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tv   Lectures in History Martin Luther King Robert Kennedy Civil Rights  CSPAN  January 16, 2023 11:00am-12:15pm EST

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supposed to be a launch rehearsal. a flash fire erupted inside the command module at 6:31 p.m. claiming the lives of the three astronauts. president johnson tonight mourned the death of the three astronauts pretty said they gave their lives in the nation service. our brave men in uniform, whether in vietnam or seeking the frontiers of the future, he said, mourned with all of us the tragic loss of three-gallon and dedicated airmen. >> nineteen years later the space shuttle challenger launched on january 28, 1986 from the kennedy space center in florida. 73 seconds into the flight the world watched as the shuttle was destroyed in a fiery explosion. all seven crew members perished. ..
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>> the evening of january 30, 1968 at the height of the war in vietnam, nor vietnamese watches launched an attack. the u.s. repelled the assault of the cost of losses and men in public support for the ongoing war. that's a look at what happened this book in history. american history tv has problems in all these topics and our archives in washington online as >> listen up and we'll talk about it. >> we will lose our liberation. we have been tired of trying to
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prove these things. we are tired and we are not going to hurt them. we are concerned with getting the things we want, the things we have to have to be able to edfunction. >> 1967, the freedom movement was changed. >> 's across the nation, black men and women struggle with their lives. on the street, in the schools. establish a relationship between blacks and whites in america. >> that's just a little review of where we were last week with documentaries, eyes and the prize. looking at white power. it's a great introduction.
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but the purpose of black power is and how it folds into this civil rights movement. the years after the passage has demonstrated and what we have covid so far was a time of racial reckoning comparable after the civil war, civil rights legislation, legally mandated segregation laws and franchisor in the south and broaden citizenship rights. black power are presented broad-based struggle african-americans to find a meaning in this country with inequality and injustice remained deeply rooted. this is northern areas, it's rooted in history and society.
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northern areas by 1960ca half of african-americans lived in northern and western urban areas and cities. as we discussed, my racial black american to the south, and north and west up to the 1950s transformed america's racial. many left the south and freedom, freedom from the repression of jim crow, they faced this resulting in a segregated neighborhood with substandardds housing and schools and limited job opportunities. for many, there was a feeling of no way out. in this slide, read an article freelance reporting who visited five cities in 1963 and
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described as the title of the piece, a report in the revolution taking discoloration, economic social and more and this was even more crucial in this house and the two images, one shows the parent and children protesting outside s te school committee in boston in 1963 and the other is in harlem, competition between police and man in 1964 around harlem, racial uprising of james powell. 1964 civil rights act and voting rights act did little to respect these conditions. minority of african americans prepared to take advantage of the opportunity in legislation
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and was a significant advantage. for the generations of poverty, conditions did not change. martin luther king, we read this piece earlier on in an op-ed january 1, 1966, you see it appear. not yet a flower. black american is equal, least skilled, most underpaid in our society. the negro in america is impoverished, in society. realizing the civil rights legislation would do little to remedyem these, celebrate change and energize black empowerment. the question conditions in urban areas and routine policing
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abuses along with the hopes by the civil rights movement created explosive movement. robert kennedy elected to the senate early 1965, described a crisis he called unparalleled in our history. aligned with the black power movement was a sustained struggle to compel americans to face the consequences of the nation's racial past and opportunities created by the civil rightsig movement in the country in a new direction. kennedy and king offered a unique kind of leadership in this regard. shaped by expenses in the civil rights movement and the depth and nature of a crisis determined for the country's future. today we're going to look at
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these tumultuous years between 1965 -- 1968 largely to the evolution enactment of kennedy. an iconic figure in the aftermath and the assassination of anha obscuring challenges struggled in their final yearsng that would deeply intertwined with racial reckoning list civil rights movement. she is marked by non- and urban rebellions work like police, brutality and terrible conditions.s as the reason for today, there is no clear path forward and that's evident in the title for the chapter you readat on martin luther king, what is the title of that check? 's's. >> descent into chaos.
