Although, throughout this time, the riots would break out throughout the country because of the racial lines against African Americans. Indianapolis was one of those cities, poor, predominantly African American “ghetto”(Assassination, line 22) yet that night everyone had come together to support the man they believed was best for the country. When Robert Kennedy stepped out, a reporter had given him the news that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, had been assassinated just a few hours prior to Kennedy arriving in the city. On the way to the neighborhood, the city’s police chief warned Kennedy that the police force will not be able to protect him if a riot breaks out, and that their job was to protect the city. During the drive, Kennedy turned to his advisor and asked, “Do they know about Martin Luther King?”(NPR, line 4). They did not. It was up to Robert Kennedy to give them the tragic news. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, was a Baptist minister, civil and social rights activist, who played a significant role in American civil rights movement in the 1950’s and throughout his life until 1968. He started the first “Nonviolent protest” (King Jr, line 33) in America,
[Tariq 4] which was inspired by Mahatama Gandi’s nonviolent peaceful protest in India. King was the motivation “ behind watershed events such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the March on Washington” (King Jr, line 2) which assisted in the passing of the Civil Acts Right of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, both signed by Lyndon B Johnson. He was also awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s life had ended on April 4, 1968, when he was assassinated by a man by the name of James Earl Ray. Dr. King’s trial was reported by an ABC reporter as, “the massive evidence and verdict for this trial were thus buried by the US Media, stunting history, and killing hope” (Woodworth, line 67). King’s legacy lives on till this day, and we remember it every year on the US Federal holiday known as “Martin Luther King Jr Day” (King Jr, line 4). Robert Kennedy mentions in his speech that a member of his family had also been assassinated. He was talking about no other than his older brother and former president of the United States, John F Kennedy, who passed 5 years before this speech was given. John F Kennedy was the youngest president of the United States, holding office at age 43. He was in charge of many events throughout his term from 1960 such as the Cuban Missiles Crisis, Vietnam War, and notably was against the segregation and believed that “Civil rights crisis as moral, as well as, constitutional and legal” (Movement, pg 3). The plan was that Kennedy would sign for a civil rights acts, which was pushed by no other than his younger brother, Robert Kennedy. Unfortunately, fate had a different plan. On November 22, 1963, John F Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas in a motorcade.
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