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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 10:50 AM
Original message
Listening

(Young Robert Kennedy in a boxing ring.)

{1} Letter from a Region of My Mind

Yesterday, the democratic partys Rules and Bylaws Committee met to decide how to resolve the issues involving the seating of Florida and Michigans delegates at the Democratic National Convention. For some, the solution is unsatisfactory, and there is concern that the Clinton campaign might attempt to contest the decision at the convention. In a discussion on the Democratic Underground, my friend Tatiana said something that reminded me of a story about Senator Robert Kennedy, and Id like to take a few moments to share it with you.

I think the story will be of interest to democrats who support Senator Clinton and Senator Obama. It has to do with the art of listening. By no coincidence, the ability to listen is a strength that both Clinton and Obama have: in her 2000 campaign, Hillary Clinton went on a "listening tour" of New York; Barack Obama learned from students of Saul Alinsky that the ability to listen was the key to community organizing.

It may be that by focusing on our ability to really listen to those who support the "other" candidate, that both Clinton and Obama supporters can find common ground. Now lets take a look at what we should not allow to become a forgotten chapter in the remarkable life of Robert F. Kennedy.

{2} Down by the Cross

In 1963, Attorney General Robert Kennedy became focused on the issues involved in the civil rights movement. The activities of Martin Luther King, Jr., and others had resulted in Kennedys taking some actions that had created tensions between his brothers administration, and the democrats and republicans who advocated segregation. Many in the civil rights movement felt that the Kennedys were not doing all that they could to insure that black Americans enjoyed the rights of full citizenship.

Kennedy was becoming concerned that the northern cities would create an even more explosive situation than what was taking place in the south. Leaders like King did not have as much support among the black residents of the northern ghettoes as they had in the south. Kennedy was particularly concerned with the growth in the Nation of Islam (NOI), or Black Muslims. The NOI had been a fringe group until the emergence of Minister Malcolm X. By 1963, Malcolm was becoming one of the leading black spokesmen in America, and he did not share Martins non-violent philosophy.

The New Yorker published an essay by author James Baldwin, titled "Letter From a Region of My Mind." (It can be found as "Down by the Cross" in Baldwins book "The Fire Next Time.") The essay spoke of the sense of humiliation, hopelessness, and rage that black Americans felt. It was, at the time, considered one of the most shocking things that white Americans had read. Baldwins essay included descriptions of his encounter with NOI leader Elijah Muhammad, and more importantly, with Malcolm X.

Kennedy had met Baldwin at a White House reception for Nobel Prize laureates. After reading the article in the New Yorker, he invited the author to a private breakfast at Hickory Hills, where he asked Baldwin to arrange for a meeting of black leaders to be held at Joseph Kennedys penthouse at 24 Central Park South in New York City.

{3} The Fire Next Time

On the morning of May 24, 1963, Kennedy and Burke Marshall engaged in tough negotiations with the owners of several chain stores, regarding the need to desegregate their stores in the south. By the time of the meeting with Baldwin and what he described as his "rowdy friends," both Kennedy and Marshall felt that they had made some important progress that they could report.

Baldwins group included Lena Horne; Harry Belafonte; Lorraine Hansberry (author of "A Raisin in the Sun"); social psychology professor Kenneth Clark; Edwin Berry (of the Chicago Urban League); Clarence Jones (Kings attorney, who would serve as a go-between for Martin and Malcolm the following year); and Jerome Smith, a young CORE field organizer, who had been involved in the Freedom Rides, and who had been beaten and jailed numerous times.

Clark and Berry had come armed with statistics and proposals that could have resulted in the meeting taking a different course. But at the beginning, Kennedy made a comment on the need for black leaders to insure the movement stayed non-violent. He mentioned that he considered the NOI to be a threat to the civil rights movement.

Jerome Smith found that insulting. He said that he felt "nauseated" from being in the same room with Kennedy. RFK turned away from Smith, in hopes of cutting him off. Hansberry said, "Youve got a great many very, very accomplished people in this room, Mr. Attorney General. But the only man who should be listened to is that man over there."