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we look back at history we see things evolving but so much is happening and the invisible man made this comment around the same time, we are living in a time within the political structure we do not have the political structures that contain energy by the passage of the civil rights bill so black expectation and white backlash and some movement expands and demands and expectations. and 65 we mentioned, it's a pivotal turn in american history and the civil rights movement in the 1960s, it was a turn for king and kennedy as you may recall, 45 miles los angeles and
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beyond an estimated 30,000, 34 people were killed and 25 were african-american. the campaign in north in the northern city and what they learned in the south. he walked the streets of the community and went to meetings and heard the people and lack of city services and a litany of things. he's overwhelmed by what he saw and what he heard. in a meeting with city officials, police chief william parker lecturedef king violence would be expected when you keep
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telling people they are unfairly treated and teach them disrespect. k to treat the situation as though it was a result of the criminal element is to leave the community. and 66 as you read to get to chicago where he would attemptt to employ the tactics of nonviolentir action campaign targeting segregated housing conditions in the campaign to end them. he helped enable black americans channel anger and frustration into collective action and securing change ande improving conditions so another question from that particular chapter, what happened with the campaign of success? over some challenges he k faced?
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's. >> [inaudible question] it wasn't a success for him because from these loans, there's capitalism. [inaudible question] [inaudible] >> in general opinion, liberals in chicago were supportive of th' efforts. mayor gary was more wise and people he dealt withn- in the south. african americans were cynical using these techniques and he
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said he faced the kind of violence he hadn't seen before. >> trying to get him not reelected? >> he thought maybe the pressure that it did not come through but he was reelected. but as you said, made him reassess his understanding in these cities and what it would take to actually create change at a time when pressures were really high. the sense that theyge would continue to explode unless there was change. in this image, he was trying to protect him so chicago was a celebrated experience.
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into the summer, during the time in d june he goes to mississippi to join other activists picked up and there it was shot and i think it's good to remember this relationship was logical. during this march, how glad he was greeted by african-americans in these communities and even though this was the marked because of police harassment and being evicted from the school where they set up camp overnight and all kinds of problems with police, they been arrested and he came out of that and they
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issued a call for black power. we talk about that but represented what they'd been using, black empowerment for a number ofca years to capture the attention of the a nation and gt a real reaction. recall from that account the response to black power, anybody?al should. [inaudible] >> he mentioned he was saying it could be an b option. >> he was open to it, right? yes.
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>> the carmichael account i remember he had a quote said people who have power don't speak of their power so he was just saying they should speak for themselves, they don't have to call it power. >> issues the question of tactic and also king felt the reaction white liberals and the press, he was correct, people reacted in a way that was racism, separatism and all of these alarming things. s you saw what carmichael said, is organizing the community, black empowerment and even king, after the march he constantly was asked what he thought about black power. he changed the conversation and at one time he said -- i want to
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get this quote correct. let's see. he said, he turned the question around and pointed to the poverty and injustice that endured in america and the need for a thrust forward so something more militant has to happen. what you call it a distraction and the press played on that and that was a story marked in fear, it was much more than that. the harassment they experienced and the camaraderie between various representatives of the movement so robert kennedy, the attorney general under his brother's estate until august 64 and went to new york and entered the senate january of 1965 and
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he begins to move in a parallel path. attorney general in the administration, he was shocked toto witness the depth of povery and urban areas outside. he wasd influenced, the essay in the new yorker in november of 1962 in the during this time. kennedy spoke in this very room in 1963 but he came to south carolina. talking to southerners, white southerners focusing on the consequences of racial discrimination, he emphasized so he's telling people these things have to happen but it's not just southern, it's national. he said time is running out fast.
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it's so deep and so wide white america is ignorant of our history and the need to move forward on all fronts. in the aftermath, he pushed back on the call for law and order, a response across the political spectrum. he said there's no reason to tell them to move on. many. almost always used against him and he would elaborate on this noting he was the only talking about this, he said the law did not protect african-americans, landlords and substandard living conditions. we have a long way to go before the law means the same thing to a black man.
