouts, the unemployed, those on welfare, and those who work for poverty wages—as liabilities. Let us them for what they are: valuable resources, as people whose work can be directed to all these tasks to be done within our cities, and within the nation…”

“Our great strength—moral, political, economic, and military—must be used to seek peace with justice, to secure peace without fear. For those objectives, we must construct a foreign policy that will reassure the world of our judgment and our purposes.”

“…we must recognize that peace in the world means little to us unless we can preserve it at home. We cannot continue to deny and postpone the demands of our own people, while spending billions in the name of freedom for others.”

“The richest country in the world must be able to afford to feed its hungry people. The most prosperous society on the globe must be able to save its children from death, disease and despair that result from a lack of adequate food.”

“I call on all Americans—on the medical profession, on private industry, on the farmers, on government, and on all individuals to respond to the plight of these millions who are hungry.”

“Where the central interests of the United States are not directly threatened…We should give no more assistance to a government against any internal threat than that government is capable of using itself, through its agencies and instruments. We can help them but we cannot again try to do their jobs for them.”

“…the real constructive force in the world comes not from bombs, but from imaginative ideas, warm sympathies, and a generous spirit.”

“…Shall we continue to watch as medical costs soar beyond the reach of most Americans, condemning the poor to illness and the average American to the whim of fate—or are we going to act to make decent medical care something more than a luxury of the affluent?”

“Education, jobs, community participation, an end to hunger, these are the elements of a healthy citizenry. And they must be achieved. For it is neither economical nor compassionate to care for the consequences of poverty, and ignore its roots.”

“We can create new career opportunities in rural America which will not only avoid forcing people to leave their home communities if they do not wish to, but offer help in alleviating poverty and in providing adequate community social services…”

“…when one of us prospers, all of us prosper; and when one falters, so do we all.”

“Unemployment means having nothing to do—which means nothing to do with the rest of us. To be without work, to be without use to one’s fellow citizens, is to be in truth the Invisible Man of whom Ralph Ellison wrote…”

“We often quote Lincoln’s warning that America could not survive half slave and half free. Nor can it survive while millions of our people are slaves to dependency and poverty, waiting on the favor of their fellow citizens to write them checks.”

“What we do need…is a better liberalism and a better conservatism.”

“The environment in which we live is part of us; when we degrade it, we degrade ourselves…”

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One comment

  1. […] State of Mind Challenging Minds « The Forgotten Brother Part 2 The Forgotten Brother Part 3 June 6, […]



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