On April 4th, 1968 Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed in a senseless act of violence. That very night, Robert F. Kennedy traveled to a poor African American neighborhood in Indianapolis, IN to deliver the terrible news. Local police warned Kennedy that they wouldn’t be able to protect him in that neighborhood but the young senator ignored their warning. He knew the people of Indianapolis deserved to hear the truth.
Kennedy wrote a few notes en route to the close knit community and delivered a powerful speech straight from his heart. The speech, delivered from the bed of a flatbed truck, kept Indianapolis calm while every other major US city erupted in riots. It was if the words and spirit of MLK was coursing through Kennedy’s veins.
RFK was assassinated 63 days after giving this incredible speech. His message, full of compassion and understanding echoed the words of the late great Martin Luther King in his plea for peace.
“We can move in that direction as a country, in greater polarization – black people amongst blacks, and white amongst whites, filled with hatred toward one another. Or we can make an effort, as Martin Luther King did, to understand and to comprehend, and replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand, compassion and love.”