Smith spoke about the dangers that the civil rights movement faced as coming from the violence that white racists inflicted upon non-violent protesters, and the failure of the federal government to insure their safety. He said that he was in the city for medical treatment for the injuries he sustained in a series of brutal beatings he had taken. But he was not sure that he could continue to be non-violent in the future. "You have no idea what trouble is," he told Kennedy. "When I pull the trigger, kiss it goodbye."

Baldwin, who was less concerned with statistics than emotions, asked Smith if he would support the US in a war against Cuba. He was obviously aware of RFKs positions on Cuba, and wanted to make a point with Kennedy. "Never! Never!," Smith replied.

This upset Kennedy, who believed that it was a patriotic duty to support the USA in times of war. Lena Horne told him, "If you cant understand what this young man is saying, then we are without any hope at all, because you and your brother are representative of the best that white America has to offer. If you are insensitive to this, then theres no alternative except our going in the street, and chaos."

Kennedy spoke of his grandfathers experiences as an immigrant. He said that in three generations, his brother had become President of the US. Kennedy noted that he believed a black man would be elected President within 40 years. Baldwin replied that his family had been here for far more than three generations.

After three hours, the tense meeting came to an end. No statistics or proposals had been discussed. The meeting had only involved emotions.

{4} Nobody Knows My Name

As he was leaving, Clarence Jones took Kennedy aside, and said that he appreciated the Attorney Generals support in Birmingham. Kennedy said, "You watched those people attack me over Birmingham for forty minutes, and you didnt say a word. There is no point in your saying anything now."

Harry Belafonte then said, "Of course you have done more for civil rights than anyone else."

Kennedy replied, "Why do you say this to me? Why didnt you say this to the others?"

Belafonte responded, "I couldnt say this to the others. It would affect my position with these people. If I sided with you on these matters, then I would become suspect."

The following day, Baldwin told a NY Times reporter that the Attorney General was "insensitive and unresponsive." Kennedy told a friend, "They didnt know what the laws are they dont know what the facts are they dont know what weve been doing, or what were trying to do."

{5} More Notes of a Native Son

That meeting could have caused a greater division between the Kennedy administration and the civil rights movement. But the exact opposite happened. Robert Kennedy could relate to being an invisible person, because that was often his experience as a child.

"They need to know somebody listens," he told a friend. "All the abuse the blacks have taken through the centuries, whites are just going to have to let them get out some of those feelings."

Over the next five years, as Attorney General and as a US Senator, Robert Kennedy began his own listening tour among the people who were excluded from the American dream. When we listen to his speeches from his 1968 campaign for president, it is clear that he heard, and understood, what the voices that the democratic party needed to listen to.

This included his expanding his listening skills to hear those he viewed as "the enemy." In the daybook that President Kennedy had started, and RFK continued after Dallas, he wrote: "The final lesson of the Cuban missile crisis is the importance of placing ourselves in the other countrys shoes."

This coming week, democrats will benefit by listening to the lessons of Senator Robert Kennedy.

{6} Sources

--Michael Beran; The Last Patrician: Bobby Kennedy and the end of American Aristocracy; 1998; pages 136-138

--Richard Mahoney; Sons & Brothers: The Days of Jack and Bobby Kennedy; 1999; pages 249-250

--Evan Thomas; Robert Kennedy: His Life; 2000; pages 243-245

--Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.; Robert Kennedy and His Times; 1978; pages 355-360
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Tuesday Afternoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 11:02 AM
Response to Original message
1. ~
:kick:
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 11:06 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Thank you. n/t
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glowing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 11:02 AM
Response to Original message
2. Thank you for this. I was born much later than the Kennedy's were alive.
Its nice that you could take some of back to our past and to see just how far we really have come.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Right.
It is interesting to compare what took place in '63 with today. We still are dealing with issues involving racism and sexism in this country -- even on DU. And sometimes it appears that people rightly think, "Not me" (because the vast majority of Clinton supporters are not racist, nor are the vast majority of Obama supporters sexist), and there can be a tendency to thus dismiss what others are saying. That is especially so when discussions involve emotions, rather than facts and proposals. But we can always benefit from listening.
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glowing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #4
8. This is great it needs to be at the top of the greatest page.. you've pulled a full circle.
I was born in 79.. There was absolutely no "if" I was going to college, it was an "of course". There wasn't a place where I couldn't work, I have a science degree and pursued it knowing it was "male" dominated (I won't go into the ills of graduating on the cusp of a Bush selection that has irrefutably changed the direction and the course of my life--thanks to him, I now want into the system that I could have cared less for 10 yrs ago).

