Rfk and mlk relationship

Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination and RFK | salonjardin.info

rfk and mlk relationship

JFK, MLK, RFK, 50 Years of Suppressed History: New Evidence on Assassination of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Robert F. Despite the sentimentalization that followed their adjoining deaths, Bobby Kennedy's relationship with Martin Luther King had always been. 'Thanks to their common goals and trajectories and calendars,” David Margolick observes, Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy are.

At first, he struggled to gain his rhetorical feet. Then, one of the most eloquent extemporaneous speeches of the 20th century tumbled from his lips. The pain was too great. Clutching scribbled notes made in his car, RFK began simply: In this difficult day, in this difficult time for the United States, it is perhaps well to ask what kind of a nation we are and what direction we want to move in.

But we have to make an effort in the United States, we have to make an effort to understand, to go beyond these rather difficult times. Ultimately, what makes the speech so powerful is his ability to share the loss of his own brother to an assassin, as he pleas with his audience not to turn to violence and hate.

Two month before his own assassination, RFK spoke about his brother's death when comforting African-American's in Indianapolis about the assassination of Dr.

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A hand-held fan memorializes the three. As the night proceeded, a restive Kennedy visited several campaign staffers. When a possible gunman was reported atop a nearby building, an aide closed the blinds, but Kennedy ordered them opened.

Book excerpt: The untold story of MLK and RFK

What has it ever created? After the senator finished his campaign swing, he returned to Washington. From the air, he could see smoke hovering over city neighborhoods. They met privately with his widow. King and Ethel Kennedy hugged upon meeting—by the end of the year both would be widows. Perhaps they recognized their shared burden of sorrow, even with RFK still standing among them.

A section of a mural from Resurrection City, inscribed: Three weeks later, he lost Oregon to U. He lay mortally wounded on an Ambassador Hotel pantry floor while TV cameras rolled. His face wore an expression of resignation.

Kennedy, found largely in black homes — there are few photographs of the two, most of them snapshots or group pictures. Both had larger-than-life, tyrannical fathers. Both were deeply religious.

Both were ever in a hurry, for each knew about the capriciousness and brevity of life. It popped up so often — in virtually every profile — that it became a running joke: People were forever diagnosing the many, many moments when Robert Kennedy changed out of that.

rfk and mlk relationship

Perhaps that meant he never really did, or had and then relapsed. Though his faith occasionally faltered, there were few epiphanies. He just grew more famous, ambitious, revered and inspiring, loathed and threatening, angry, bitter, radical, desperate. That meant three years of tense telephone standoffs, telegrammed pleas for protection, stiff, formal, typewritten complaints, and, occasionally, compliments.

It was Robert Kennedy who had helped spring King from jail in Georgia; saved his life or so he thought when King huddled in the basement as an angry mob besieged a Montgomery, Alabama, church; pleaded with him to halt the Freedom Rides; and, when King refused to drop two aides with past communist ties, directed that his telephone be tapped.

Theirs was an uneven relationship, and for King, a slightly degrading one: And while he hectored, lectured, criticized, and exasperated Robert Kennedy, he also helped educate him. But a little boy with a distended belly sitting on the dirt floor of a shack in the Mississippi delta may have done more to change Robert Kennedy than Martin Luther King ever did.

The ostensibly spiritual King approached Bobby Kennedy with a hardheadedness that the pragmatic Kennedy would have admired.

Book excerpt: The untold story of MLK and RFK | Reuters

As a United States senator, Kennedy no longer lorded over King and had fewer plums to dispense. He was freer to identify with King, or to distance himself from him, and did both. And King had fewer favors to ask. So, over the last four years of their truncated lives, they barely saw each other — maybe only once: Inveterately social and intellectually adventurous, Kennedy probably invited more blacks to his home — the black essayist and novelist James Baldwin among them — than any white politician of his era, but Martin Luther King was never among them… And yet, their preoccupations and goals — ending the war in Vietnam; tackling racial discrimination in the United States, South Africa, and elsewhere; fighting poverty — increasingly overlapped… When, inKennedy visited Chief Albert Luthuli, the South African civil rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner living in internal exile, he is thought to have delivered a letter from King.

After Kennedy toured the poverty-stricken Mississippi delta, King praised him. But guilt too, may have been a barrier… For his part, King never got in bed with politicians, even the most promising, and sympathetic: Representative John Lewis, who worked with them both… King would probably not have endorsed Kennedy in — he never endorsed anyone — but would have made it clear Kennedy was his choice.

rfk and mlk relationship

In fact, as was often true when Kennedy asked such questions, he already had his answer. Standing on the back of a flatbed truck at 17th and Broadway, he spoke for seven minutes. He held some notes, but after glancing at them at the beginning, he never referred to them again. As moving as his speech that night in cold and drizzly Indianapolis had been, it elicited little commentary afterward: But to his disciples back at the Lorraine Motel that night, and throughout the black community, he had picked up his torch.

In him, everyone in that room at that grim moment seemed to agree, resided pretty much all of whatever hope remained. There was but one question about that torch: But that was the feeling that many of us had.

RFK to Johnson: "Why did you have my brother killed