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RFK was shot 37 years ago today

by : Robert F Kennedy
Monday June 6, 2005 - 02:09
7 comments
JPEG - 41.9 kb

Announcement of Candidacy for President

Washington, D.C. March 16, 1968

I am today announcing my candidacy for the presidency of the United States.

I do not run for the presidency merely to oppose any man but to propose new policies. I run because I am convinced that this country is on a perilous course and because I have such strong feelings about what must be done, and I feel that I’m obliged to do all that I can.

I run to seek new policies - policies to end the bloodshed in Vietnam and in our cities, policies to close the gaps that now exist between black and white, between rich and poor, between young and old, in this country and around the rest of the world.

I run for the presidency because I want the Democratic Party and the United States of America to stand for hope instead of despair, for reconciliation of men instead of the growing risk of world war.

I run because it is now unmistakably clear that we can change these disastrous, divisive policies only by changing the men who are now making them. For the reality of recent events in Vietnam has been glossed over with illusions.

The Report of the Riot Commission has been largely ignored.

The crisis in gold, the crisis in our cities, the crisis in our farms and in our ghettos have all been met with too little and too late.

No one knows what I know about the extraordinary demands of the presidency can be certain that any mortal can adequately fill that position.

But my service in the National Security Council during the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Berlin crisis of 1961 and 1962, and later the negotiations on Laos and on the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty have taught me something about both the uses and limitations of military power, about the opportunities and the dangers which await our nation in many corners of the globe in which I have traveled.

As a member of the cabinet and member of the Senate I have seen the inexcusable and ugly deprivation which causes children to starve in Mississippi, black citizens to riot in Watts; young Indians to commit suicide on their reservations because they’ve lacked all hope and they feel they have no future, and proud and able-bodied families to wait our their lives in empty idleness in eastern Kentucky.

I have traveled and I have listened to the young people of our nation and felt their anger about the war that they are sent to fight and about the world they are about to inherit.

In private talks and in public, I have tried in vain to alter our course in Vietnam before it further saps our spirit and our manpower, further raises the risks of wider war, and further destroys the country and the people it was meant to save.

I cannot stand aside from the contest that will decide our nation’s future and our children’s future.

The remarkable New Hampshire campaign of Senator Eugene McCarthy has proven how deep are the present divisions within our party and within our country. Until that was publicly clear, my presence in the race would have been seen as a clash of personalities rather than issues.

But now that the fight is on and over policies which I have long been challenging, I must enter the race. The fight is just beginning and I believe that I can win ...

Finally, my decision reflects no personal animosity or disrespect toward President Johnson. He served President Kennedy with the utmost loyalty and was extremely kind to me and members of my family in the difficult months which followed the events of November of 1963.

I have often commended his efforts in health, in education, and in many other areas, and I have the deepest sympathy for the burden that he carries today.

But the issue is not personal. It is our profound differences over where we are heading and what we want to accomplish.

I do not lightly dismiss the dangers and the difficulties of challenging an incumbent President. But these are not ordinary times and this is not an ordinary election.

At stake is not simply the leadership of our party and even our country. It is our right to moral leadership of this planet.



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> RFK was shot 37 years ago today
Monday June 6 - 04:39 - Posted by 5028a56d81cbd799...

Bobby, we hardly knew ye!




> RFK was shot 37 years ago today
Monday June 6 - 08:13 - Posted by b2f96783dc593490...

Yeah, I remember the candidacy of RFK, back when a mainstream politician could still inspire hope amongst the people.



> RFK was shot 37 years ago today
Monday June 6 - 16:04 - Posted by 3a894e52d5e34eaa...

This was the official end of our democracy. Since then it seems that everyone in the US is living in denial.

When certain factions of the government can kill beloved leaders of the people without being held accountable, what we have left is a lie. It is now common knowledge that if someone speaks up, if someone dares to tell the truth... their lives are at risk. Why did we come to accept this as okay? In accepting such obvious corruption, we have allowed ourselves to be reduced to a banana republic.

I wasn’t even alive at the time, but I long for what could have been a beautiful awakening and lifting up of the American people and the world by such great leaders like JFK, MLK, RFK. I am saddened to find that my wedding anniversary falls on the same day RFK was shot. My husband and I have been married for 11 years, two kids growing up too fast, and at a time when I should be happily spending my time with my children I am instead forced to fight these very same evil people in an effort to provide a decent country for my kids.

Look what has happened in 37 years....37 years of everyone going back to their own lives, thinking about themselves, collecting wealth, fighting locally.... What a freaking mess! Going local didn’t work because they control everything nationally. And what a job the hippies have left for the future generations! The whole world is still suffering the loss of this great man. I pray for the day we can get our country back on track.




> RFK was shot 37 years ago today
Monday June 6 - 17:24 - Posted by 982f1ed7dd3936eb...

yes you say it well. its a sad, sad mess the world is in - 911 CAUSED BY FACTIONS WITHIN OUR OWN GOVERNMENT TO JUSTIFY ONGOING WARS AGAINST COUNTRIES WITH RESOURCES, TURNING OUR COUNTRIES INTO ECONOMIC WRECKS AND THEN TURNING US AGAINST OURSELVES, IN A NOT TOO DISTANT FUTURE OF BRUTAL FASCISM AND HELL ON EARTH and the worst of it is HARDLY ANY ONE SEEMS TO CARE OR EVEN NOTICE WHATS HAPPENING AROUND US!!!!