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they were in l.a. and he said let's go and they rode there and walked around. he said it was like seeing a burned-out area, war-torn area in the country. they talked to people and asked about their lives, almost everyone talked about their jobs, low-paying jobs, no changes "afterwards". he began supporting a group in the aftermath of the rebellion, the workshop created for young residents andam became a major part of the movement. kennedy supported and visited with themmp and even campaigned there.
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he's connecting with these forces building up amenities and supporting young black people. when he had black power, he, in the wake of the march, he said you can't interpret black power in many ways. he said it could raise concern, he felt the future of the country depended on black and white people working together but, he said the march against the year, black citizens will keep up their efforts for equality. he himself embraced determinations and communities, empowerment of which was evident in the project, andhi innovative developmentt project run by
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people in the community and raised money for philanthropy, is would develop plans for education programs but what is particularly interesting as he been too south africa in june of 66 and he makes these comparisons and the struggles both countries have to overcome. what he was most concerned was about whites. it was ignorance and backlash, supporting politicians who play on this w resentment so there'sa cover story, this article
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supposed it was black. his trip to south africa and this exchange he had who justified this and this is what he said. what if we go to heaven and god is there and he's not white? what is our response then? that sort of comment and black power provided a different angle did this way from omaha, nebraska, chicago, cleveland, brooklyn, new york and a number of others.
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he was mostly silent about these. increasingly obsessed in 1966 and doubles the budget for military aid by $10 billion, five times on antipoverty production. the war on poverty began with high hopes spoke out, you see the speech on vietnamn? and reporters wanted to know, what you think about what's going on? he says rise threatened to jeopardize civil rights. in response whether black power or right create this among whites, who what he said.
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and like you to read that and tell me what you think about that. you mustha recognize your minory is 10% in this country and majority of 19% is not. what have come around to this.wanting to see equality and justice given to their fellow citizens. what does thatst suggest? out is it different from king and kennedy's assessment? >> it really seems a lot like it is aik privilege you get to have these things like equality and etc.
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the opposite about you deserve is because you are human, not just because they decided when they to think you deserve something. the old mindset is disturbing. >> contrasting what kennedy says to move away from law and order, this is exactly what we need, walk without violence and undermining this movement. >> he's showing he doesn't understand american poverty and articulating this vision of legal integration and legal equality in sync with done it, you have rights, we are done. he's declaring this and eliminating his lack of understanding saying he's never been to the community of poverty and articulating a vision
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legislative victory. >> is this surprising box the voting rights act but he saw that. >> i'm wondering if there is a layer of political self-interest here in his analysis, the law was the only barrier to true social equality in claims credit for that. >> it is done and it's between law and the reality of how you deal with this exclusion so
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that's going to play out as we continue on. he's the president and you have people like kennedy, high profile and peoplell pushing in another direction. interestingly ', 66 and things escalate but in the summer of 66, they have it in the johnson district and the washington post noted a third summer of slides pennypinching approach does not work. the new york times and the administration with programs to set the target far too low. it's another rise in the slump but these inadequate programs, the richest nation on earth. i think this is president s rights go city to city, it's
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more leading to a breakdown in communication between races and political action so had we built a political structure in recognizing this. later that summer, 66 was really a rich year where things are pretty fluid and they are seeinb some possibility, the operations community held a remarkable series of publicized on the crisis in the city. he sat oncl the committee and worked closely with the chairman in connecticut and organizing these testimonies. one hundred witnesses testified six week new york times compared to six week long seminar. this included civil rights leader, labor leaders, experts and foundation officials, mayor,
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clergy, government officials and others. hearings covid a wide range of subjects. they identified media pressing problems is a conditioned life for the majority ofar black americans living in those areas. kennedy let off and came down from the senate and sat in the witness chair and was the first to testify and lay everything out. he talked about the causes of the urban crisis starting with policy around highway construction and housing and dissemination that had grown up over generations and the consequences and rapid unemployment and these are some things he pointed out.