Its blows me away and many of us, that there have been so many changes in the span of the last 100 yrs.. with technology, civilization, equality.. and yet, there is still so far to go.. Where one eats cake, another starves to death. Where one in the same position with a dick makes more, the one with the breast makes $0.30 less. Where one family is vacationing at Disney, another is pulling a dead family member out of the rumbled reminets of their home; just recently bombed.

Inequality is still present.. It is going to take all of listening, planning, and doing to make this world become a better place for all of us, red, yellow, black and white (and all the various shades inbetween--to date, I've never met someone who was only red or yellow or black or white)... only nuanced shades inbetween.. and I think the rainbow of people is quite pretty.
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Tatiana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 11:16 AM
Response to Original message
5. Oh well you've gone and done it.
Yes. Listening is possible.

There is active listening and passive listening. That meeting you describe so brilliantly, where RFK met with Lena Horne and Harry Belafonte and James Baldwin... that, my dear and wise friend, was passive listening. I am guilty of it sometimes. But I have many like yourself who give me the nudge when I am drifting in that direction.

I think our party is very guilty of passive listening. The fruit of passive listening in politics is almost always pandering. The gas tax holiday is one example of this. Promising Puerto Ricans the right to vote in Presidential elections is another. In passive listening, one's own viewpoint or issue is at the forefront and any new viewpoints or positions are met with responses that don't integrate one's own position with the new information gleaned from the listening experience.

Robert Kennedy's listening tour - that was active listening. Because he took his viewpoints (his knowledge of the workings of government and the law and having to placate so many different constituencies) and took the viewpoints of those who very rarely had their concerns acknowledged or addressed and he integrated the two to formulate better, fairer positions and policy. Lip service was not simply paid. Action was the intended goal.

There is a very moving, brutally honest video that I think fits into the context of what you have discussed here. James Baldwin has some very powerful thoughts that he begged America (and the world) to listen to:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-aKjXR_uFI

I want to be an active listener. I want to stand in solidarity with my fellow Democrats, I want them to know that their issues are my issues, regardless of supposed identity politics. I identify with those who seek to pursue happiness.

There are those who genuinely feel that the party has turned its back on women. As a woman, this makes me sad and distresses me, but I have yet to find a way to understand and reach out to those people in order to prove that is not the case.

Maybe it is just as simple as listening.

Thank you for this thought-provoking commentary :hi:
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Swamp Rat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #5
10. Thanks for posting the James Baldwin video link.
:kick:


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glowing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #5
11. I don't think this party has turned its back on women. Women have been
so instrumental within the Democratic party.. Women tend to vote Democratic more than men. AND I think part of that bleeding, heart liberal emphasis is because women tend to impassion a broader scope of humanity and justice.

I don't think that Hillary Clinton lost because she's a woman. It may be a reason some voted against her, but for the larger part, I believe she lost it because she is a Clinton. There are still some very raw emotions out there for people from the 90's when her husband was the President. I do not think this election serves to throw women backwards... I think this helps women. In the future, women will be considered just as much as men. She has done that. She has raised the bar... the glass ceiling. FOR that I am grateful... However, her campaign style, her pandering, her kitchen sinks, gaffes, and out and out lies really served to remind me that I don't want this style of politics to continue. I think Obama has brought a different style of politicing.. I wasn't so much for his unity. I was mad at Repigs. I am mad at big corporations that are sucking the life energy out of the US.. but as I've listened to him and I've listened to people from all around this county, I realize that more people are on the same page.. they just don't realize it because they are polarized by a party. Obama has made it ok for the Republicans to feel like they have a voice too. Obama has allowed everything but negativity to be asked and expressed and discussed... its a level of maturity that this country needs.. Its time for our relatively young democracy to get out of its teenage spits and spasms, and embrace adulthood.
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Tatiana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. I wholeheartedly agree with you.
But I have spoken to real life people who have sincerely told me that by not voting for Hillary, I am turning my back against my gender.

