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Civil Rights Diary - African American Supporter and Political Organizer for Robert Kennedy in 1968

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Civil Rights Diary

Michael Wang

HIS/145

August 25, 2014

Jennifer Moore


Civil Rights Diary

African American supporter and political organizer for Robert Kennedy in 1968

June 3, 1968. Tomorrow is the day that the California primaries will be held and it looks like it will be a close race. Eugene McCarthy supporters are not in short supply here in California. I think that overall, Robert Kennedy will win. The attitudes in this country are changing and this decade has seen some of the most significant changes since the emancipation proclamation. In many cases other political organizers would prefer to use unbiased language during a campaign, but I feel that in this case with the issues at hand that it would be better to make a more firm stand regarding social justice.  I am very sure we have the vast majority of black voters on our side.

Robert Kennedy and John F. Kennedy have been some of the biggest supporters of the civil rights movement that this decade has seen. They were the ones that sprung Martin Luther King Jr. out of that jail in Atlanta.  The win for JFK was a very narrow one back in 1960 and so there wasn’t much room for introducing civil rights legislation without completely alienating many white southern voters. During the attacks on the freedom riders, Robert Kennedy called the National Guard down to curb the violence. The National Guard was called in again to ensure that James Meredith would be able to attend The University of Mississippi. The violence was escalating to an alarming degree, which I believe opened the eyes of the Kennedys in office at that time.  The Kennedy administration had to take a stance and so introduced the Civil Rights Act on June 19, 1963. The bill was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson after the assassination of President John f. Kennedy on July 2, 1964.

It was an evil day that we lost Martin Luther King Jr. last April. It is mostly through his efforts that any progress was made at all in this country.  It is very troubling how our most idealistic leaders could be cut down so easily. There are a great many problems with racism that still need to be addressed in this country. Even with all these laws that are supposed to protect us from discrimination they still can be difficult to enforce. There are many poor black ghettos around the country, like the Watts neighborhood in Los Angeles, that need our attention.  

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