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a third of the residents lived in poverty housing was substandard and education was inadequate in high school dropout rate as high as 70%. infant mortality two times national average. this is his vision. he insisted we needed more than poverty programs, housing programs and implementntm. prog, we need all of them. again, community action black empowerment. they may have a central role developing programs, people acting out of neutral concerned with power andnd resources to affect the conditions. in the hearings, they would have
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mayors testify. they had the mayor of cleveland a major uprising that summer and he starts saying criminal elements are behind us and kennedy has all the reports on housing, unlimitedch and descris to the mayor who says we don't need communists and he just sort of backed off and put the information before him. at the same time keep us the information for the country so the hearings and what's surprising to me, little is known about two years down the road but they put forward the crisis in problem in finding needed to be done in showing
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these limitations that are not integrated, not holistic, not enough and not well coordinated. the last hearing was in december, martin luther king's and in this hearing room at the end of six weeks in this explanation of the issues and problemsms, he came to chicago d said it was the first time he experienced grinding poverty exploitation and despair in urban neighborhoods. they moved in and really felt there was an uprising that summer while they were there so he really felt it in a way that accelerated his efforts but he
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observed again and keeping in vietnam, is pushing for negotiations careful not to take the attention of the issue of racial equality and the problem. his hearing he observed the johnson administration spent liberally on a war in vietnam where american security was not at stake and questioned the wisdom by the commitments to a reactionary regime and it's a famous quote, bombs of vietnam exploded, destroying hopes andnd possibilities. meanwhile the war on poverty was scarcely serviced. at no time the court is a fully adequate program received. kennedy asked, interesting back-and-forth between the two of them but he asked what he
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thought of the extent of alienation understood outside of the areas. not at all. the problem is you know is that they are often invisible. words unheard, feelings and felt. kennedy succeeded the bitter condition existing in these urban communities was deeply troubling and expressed deep concern to where the combination came w back to to leave the unid states. in the final analysis the language of the unheard. we are coming toga the end of 66 and finality here iss important, will not go into detail but during the fall of 66, he makes an important speech at uc berkeley in talks to more than
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15000 students and what is interesting is the antiwar movement is full steam ahead. what is he say in that speech? any of you struck where his focus is and where he wants to pay attention, anybody? >> they have the opportunity to make choices that would determine the direction of the nation. he's really speaking to this what's going on and majority white students have an opportunity to create and make change but they have to make that choice for themselves. >> he talked a lot to college
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audiences it is true. helpful, especially young people with thell opportunity and you need to use that to imagine a wayy forward so that is importat and one thing that stood out to me underscoring he said what we came here to talk about, the most important thing facing us and you is within our gates. the challenge here to consider the struggle's, the revolution. he is supportive of challenges in working in the senate and we hear today, we are looking at all the things from this.
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>> give them all the same opportunity toto provide fo these, that was key forca me. >> is a student -- give them an understanding of what the challenges are not just to the country for the future. 567, it was shifting to 67, chaos and things feel like they are coming apart. the war lyndon johnson has the troops in vietnam and antiwar movement is growing exponentially and blocking out the majority of americans support the work but there's
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active vocal and growing movement and a racial disturbance that summer with more than 150 cities. the nation seems to be coming apart. king as i mentioned had concerns about vietnam. as soon as the bombing began, lyndon johnson began a campaign and pulled us into war fully so king called to negotiations but again was hesitant because again speaking out against thet war it distracts from the main issue concerned about but it stuck with him. january 1966 o after -- excuse .
