Robert F. Kennedy: Don't Look Now, We're Winning
We need to recognize that the extremism of the remnants of white patriarchal forces is a testament to the real and present power
of a democracy trying to live up to its name.
Ann: Hi Bobby, though I heard you earlier today.
Robert F. Kennedy: You did indeed, Ann. I thought I would stop by to add my bit to those of you who are feeling a bit down about the hits our democratic system has taken lately.
You may recall I left this world at a time when there was a full out assault on the idea that the black and brown citizens of this country had a right to vote and to field their candidates without fearing physical assault or reprisal. Many went down to those who had aimed their fire, not just at John, myself, and Martin, not to mention Malcom X and others, but at any who would challenge the stranglehold of white power.
Well, the worm has turned, and here they come again. But this time I ask you to notice that their voices are weaker, their credibility undermined as their lies continue to be exposed. It may seem like we are going down the same rabbit hole for the 99th time, but that is not the whole picture.
Simply look back at the past and compare the news coverage in those earlier eras to the current media's relentless exposure of lies and hypocrisy masquerading as legitimate policy. Look at the new leaders of today, men and women of various races, creeds, and colors whose voices would have previously be strangled at birth by the lily white domination of earlier political times.
I am not suggesting that we rest on our laurels, far from it. I am suggesting that we continue to mount a campaign to further the progress that has been achieved and is once again being threatened. We need to recognize that the extremism of the remnants of the white patriarchal forces is a testament to the real and present power of a democracy trying to live up to its name.
And it is not only black and brown voices that are making themselves heard. There are a few members of the loyal opposition who will not tolerate the sacrifice of the foundations of our constitutional systems on the altar of white privilege and financial power, and they have added their unlikely voices to rising chorus demanding real change in our governing systems.
In concert, these voices have the gathering power of irrefutable truth. Even with setbacks and injustices, the light of exposure is preventing many who would prefer to be oblivious from returning to the shelter of the outworn justifications that were used to excuse a distorted application of equal justice under the law. In the light of such exposure and the rights now secured to so many and bought at such cost, it will be impossible to return to the regressive past for any considerable length of time.
They may win a battle or two, but in the long run, victory will be ours, for ourselves, yes, but mostly for our children and those who come after us and count on us to preserve the sacred rights guaranteed to them under our Constitution.
So I come here tonight to tell you, as my friend and old sparring partner John McCain once said to Ann, “Buck up, kid, we’ve just begun to fight.”
December 18, 2021
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