I have always admired Robert Kennedy and the more the years go by the more my admiration increases.
Bobby was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. The third son of Joe and Rose Kennedy. Joe had amassed a fortune on the stock market and had been US Ambassador to England for a period of time before WWII. Joe had always held visions of his eldest son, Joe Jnr. becoming President of America. Joe was killed during WWII and the mantle was passed on to the second son, John, known as JFK.
Bobby earned his stripes being Attorney General to his brother John when John became President. Early on he got stuck into “the mob” and I bet they never forgave him for it.
I vividly remember the assassination of President John Kennedy. It still rattles around in my soul as it must for many others and it is ironic that this year Bob Dylan released his masterpiece “Murder most Foul” which links President Kennedy’s death to the Shakespearean tragedy “Hamlet”.
After Jack’s death Bobby went into a deep depression and was actually brought out of it by working with the dispossessed black people in the New York ghettos. In a way only the dispossessed can, they gave him his life back. There is a particular touching moment on YouTube where the mega-rich Kennedy refers to the poor, outsider blacks as “these are my people”.
In this age of coronavirus, Trump and the riots in America, one can see shades of 1968. How different was Bobby to the poser in the White House now? I am attaching a touching moment on YouTube where Bobby Kennedy, beginning a speech in Indianapolis learns of the murder of Martin Luther King.
After a moment of confusion, he informs the crowd. Immediately, the crowd wants to do retribution. Bobby on the spot, speaking from the back of a truck, talks to them. He tells them that he knows exactly what it is like to have someone you love murdered by a white man. His off the cuff speech brings peace and he alone is considered responsible for stopping the incredible damage that could have erupted that night. In his speech he talks about love.
It is so different to Trump and his ilk today.
In 1968 Bobby announced his candidature for the President of the United States. He was soon on track to win the nomination. Unfortunately, he was also murdered in Los Angeles on this day, 5th June 1968. I think that event, like the death of his brother John, almost broke America and it seems to me so much of the ills we endure date from these times.
One can only dream of how the United States would have been if Bobby Kennedy had lived. Even after all this time, I still consider him to be the best President the United States never had. That dream of his, of people coming together no matter what their race or background, is part of what drives me to fight for a better world
On this day of his passing I will light a candle in his memory and pray for America. I do pray my prayers are heard.