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sending out was a navy veteran, organizer and shot and killed a gas station when he tried to use a white restaurant which was legal so he wrote a statement saying that the people who chose not to go to vietnam and as a result he was elected to the state legislature in georgia so this is the reaction. they lead to protests but by 67 he's ready. one thing the war is escalating but sees a magazine. early in 67 which has a photo essay on the essay that describes over 1 million jet
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deaths and casualties, wounding and equipping children. children and as a talking about the tools of war america is using. gases, bombing, explantsnt shoud and it really shakes him h up. he joins a margin chicago but he's big coming out in new york city and the riverside church. it's called beyond vietnam, a time to break the silence. this is one of the strongest public statements made against the war by this. i urge you to read this speech, it is powerful and well thought out, analysis of the work and impact on america. he talked about his own
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evolution, the enemy of the poor taking the resources and it back on all parts of vietnam content raise his voice without having first spoken clearly about the money today. responsibility to take initiative to end the war in the administration to begin all bombing and open negotiation. the speech was a powerful appeal to end the d war but also face within the american spirit and inequities invested in society and continues to spend more money on military defense and a social uplift. the reaction was predictable. your slander that could have
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been written. washington post's and the usefulness and the people y apartment allies and it's holistic, impacting countries and what's happening in vietnam is the change of america. so king was not deterred, suspected this reaction but felt the influence have his day in america was wrong. i've been so disgusted the way the american people are being brainwashed by this administration should. people are moving in different ways. robert kennedy, holly is in his sites and he's on a committee in pennsylvania where they are doing a deep dive into poverty
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going into the field on the ground to see what's goingng on and find out what people need and marion wright had been a leader of thehe movement and she had gone to lawnl school and wet back to mississippi with only three black lawyers and she became the fourth, first black woman in mississippi and she testifies before the committee and says conditions were worse in mississippi and three years ago and as a result of the combination of things. throughout the land making it difficult to get access to food stamps and all the rest but it is a crisis so they decide to go to mississippi and they have hearings in jackson and leaders describe the condition and the
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challenges which they built up in which thehe state takes over business leaders and moderate of the up and go after hearing this decides to go. he goes, bob moses leading contact and goes and is flabbergasted and is employed by what he sees.s children with bloated stomach from malnutrition and source. he's shocked and goes back to washington more determined in the administration and says you need to get food down there and stop charging people for food stamps, they don't have money, they can't spend a t dollar. he didn't believe him so he said
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okay, send your aids down.ig he said it's terrible and he squeezes the money and they continue to go and develops a close relationship with mary and marrying her. sixty-seven, that's april, summer of 67, the summer of love in american cities. american racism based on research and 23 of the cities had uprisings that summer concluding the generalized valiantf on the part of certain sectors of the community against white control of black areas there were five days that
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approached them. many died gunfire, 60 were killed and the higher 74-year-old man walking to his car in the mother came down, it is chaos. in the end, six people were dead, mostly action american and more than 700. less than a week later was detroit and the largest urban disturbance of the country but it's a contrast in terms of city leadership representation. to an american congressman horse and middle class but is the people in poverty but he could not bring the police in and what sparked it was after hours bar
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celebrating the return of two veterans and they rated that. arrested a bunch of people and he got things going and escalated and went on and it was beyond the control of the police. 8000 national guard and in one case, a flash was a gunshot and they shot a girl. somebody lighting a cigarette. this is how it's playing out. at the request of the president, the governor's request, the president sent 89101st airborne, along with tanks, machine gun and
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one of the soldiers was asked about heading to detroit and theyey said they say war is wor. at the end, 42 people were left dead, 33 were african-americans, 2000 injured and 5000 arrests. investigations afterward revealed somee officers, nationl guard acted, police take off their badges so they can be identified, sniper fire from the hotel and the executed people on their knees. one officer was tried for murder and there were reports of shootings and national guard armsms been threatening them. this was a crisis. this was on tv, this is what
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people saw. the reportingga again sunday morning, they paralyzed the city, fire and destruction. they covid the crisis and enforced the dominant white opinion of black urban communities with violence, not seeing the need on how this all plays out. they had underlying conditions, is set off political advance. republicans' saying you haven't done enough to protect people on the streets and governor ronald reagan got into the action. apostle candidate for the president and planted in detroit and elsewhere, lawbreakers and
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management. president johnson went on television and delivered an address announcing hee created his adventures to investigate the causes of the right and make recommendations and denounced looting, arson the criminals who committed these acts of violence against the people. he said the fbi would continue to investigate for conspiracies. important for law enforcement at all levels to be prepared and announce the defense department was settingng up standards. when he acknowledges this, the conditions of violence is committed to that and praise his administration for doing the greatest government effort ever in american history to meet them, it certainly sounds like
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he pat himself on the back. again, no mention of the war on poverty, action and began to deal with those and acknowledged these problems. and many said let us pray at the end and closing but better housing and better education, so many millions need tonight. robert kennedy was watching and explained that's it, he's done. he's not going to do anything with the city. with kennedy that night he said what would you do if you were president? he said the major tv networks, three of them would cooperate in the documentary depicting life
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in a poor, black urban community. let them share the sound, the feel, hopelessness, is like to think they will never get out. tell them to stay in school and they're out of a job. watch with the education really is. mother staying up at night to protect her babies and our asked eapeople to watch and experience what it means to live in the most affluent society in history without hope. the detroit violence and terrible feelings that night as he watched them shifting thinking about running for president. kennedy described this as the greatest crisis since the civil war.