I don't know what to say to that because I can't begin to understand the thought process that draws such a conclusion.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 12:12 PM
Response to Reply #13
17. I've read and heard
people saying the same thing. I think that this is an example of people venting emotion, rather than addressing facts or outlining positions that address very real issues. I understand that people are feeling frustration and rejection, because they have invested heavily in the Clinton campaign. But the women who support Obama are not doing so because they are sexist, or are opposed to the concept of a woman being president. Rather, they believe that Obama offers the greatest opportunities to everyone in our country -- as well as to the women, men, and children of other lands, including Iraq.
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Tatiana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 12:21 PM
Response to Reply #17
20. I was ready to chalk it up to venting emotion Feb. 6th.
Now, expressing the same sentiments some four months later indicates to me that this idea is solidifying.

A group of these people even thought to protest Oprah outside Harpo studios.

These are real people and I simply am having a hard time understanding these feelings.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 04:07 PM
Response to Reply #20
33. During decades of
grass roots activism, I noticed a pattern: our groups were frequently infiltrated by "others" who did not share our values. They almost always were the types who advocated outrageous activities that would discredit our group.

For example, in Native American support work, there were some clowns who suggested that we "had" to take 40 oz bottles of "Crazy Horse" Malt Liquor, and smash them in the streets of Binghamton during the Columbus Day Parade. Right.

Using an Indian leader's image on a bottle of malt liquor is wrong, but we used it for public education purposes. More, we had no desire to offend our Italian-American friends by disrespecting their parade.

Of course, the infiltrators called me a "chicken," etc. No matter. As Malcolm used to say, there are hunters in the jungle, and those who hunt the hunters. I had done enough leg work to know exactly who they were, and why they had attempted to disrupt our group.

I see shades of the same thing in the "anti-Obama, Clinton 'supporters'." Some are no doubt democrats who are frustrated by the events of this primary contest. Others are non-democrats who seek to exploit hostilities.
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Blue_Roses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #13
24. I can really appreciate this
Edited on Sun Jun-01-08 01:09 PM by Blue_Roses
and understand where you are coming from because I too, am having a difficult time understanding why some would say I'm turning my back on my gender. I think I've allowed this to fester into so much anger for Hillary that I've stopped "listening."

When this primary first started out the gate, I was sitting on the fence. I had always respected and admired Hillary, as well as all the other candidates. As this race progressed (into the depths of hell now...) I began to lean on that fence, not wanting to betray my loyalty to the Clintons. I've said it several times here and talking with friends, I truly admired and stuck by them. Now I feel betrayed. What I used to see as Democratic loyalty and the desire to want what's best for the "little people" from the Clintons, I now see only as a power-grab. Harold Ickes confirmed that for me yesterday with his despicable behavior. Clinton supporters don't see how this has affected many of us, but it has.

So, unfortunately, I have now reached the "who gives a shit" category. It saddens me, because I never thought I would feel this way about them. One thing the Clinton supporters need to remember, is unity goes both ways. Many of us who were loyal to the Clintons, are angry, not just because of the way Hillary has conducted this campaign, but because we supported a message that they preached--hope--and now that this "hope" doesn't suit them, we see a very ugly and telling side. This has nothing to do with supporting or NOT supporting a woman. As a woman, I really don't get this line of thinking.

I guess I've never been one to support someone for their color, race, but by their ability and leadership. I see it more now in Obama than ever but the fighting is over-shadowing my happiness and it makes me very sad.

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Blue_Roses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 01:11 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. opps
Edited on Sun Jun-01-08 01:15 PM by Blue_Roses
wrong spot
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glowing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 11:55 PM
Response to Reply #13
46. Well, I'm one woman who doesn't compartmentalize issues and believe
that somehow Clinton will give women and edge over men.. I believe in equality. I think she does too.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #5
14. I thank you,
because it was some of your ideas from last night that reminded me of this event in RFK's life. Because of the upcoming anniversary, I've been thinking about his life quite a bit recently. And so any credit for this essay belongs to Robert and you; if I have made any errors, they belong to me alone.

