the second half of the century, rapid suburbanization took place. Additionally, at the same time, race relations deteriorated.” Knowing this fact, as I’m sure Mr. Kennedy was aware of, meant that he had to be extremely careful when wording his speech for this occasion. The wrong phrase could have set the audience off in a rampage, or worse. Having to face an issue where an important black man who was fighting for the civil rights of his fellow African-American citizens was murdered by a white man during a time when racial tensions were at an extreme high increased the importance of making sure his speech was worded appropriately and in a way that could bring people together instead of pushing the audience over the edge into rage and anger-filled protests. When Robert F. Kennedy goes on to state in his speech that, “We can move in that direction as a country, in great polarization--black people amongst black, white people amongst white, filled with hatred toward one another. Or we can make an effort, as Martin Luther King did, to understand and to comprehend, and to replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand with compassion and love,” he appropriately addresses this demographic by using Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s memory to maintain stability and push for a calm reaction, as MLK would have wanted. Though, the people of Indianapolis did not share in Robert F. Kennedy’s political culture, they did share a love for his brother, who had fought for the black community and had been murdered in the same way as MLK. Robert F. Kennedy utilized the memory of his brother and the ideals of the American culture as a whole to reach his audience. When he states, “For those of you who are black and are tempted to be filled with hatred and distrust at the injustice of such an act, against all white people, I can only say that I feel in my own heart the same kind of feeling. I
had a member of my family killed, but he was killed by a white man,” he was reminding those who were upset and had growing feelings of anger that he understood what they were feeling. He made a connection with the people, who honored what his brother stood for, and therefore were more willing to listen to the man who stood before them who followed the same beliefs. He
You've reached the end of your free preview.
Want to read all 6 pages?
- Fall '07