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he told the meaning of the society that is impossible to overestimate the crisis we are facing and said it is time to tell it like it is too white america. he testified between the information that up by johnson in detroit and he said the greater crimes of white society where the real cause of the uprising. unemployment, racial discrimination and the vietnam war and of his convention he said it's very definitely opposing in 1968. he fought offol despair and peoe expected him to have answers and he had none. but he would try to figure out a
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way to mobilize people and help them move ahead and channel the frustration and despair so many people were feeling. he focused initially on the summer of 68 to work in northern cities and build massive client violence as a way to channel frustration and black workers, protest local and state and federal government, these targets and expect them to follow the energy in. during this time, interesting the connection between kennedy and his king, an advisor to doctor king, she had the
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opportunity to visit king on her way to atlanta, visit kennedy on her way so they started talking and he said how is doctor king? will, he's full of despair on what too do. he said i think bring all the poor people to washington, stay there until congress does something, embarrass them, force the issue so he went, king was planning to do something but he went, left his house and went to meet with them and it became the poor people's campaign focused on washington and i know we are
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running toward the end but describing the campaign with the goal was -- strategy. i sort of laid it out but to camp out in the white house and congress and civil disobedience if necessary and what king is virtually proposing is a new political movement to he began organizing forat that. i'm not going to get into it but i want to mention a reminder things got moving, and the medic of the fear of black power for police crackdowns or threats and the rest but and 68, king and
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kennedy would move forward from what would be their final campaign. kennedy, a series of developments early on, he's thinking about it worry about the cities, not just the war but a series of development came, he could run with a chance to win. it exposed bankruptcy of johnson's policy and shifted public opinion coming out of american involvement in the war. that is mean and type of that's where it was against the policy. then there was the report that was done and documented findings king and kennedy had come to several years earlier, the report documents the consequences of segregation and just clinician and permeated
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american life and it's nothing less than a complete reordering, of national priority. one said there would be continual polarization of american communities and ultimately destruction of democratic values. president johnson disagreed and refused to accept it. he felt betrayed by the people who wrote it. he resented the reports failed to acknowledge what his administration achieved. i can't ignore the progresshe me for equality on our book of laws. it was for here's earlier and at the same time he asked congress to do that so as you know from reading the chapter for today, his first trip to memphis march
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181968 to support the sanitation workers seeking union recognition and two days earlier robert kennedy announced to his running for president. the work was carried in memphisa and he was 42 years old and he said i run because i'm convinced the country, i have strong feelings and what must be done. i must do all i can. i learned to seek new policies in vietnam and our city. i run because it's now unmistakably clear we've changed policies only by changing the men now making them. ...
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black citizens to write in watts, young american indians to commitit suicide because they sw in thend future and proud able-bodied families we doubt their lives in eastern kentucky and appalachia. while he did not discount the dangers and difficulties of challenging an incumbent president, he observed these are not ordinary times and this is no ordinary election. two weeks later, martin luther king would deliver what turned out to be his final speech in memphis. he had traveled a long distance from the 27 euros minister who we met in clark johnson's brilliant docudrama on boycott, think about that.
