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More Bobby Kennedy

Christ, here we are again. Same bullshit. Same races. Same stupidity. Same God damn lunacy.

I promised you more Bobby Kennedy. I didn’t think I would have to find this kind of speech, but…

No preamble this time other than to say I made only minor edits (I’m unable to find a digital version of the text) and the speech is spot on and that posting it simply breaks my heart.

Bobby Kennedy mattered. His words still matter.

If you like the speech, please share.

This speech is titled Achieving Racial Understanding and was given on April 10, 1968, in Fort Wayne, Indiana; three days after MLK’s murder.

This generation did not create most of the conditions and convictions which have led us to this day, but this generation has the responsibility to resolve them. Leaders can explain and propose, but this problem will not yield to any man, even the President of the United States. It will yield only to the moral energy and belief of a free people.

Most people, of both races, do not wish violence and agree that we must do everything we can to protect the life and property of our people. Of course this is so…we must also be aware that punishment is not prevention, nor is an armed camp a place of peace. Our nation today is beset by apprehension and fear, anger and even hatred. It is easy to understand the springs of such passion; even as we know the highest traditions of this country forbid them. But today’s difficult issue is not whether white Americans will help black Americans, but whether we will help ensure the well-being of every citizen. It is not whether white or black will love one another, but whether they will love America. It is not whether we will enforce the laws of the nation, but whether there is to be one nation…

There is no way to suppress men filled with anger who feel they have nothing to lose…

So there is our problem. Among us are millions who wish to be part of this society-to share its abundance, its opportunity, and its purposes. We can deny this wish or work to make it come true. If we chose denial then we choose spreading conflict, which will surely erode the well-being and liberty of every citizen and, in a profound way, diminish the idea of America. If we choose fulfillment it will take work but we will choose to improve the well-being of all our people-the only peace that can last-peace with justice.

It is necessary to find ways to reopen and deepen the channels of communication between white and black America; and to halt the dangerous drift toward isolated enmity which may soon find us looking at each other across impassable barriers of suspicion and anger. This is a job for every American. At every level of national life from the White House to the local church and meeting-house and in the homes of individual citizens, men and women of both races can try to meet and discuss their problems as well as their fears.

Income and education and homes do not make a nation. Nor do land and borders. Shared ideals and principles, joined purposes and hopes-these make a nation. And that is our great task: to make one nation out of two.

Americans have always believed that if we faced our problems and worked at them, they could be resolved. And for the most part, they have been right. Those who now believe we have the power to do justice and to make our streets fit places where men can live and children play in tranquility, are also right.

The enemies of such an achievement are not the black man or the white man. The enemies are fear and indifference. They are hatred and, above all, letting momentary passion blind us to a clear and reasoned understanding of the realities of our land.

Here we are, white and black, together on one continent. If we can live together, the land will be fruitful for all its people. If not, much that we all cherish may be in danger. These are the only practical and realistic choices.

Let’s choose wisely.

Viva La Revolucion!