Sunday, June 8, 2008

1968 - 2008 ... Prediction = Fact

Watching "Meet the Press" today had me once again feeling that this human being, this man known as Robert F. Kennedy, was more than just a man. Here's the excerpt that knocked my socks off:

He gave a speech to the Voice of America all around the world 40 years ago. And despite what was going on in the country, particularly in Alabama, Bobby Kennedy said this: Things are "moving so fast in race relations, a Negro could be president in 40 years." This is in 1968, we're now in 2008. "There's no question about it," RFK said. "In the next 40 years a Negro can achieve the same position that my brother had." ... Kennedy said that prejudice exists and probably will continue to ... "But we have tried to make progress and we are making progress .... We are not going to accept the status quo." Extraordinarily prescient, which leads us to our "Meet the Press Minute" ....

(DK note: actually, it's more like 2.5 minutes, and please understand, for those of you under age 40, that Negro was a perfectly acceptable term for African-American back then; in fact it was the formal respectful word, a neutral word which black americans preferred):



I agonize over June 5-6 every year. In November last year, I blogged about my memories of that day. I wasn't going to put them up again because, although the memories are timeless, the inspiration for that blog was the presidential candidates as they appeared to me & commenters at the time. If you want to read it, here is the link. The Title is "Sounds of Silence".

I know in my heart that RFK's prediction for 2008 will become fact. In 1968, I would've thought he was being extraordinarily conservative, yet here we are today, wondering if the wounds of the past have finally healed enough to allow us to realize the future.

13 comments:

enigma4ever said...

wow...WOW....I have not watched the clip yet...BUT now I can not wait...wow...so inspiring...and so grounding in a way...that is Bobby KNEW...and knew that we would be Ready...

I loved your Sounds of Silence Post- it was one of my favorites...( still is ;-)

okay off to watch Bobby now...
thank you for this...

Cart said...

Always felt Bobby was the real inspiration. Without diminishing others, some here keep saying "but he is no King!"
I argue he has never claimed to be MLK, just Obama. But there really is an interesting mix of traits in there for those willing to look.

eProf2 said...

A most interesting post in that I don't watch MTP any more. I guess now we can say RFK was a prophet, too. Your post made me think of the primary process over the past six months, which is way too long, too expensive, too divisive, and too exhausting. Send over your thoughts on how the primaries should be different or remain the same.

DivaJood said...

Bobby Kennedy had the courage to dream big. And his prediction was right on target, probably because he really did understand how long it takes to push down barriers.

Obama does give me hope.

D.K. Raed said...

Enigma:
Somehow Bobby knew! I wish I could find the whole speech that Russert excerpted. I'd like to post in full.

Cart:
Yes Obama has many influences, MLK, RFK, JFK, FDR -- but mostly he uses his keen mind & cool assesment of facts to effect his desire to change the way things are done. I am glad most The Kennedys have endorsed him -- perhaps in part because he reminds them of what RFK could've done & perhaps also because he is exactly the type of candidate RFK would've endorsed.

D.K. Raed said...

EProf:
I'm not into MTP either, but husband DVRs & so I overhear bits & pieces. This one caught my attn. It does seem like a prophesy (not that I believe in prophesies per se, more like the ability to use present day facts to make intelligent projections). I do have thoughts on overhauling the primary system & will gladly share them at your place!

Diva:
40-yrs would've seemed incredibly long to me in 1968. I know there've been attempts during this time. Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Carol Mosely Braun come to mind (even Alan Keyes made a run). In the '68, I seriously thought Julian Bond was going to be RFK's VP choice. I kept expecting to see him try for Prez or VP in the 70's. When Colin Powell explained his family was too afraid for him to run, I thought he was giving an excuse. But then Chris Rock did a comedy bit on it that wasn't so funny & I realized it was no joke. Not to overstate it, but I do sense a quality of Nelson Mandela when he became the first black president of South Africa.

DivaJood said...

Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton were not serious candidates. I mean they might have been serious, but they could not be taken seriously for any number of reasons. Carol Mosley Braun had more issues than you care to know - a close friend of mine was her campaign manager when she ran for Senator, and he did not speak kindly of her. Colin Powell sold his soul to the devil.

Obama has the capacity to unite people, he is a diplomat, and he dares to dream big.

eProf2 said...

In case you haven't dropped by to see my comments back to you, I want to thank you for your thoughtful essay on both the electoral college and the primary process. I'm going to post my follow-up tomorrow, which, I'm sure, will include some of your ideas mutually derived.

Border Explorer said...

This is all quite touching to me. Thanks so much, DK.

D.K. Raed said...

Diva: Interesting, I really knew nothing about Carol Mosley Braun beyond how she presented herself in those debates. And I think she was a US Ambassador?

EProf: I will look fwd to YOUR ideas. I just realized we didn't even get into the campaign finance issue. So many things to reform!

B. Exporer: you're welcome. Bobby touched everyone he could, and is still doing it 40-yrs post-death. Amazing!

DivaJood said...

Yes, Ambassador to New Zealand. She made some serious mistakes, a whole issue with her mother and a nursing home and campaign funds; a really questionable relationship. Several things that were bad behavior turned her into a one-term Senator, which was a major disappointment because she could have been a real contender based upon a voting record. She is smart, and articulate, and very liberal. I remain permanently pissed off at her stupid behavior.

D.K. Raed said...

Diva: CMB always impressed me in the debates, so I am sorry to hear she was so flawed. Guess it's a good thing she never got very far with her campaign. She was right there w/Dennis K supporting single-payer healthcare which is what caused me to sit up & take notice of her in the first place.

Utah Savage said...

I saw all this and felt the same way. Lovely piece.