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quickly, anything striking aboue the tone, or vision of the speech and mayber connections with the earlier king or growth, anybody? we just got a little more -- >> dismantling orng challenging aspects of capital of israel the underbelly to his tone and strengthening and forwarding black institutions -- supporting. i think that takes sort of a position more the front of his discourse than it had h previouy before it had been more about of political operations, movement, nonviolence, et cetera but now the specific target is sort of the dangers of capitalism and how the fuel division, right? so to not support certain businesses and rather turn to your black business, strengthen those constraints in those and so you feel a little more of a
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sort of, i'm trying to be careful out say this. not necessarily black tolerant explicitly more towards the town of supporting black communities and a lot closer along the linet of what sort of the black part movement was pushing to do. >> good. that's why he supporting the sanitation workers, right? you had unity, we have to keep the issue just as in your sites. keep moving. he has this litany aboutor life and is glad he was born at this point and he's living now. it's almost i mean you just wonder when he says i've been to the mountaintop and i may not get there with you but this precedent, you know, as we watch a boycott interested that his life was in danger, you know, that he was living in a way that he was exposed by that this speech, the fact that what happens the next day, but it's kind of valedictorian and ingl
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what it's helpful and that people are struggled all of the world and about the nature of struggle, right, and it feels like he's coming into a place where he is feeling satisfied, well, hopeful. and because of the expense of the movement and the people in memphis and the community rallying around the sanitation workers. but as he is, you know, the next day he's killed on the balcony of the lorraine motel waiting to go to dinner, and james earl ray was arrested two months later. i mean, he escaped to london. sowe that night, or that day, where almost to the end so we got a late start. robert kennedy was running in indiana in the primary, and he was flying from muncie to indianapolis. john lewis, great civil rights leader worked on his campaign and the setting up a rally for
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kennedy in the african-american community in indianapolis. kennedy gets on themu plane. he hears when he gets on the plane that king has been shot. and when he lands in indianapolis he cares that he's died. a reporter was there and said he was just immobile, right? he sat with his hand in his head. had in his hands. so he gets off the plane and the police, the mayor said you can't go, and the police said don't go over there. you can't go over there. it's too dangerous. he said maybe for you. i could do with my wife and children asleep in the street and i'd be fine. if you can't do that that's your problem. i'm going. i don't want me please come with me. so he goes to the park in a sense to the hotel. people are waiting. it's harder hard for sind this, is that without cell phones and all that, people didn't know. it don't know what time king was
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pronounced dead, but this is 9:00 picky gets to this part and it's dark. people playing music, dancing, mostly african-american crafts. he told them. there's p a clip, we'll have tie to play, but go on google because it's five minutes long. he gives us extraneous speech. he tells them what happened and he says, let's see, i some very sadness for all of you. and for all of our fellow citizens, and for all who love peace all over the world. martin luther king was shot and killed tonight in memphis, tennessee. and you hear gasps coming out of the crowd say no, no. john lewis said the sobriety of this tone, moved to the crowd like a wave with his close under voice close to breaking. he spoke simply an honesty and extemporaneously. he l said martin lithic and dedicate his life to love and
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justice between fellow human beings. he died in in the cause of tt effort. in this difficult difi odifficult time for the united states is perhaps well to ask what kind of a nation we are and whatth direction we want to move in. the country can move toward greater polarization, black, black people, white people among white. filled with hatred towards each other. or we we could make an effors martin of the king did to comprehend, to replace the violence that instead of bloodshed that a spread across land with an effort to understand with compassion and love here in the course of the speech he mentions, because it appears at a white men killed, dr. king, and if, if you want to be angry with all white men, that's understandable but i lost a brother and he was killed by a white man. it's the only time robertke kennedy ever mention his brothers murder, or assessed against public. he felt it was some kind of, anyway, i urge you to look at the speech and read it, and he
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went on from there. and as you know, so he goes on him he stopped campaigning. the next day he canceled all events until king sooner but the next day he gave one more talk in the city club of cleveland on the mindless menace of violence. and it speaks to what happened there. it talks about the violence of no heat in the winter. i urge you to look at that. that was it. he went to atlanta and met with karen king. went to see dr. king twice. he was laid out in ebenezer and he went in the daytime and then at night he and john lewis, they win at 2:00 in the morning.o john lewis describes going in, paying their respects taking, and then he marches with the people from ebenezer to morehouse, and it started ther next chapter, you know, many white politicians with now, he's