Thank you for the link!
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 11:16 AM
Response to Original message
6. and here is the great irony
It turns out that giving up on a Supreme Court Clerk, not making millions on Wall Street, not serving as Chief of Staff for a Senator -- and going on an extended listening tour as a community organizer spending most of your time listening to ordinary people -- is a more direct way to become President of the United States.

Who knew.


The main difference between the candidates of both parties and Senator Obama? He listens carefully and then he chooses his words carefully.


And what is he telling us?


Are we listening?


Is DU listening?


Looking at the majority of threads in GDP I would have to say alot of us -- not yet.


Brilliant, brilliant post on so many levels. Like an Aesop tale an invitation to listen.


Thank you.
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Tatiana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 11:35 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. I agree. This is a brilliant post on so many levels.
And challenging, as well.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #6
12. I can think of
no nicer compliment. Thank you

Aesop was a slave in Greece, around 600 bc. Malcolm X taught us that his real name is lost to history, and that "Aesop" simply translates to mean he was from Egypt. Like many slaves and tribal people in lands occupied by an empire, he found it safest to teach by means of stories that we call fables or parables.

Socrates turned Aesop's parables into story form while in prison. Malcolm X considered Aesop's teaching style to be one of the greatest vehicles for getting messages across. In his book "Malcolm X: Speeches at Harvard," the university teacher Archie Epps details how Malcolm used the animal imagery that he learned from Aesop to communicate some of his most important lessons.

I thank you, very much.
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rosesaylavee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 11:30 AM
Response to Original message
7. My education was lacking in so many ways.
I have learned more about the history of our country and our country's leaders by reading your posts these past several years than I ever did in 22+ years of formal education. Thank you for sharing this this morning.

K & R
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 12:03 PM
Response to Reply #7
15. At its best,
DU is much like the old Irish hedge schools. Here, we all have the opportunity to be both teachers and students. I am hoping that other DUers will find this experience of RFK's to be of value as a lesson in progressive politics.
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frickaline Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 12:04 PM
Response to Original message
16. Thank you for posting this.
K&R
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 12:12 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. Thank you
for reading it, and for the K&R.
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NC_Nurse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 12:13 PM
Response to Original message
19. Another informative and thought-provoking post. Thank you for this.
I always look forward to your posts. This is a perfect time to be aware of the tendency to shut out opposing
views and turn a deaf ear to the disappointment and anger of those who disagree. A challenge indeed.

:patriot:
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. Thank you.
When the primaries started, we had a group of talented and capable candidates. The republicans had a weak field to choose from.

As it came down to our final two, most people who had supported the others that dropped out made a relatively easy transition. For a variety of reasons, it has become more difficult for some of the Clinton supporters to make the transition to Obama. That may change in a week or two.

In the mean time, we will all do best if we take the time to really listen to one another.
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Me. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 12:42 PM
Response to Original message
22. You Devil!
RFK in a boxing ring!

I heard or read yesterday (so much going on that I don't remember the source), that aside from the vociferous rabble, after the decision was attained, a group of Clinton and Obama supporters came together and began talking.

I think, at this point, it's time for the rhetoric to end. No more talk of illegitimacy, hijacked elections, affirmative action. McSame is the real danger to democracy, and must be the target. He is ripe for a knock-out (to use a boxing term). The McSame name, while jokey and fun, has a fundamental basis in truth that needs to be identified so strongly that those who don't read forums like this can't miss it.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 01:47 PM
Response to Reply #22
27. It would not surprise me
if there are other "rare" RFK things posted on DU in the upcoming week. Not at all. I have an interview with RFK, Jr., from 1968, when his Dad was running for President.

I remember Robert, Jr., telling about when Beatle John Lennon visited his father at Hickory Hills. They discussed issues involving the youth culture, and Lennon played some songs on the Kennedy's piano. That always struck me as rather unique for the 1960s.
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Me. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 05:00 PM
Response to Reply #27
35. Hmmmmmmmm
Lots happening this next week
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 05:02 PM
Response to Reply #35
36. It looks to be
a historic week. It should be fun.
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 12:46 PM
Response to Original message
23. what do you think about a team of rivals?
i have heard this mentioned a couple of times. obama is a lincoln scholar, and many people have read doris kearns goodwin's book of the same name. (got halfway through and set it aside for some reason. will pick it back up now.) i think that it will wonderful to have a president who understands this important history. i think that it is outright amazing that he would be considering this, and hope that he follows through. also think that he has what it takes to make something so tricky work.

sorry, didn't mean to thread jack. fabulous thread. we are so lucky to have you. you are a treasure.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #23
28. I think that
you are raising an issue that many of us are thinking about. In this case, I expect Hillary Clinton to serve in a capacity such as health & human services. She could do a lot of good on health care, and it is something that almost all democrats would welcome.