> RFK was shot 37 years ago today
Monday June 6 - 19:29 - Posted by 45ae168db7813d37...

what a job the "hippies" have left for future generations ... elaborate ... how is it the "hippies" are responsible for the mess ... going back to the land ... growing food and cooperating with one another and trying to raise a few sane humans .... you need to gather this year ... east coast ... July 1 - 7 ... the 4th is major prayer day ... Declaration of Independence day ... we have done what our Declaration of Independence tells us to do ...



Keep Hope Alive - But Our Republic Is In Peril!
Tuesday June 7 - 09:19 - Posted by 503a0cce5dcc0c3f...

Keep Hope Alive!

I was 14 years old when Bobby was assasinated. His presidential campaign was the first time I became engaged as a volunteer in politics. As a disaffected, alienated, confused, pimply, overweight and shy teen - volunteering on his political campaign helped me "come out of my shell." I realized for the first time - belonging to something "larger than myself." I remember my abject horror when I heard on my middle school P.A. system announce the news - that Bobby had been killed by a madman’s bullet at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. I grew up in L.A. - and having Bobby assasinated in my home town - just a few miles from my own school - really made it much worse.

Now I am 50 years old - a different era - a different war - but STILL the same problems plague our nation. The big difference between 1968 and 2005 - is that my generation of youth in the 1960’s really BELIEVED we could change the world - and WE DID change the world. For the first time in American history - a sitting president was forced to resign in disgrace. Nixon left the White House in "ashes" of defeat. We ended the Vietnam War, black people were given the right to vote, women gained reproductive freedom.........now Bush neo-cons have literally abolished the Voting Rights Act of 1964 - Black people cannot vote in Ohio or Florida, women find it increasingly harder to get birth control - now neo-con pharmacists are refusing to even dispense birth control pills - fuggedabout safe, legal termination of pregnancy. What is going to be next? Abolishing womens right to vote? It would not surprise me if Bush succeeeded!

Today we have a generation of young folks who despite earning a college degree - face unprecedent unemployment, the most environmental pollution in recorded history, the polar ice shelf broken into shards and melting.....within 20 years the coast of Scandinavia, Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, and Europe will be under water - 40 feed into the shoreline. New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles will have disappearing shorelines - 40 feet at the shore line will be under water due to global warming. Our unemployed urban and rural poor are being forced to join the National Guard to avoid homelessness and welfare because there are no jobs. When our young men and women are deployed to Iraq because the good jobs have been "outsourced" to India, China and other overseas nations - they are denied the right to come home to the U.S. after their tour of duty is completed.

At least during Vietnam War - soldiers did one tour of duty for a year - then were guaranteed they could return home to the States. Now our soldiers serve BEYOND four years and have no hope of returning home - unless it is in a coffin.

At the age of 50 - with three college degrees, 25 years corporate experience, 10 years experience in non-profit - I am having a very hard time finding ANY job that pays more than $8.00 an hour. All the jobs I see in the paper are PART TIME as a way to avoid paying benefits. Once in awhile a full time job for $10.00 pops up in "Help Wanted" - but 300 people apply for that one position.

I am waiting to see what happens to my Social Security pension. I will reach retirement age in 12 years. Will all the taxes I paid into the fund since I was 15 years old - still be available for me to collect as a retired senior? Or will I have to work until the day I drop dead - at "Wal Mart" type job with no benefits? I am computer literate, have teaching experience and extensive experience in marketing, promotion, office management, secretarial support and working with
at-risk youngsters. My three degrees do not count for much.

The only reason I’m not a bag lady living under the freeway bridge is because I live on Financial Aid, student loans, Pell Grant and Cal Grant. Once in awhile I earn some scholarships due to 4.0 GPA and excellent references. However, I cannot spend the rest of my life in a "holding pattern" as a "professional student". I am 50 with $46,000 in student loans. As long as I stay in college - I don’t have to make student loan payments - but what I really need is A JOB.

Bobby Kennedy cared about the outcast, broken people who live in the margins of society. All my life I was white, middle class, professional person with marketable skills. Now I am facing middle age - wondering if I will be eathing cat food to survive when I reach 62 if Social Security goes bust.

Immigration to Canada seems to be my only option if democracy is "raped" again at the 2008 presidential election. Souns pretty grim - but I really try hard to "keep hope alive." I listen to Bobby’s son - on Air America every Saturday morning. I wish he would run for President - but with Diebold online voting and neo-cons refusing to let Black voters cast their ballot in Ohio and Florida - I’m wondering why we even have Presidential elections at all?

Defend the American Republic! Our Republic is in peril!




> RFK was shot 37 years ago today
Wednesday June 8 - 22:25 - Posted by 03dd7cdd84d39f43...

It really does AMAZE me how corupt the Big Business men in America are. Why did they KILL
RFK ? Because he wanted to stop the war machine.
I hope the people of America realize that the only reason bush and his criminal family speak of spreading DEMOCRACY is because it is a "smoke-screen" WE HAVE ZERO DEMOCRACY in
America and it is about time we honor this HERO of a man RFK and continue this battle that
he should have been allowed to finish. Maybe we wouldn’t have all these problem that are DEFEATING America’s people today.
I believe that we will take this battle back to them and they can’t kill all of us.
America we need you to stop being "sheep" please







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