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gone, but he was there. and, of course, he goes on. he winss indiana, primary, big thing. he went in nebraska. he loses in oregon which is a minor setback but then he goes on to california which is the make or break state. i'm doing the t wrong thing. and here i he is the writers workshop, his people. he ran an amazing campaign in california and heni won. and as you know that minutes, a half-hour, that even after he delivered his comments on whitney, because i was watching the tape of this and are trying to go up the error, newsbreak, know, kennedy has been shot. he was shot in the died the next day.e. you know, the two of those, and you know, people say what he
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have one? he had a very good chance of being nominated. lyndon johnson had dropped out at the end of march, and his opponent what event hubert humphrey. mccarthy was weakened by this time, but that was not to be. so i just got, you knew, the response, after dr. king wasiti. remember what stokely carmichael said, when were on the march. stokely michael just come ,0 cities, exploded k over the daya after king was a saturday. washington, d.c. on a scale of watts. in the first time you had military fellow troops in the capital protecting the capital. so it was just kennedy, he is carried back from new york to washington on a train to be buried next to his brother. and spontaneously people lined
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the tracks and you're close to 2 million people find the tracks all the way down from new york to washington. so very powerful departures, and acknowledgment because what's important about them, people who understood and saw and acted how they connected to people in the country at this moment and what were providing away with kennedy's campaign new kind of politics that would begin to address these issues, and dr. king. it's really, of course the campl lines. itr really was getting at least people could come together and press the country, as allie said, that it's broken. as you said we have to change whole architecture of america. we have to rebuild america. so we don't want to end up on a down note because one thing to say is what happens, the war on crime which johnson had started, he emphasize policing militarization of police.
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resources on that and not, not but that and nixon is elected and nixon and place that. he starts the war on drugs. he incentivizes prison building really, and so this thing takes off and youou see people talk about the rise of incarceration. you just trace it from the johnson years it starts and goes straight through all these administrations of appealing to the fears of people and ignoring the conditions that people are living in what strikes me about the wire, that's only 20% and and you're looking at the consequences of looking away. but i think, maybe i should ask you, we're wrapping up, you know, looking beyond the tragedy, so that's what we get, we end with that and it's tragedy. they are gone but really how they lived and how they moved this period of history which,
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we're living in the time of chaos we have two choices. we can face it and work to change things, or we can turn away and let it faster and things carry on. so any thoughts about -- fester. with these take away is from history of these, not just these two individuals but this period and how these two individuals in particular moved through at? >> the main thing is even though there was moments of despair and can of like feeling there was no moving forward they continue toh move forward. they would continue meet with people and they made that change are made way for the change. >> great. that's right. the fact that living a life a certain way, right, and knowing that there's no, do something. i mean kennedy had a ripple of hope, spread that, you don't know where it's going but you
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participate, and you use your privilege of education, of being able to move through and to see things in other ways, and organize. this notion of committed empowerment, so all these lessons are rich in the '60s. i think with these two they been put, they are iconic. the last thing, this is -- let's see. is that it? the park -- that's stuck. the wrong one. that's in the park were robert kennedy spoke in indianapolis andd is called the peace park, and his bronze figures of king and kennedy stretching, striking out towards each other. but let me read one last quote from bayard rustin, what he said about both of these, and people in a moment said this is it.
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james baldwin said we would've had a different world if not for so many assassinations. i mean, the tremendous loss of individuals and other capacity and what the represented and how they were involved in shaping society. really pivotal moment. bayard rustin said about them, both were fully aware of the risks they ran and the penalties they faced for trying to work against the current. american moral grain. yet, the accepted the risk and paid the ultimate price for trying to make a difference in theiret times and prescribing to show mankind that it can be better than it is. so, leave it at that, and have a good weekend. see you next week. [applause]


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