Robert F. Kennedy’s Speech on the Death of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today is the anniversary of this speech. The Quaker part is how, to me, this represents a moral, nonviolent response at a critical time in our history.

Quakers, social justice and revolution

Indianapolis, Indiana, April 4, 1968

link to photo gallery

April 4, 1968, Robert F Kennedy gave several speeches in Indiana as he campaigned for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States.  This young white man, as the United States Attorney General, along with his brother the President, had been thrust into the middle of the civil rights struggle.  And then his brother was assassinated.

At Notre Dame he spoke about the Vietnam War, and told the students there that college deferments for the draft discriminated against those who could not afford to attend college, and should be eliminated.  Contrasting this willingness to speak the truth even when it is unpopular, and might cost votes, makes for a very sad commentary on the state of politics today.

After speaking about racism at Ball State, an African American student said, “Your speech implies that you are placing a great deal…

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