At the same time, such a proposition will unite the insurance companies in opposition to the democratic ticket. In fact, I think it already has. For many years' experience in grass roots activism, I found that our groups were often infiltrated by people who did not share our values. They were always the people with the most outrageous proposals, meant to discredit our work. I see the same thing in the "anti-Obama" demonstrators.
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #28
30. sigh. well
i think you are spot on in that. but i think no matter what we do, we will be infiltrated, goaded, slandered, and fractured.
we just have to stay together, not let our anger, righteous as it may be, get the better of us, and wrap ourselves around this extraordinary candidate. i trust him to help us get through the trying times we face.
but i would like to get on with it, already.
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Blue_Roses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 01:14 PM
Response to Original message
26. I enjoy your posts...
Your wise writings and thoughts bring a calmness. You are an inspiration for one to want to take the high road. Thank-you!
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #26
29. Many years ago,
when I was young, I remember my quiet friend Rubin Carter telling me that one can often hear clearer when they have their mouth closed. "Well, whatever does that have to do with me?" I wondered. These days, I have a bit more understanding of what he meant. (grin)
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Lochloosa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 02:12 PM
Response to Original message
31. I took an American History class in college.
The instructor told us some fascinating stories about the civil war. Specifically, the few weeks before the start of the war.

You remind me of him.

Thanks, H2O Man
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #31
32. Thank you.
Years after the Civil War, a number of the surviving military men from both sides got together as friends, and spoke about the battles of the past. If they could do that, I assume that there is hope for DU's GD-P Clinton and Obama supporters.
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IndyOp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 04:28 PM
Response to Original message
34. A clip of James Baldwin talking about his meeting with RFK
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 06:24 PM
Response to Reply #34
40. It's interesting to
consider how progressive RFK's Bedford-Stuyvesant revival plan, which became the Development and Services Corporation, was.
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SwampG8r Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 05:10 PM
Response to Original message
37. noted that he believed a black man would be elected President within 40 years
only off by 5 years
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 06:24 PM
Response to Reply #37
41. That does stand out.
He was pretty accurate on that.
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loyalsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 05:30 PM
Response to Original message
38. Amazing
Full circle.
The attorney General marginalized by African American activists.

And here we are.
If Obama is going to walk to walk, he will either stand up, listen, and represent us or be marginalized by the people. That is the basis of his candidacy.

Yesterday, he very gracefully gave an indication that he is willing and will do everything possible to reflect the will of the people- within the constraints of rules, of course. :)

He is also a little bit of a law and order guy. That contributes significantly to that full circle feel of his candidacy.

Wow.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 06:29 PM
Response to Reply #38
42. One of the
most important things he did as a state official was to try to insure that no innocent person was given the death penalty. Although he does favor the death penalty for certain crimes -- which qualifies as "law and order" -- he wants to insure fairness. I think that he will be able to repair the damage to habeas corpus that Bill Clinton and George W. Bush have done, and the Great Writ is the very foundation of justice in a democratic society.
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loyalsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 07:20 PM
Response to Reply #42
44. Illinois has done some really good work recently
I think he is a very fair minded person with the reverence for our founding principles that we finally deserve.
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Raksha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 05:36 PM
Response to Original message
39. K & R
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 06:29 PM
Response to Reply #39
43. Thank you n/t
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Tatiana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 09:08 PM
Response to Original message
45. kick
:kick:
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-02-08 06:27 AM
Response to Original message
47. Monday, Monday ......
the calm before the final two primaries.

All of the nation is focused on the democratic primary. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are both responsible for bringing interest and energy to our party. The republican party is about as exciting as one of John McCain's speeches.
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