This video captures the amazing moment when Robert (Bobby) Kennedy went out into the streets of Indianapolis's African-American ghetto to inform the community that the civil rights movement leader Martin Luther King had been assassinated by a white man. Apart from being a gifted orator, Bobby’s message was a beautiful one which went to the heart of what MLK stood for.
Bobby simply gave the people a choice.
He argued that they could choose to take MLK’s message at face value – he could be seen simply as a back rights activist. Viewed this way the assassination was nothing less than an outright affront on the campaign by their white oppressors, and the logical response was “to be filled with bitterness, and with hatred, and a desire for revenge.”
But this is selling MLK short. Bobby said that the people could choose instead “to make an effort, as MLK did, to understand, and to comprehend, and replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across the land, with an effort to understand, compassion, and love.” For this wasn’t simply an act of violence against the black community, it was an act of violence against anybody who believed in freedom and equality. By choosing this option, the hard option, it would show that MLK was much more than a black rights activist, he was a human rights activist who worked to free all people from the burden of prejudice and inequality.
The evening of this speech there were riots across the country’s cities, however Indianapolis remained calm.
Bobby Kennedy was himself assassinated 2 months later.
“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear” Martin Luther King