Me in the Middle Hurting for My Country

…… The vast majority of white people and the vast majority of black people in this country want to live together – want to improve the quality of our life – and want justice for all human beings that abide in our Land

Robert F. Kennedy

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Almost Fifty Years ago, I sat in my living room with my newborn son in my arms and listened to this announcement by Robert F. Kennedy on the day that Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed.  The Sixties were a time of much unrest.  Two months later on June 6, 1968, Robert Kennedy was assassinated while greeting supporters after a presidential primary win in California.

RFK was a man who walked the talk …….. and he also knew the risks he was taking when he spoke out in such a powerful way during a very tumultuous time in our history.  The Sixties brought us the “End of Camelot” with the assassination of his brother, John F. Kennedy, on November 22, 1963.  It was at that time, when I was seven months pregnant with my first son, that I watched the images and horror unfold on television before me.  Life changed from that point on for all of us in America.  As I stood in stunned silence watching the news unfold over the following days, I saw images of Jackie Kennedy and her small son, John, standing by the roadside as his casket was passing by.

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Black Ink and Watercolor Sketch on the 50th Memorial Anniversary by MLQ

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RFK saw sorrow in his life and was able to empathize with the sorrow that American citizens were feeling when violence struck and silenced MLK.  He saw a vision of where change needed to happen and wasn’t afraid to voice that vision even though he, too, might become the target of those who resist change to the point of violence.

How I long for a pivotal figure like this to come into our current American crisis fifty years later!  It’s so sad to watch the same sequence of events unfold over and over again, only to devolve into the same ugly unfolding with both sides feverishly digging up the most damaging speculation and/or facts about the current individuals who are involved in a violent altercation.  The blame game begins with the blowhards on both sides looking for a scapegoat. I’m so weary of the know-it-alls with all the answers.

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The victim is demonized as somehow deserving of the fate that came upon him and the quest to find solutions is interpreted as being disloyal to our law enforcement.   We can embrace the victim and at the same time recognize the realities and stresses that have created this distrust and fear in the minds and hearts of both sides.  We can recognize that the job of law enforcement has become more complicated by the distrust and fear created by these incidents.  A fear and distrust that has been intensified now by the presence of guns, both licensed and not, added to the mix.

Law enforcement, in most cases, do face unbelievable risks every time they walk out their door.  Yet we all know there is a need to better address  the  inevitable trauma effects of what their jobs require of them by giving them a way to process this and restore their sense of well being.  And, then again, there are some personalities who just don’t belong in law enforcement and who might seek out wearing the uniform and the badge for all the wrong reasons.  Let’s look at these issues and work towards making those changes without taking offense or seeing these moves as an act of disloyalty against those who are there to protect us.

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Robert Kennedy #2

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Most of us are heartbroken by what’s happening in our country.  Most of us want to work together to find solutions so that we can live together and improve the quality of our lives.   There will always be those on either side of these conflicts that will not want to see that happen and will continue to stir up division through violence.  Here’s to all the communities that keep coming together to try to make this a better world. Don’t give up!

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14 thoughts on “Me in the Middle Hurting for My Country

    • I see there’s some new books being published about him so there’s been a revival of interest in him. He definitely was a voice in the wilderness back then. Thanks for your comment, Nancy. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think you’re absolutely right. And yet even KNOWING that we don’t seem to be able to throw a monkey wrench in their fan blades and stop them. I don’t understand that… I think we should let historians run for president. Of course the government probably wouldn’t listen to them then either. It didn’t listen to William Dodd’s counsel when they sent him to Germany to be the ambassador to Nazi Germany (he wasn’t a politician, but a history professor). He told them exactly what would happen if things didn’t change, they ignored him, and finally he packed up his family and got out of Dodge. Being a “prophet” is not a popular job. But a necessary one, I think. We just don’t have any candidates! (Sorry. Flight of fancy there…)

        Liked by 1 person

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