Hello. Come on in. The daddy writes about current events, literature, music and, once in a while, drops something on you from back in the day to make you pause and ponder, stop and stare, and begin to wonder. Who knows? You may start to pace the floor, shake your head from side to side, then fall down on bended knees in a praying position and cry, "Lawd, have mercy! What is this world coming to?" Check yourself! But this blog is NOT about the daddy. It's about you: your boos, your fam, your hood, your country...our hopes and dreams of a better tomorrow. So let's make a pact: the daddy will put it on the track if you'll chase it down and hit him back. Together, we can definitely take it to another level. Shall we?"

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Another Time, Another Man of Hope

A friend of man said he saw a story about Bobby Kennedy on tv this morning. He said that the program mentioned that this was the 40th anniversary of Bobby's campaign and assassination, that he had seen my post comparing Bobby and Barack, and that I should post it again for those who didn't see it. Here you go, Howard.
Yes, a tall, skinny guy with a funny name is running for president of the United States.

Yes, he appeals to loyal blacks, Latinos, idealistic youth, liberals, progressives, committed
unions, and thinking independents. And, yes, when he speaks, those within earshot of him begin to clap hands, stump their feet and chant to the top of their lungs. And, when the tall skinny kid begins to weave a tale of patriotism, hard work, hopes and dreams, when his voice rises to a crescendo like a Lucian Pavarotti aria ending in the high C's, young girls in pretty dresses jump out of their seats and begin to dance deliriously, spinning like couples at a Saturday night hoedown in rural Tennessee.

"We can hope once we realize we have more in common than we have apart. We can change once we know that we have the true power: that power comes not from the top but from the ground up. We can take back White House and take back the country once we know that true power comes from us. When you say, "Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can!"

But back in the day, another young US senator ran for president of the United States. No, he wasn't especially tall, and he didn't have a funny name. But, like the skinny kid, he had above-average intelligence, a calming effect upon everyone he met, and an absolutely disarming smile. He was the charmer.

Like the tall, skinny kid, the charmer believed in change-- change in terms of getting out of a war into which we never should have gotten involved in the first place, and change in developing a mindset where we only go to war as a last resort. Whereas the skinny kid wants to get out of Iraq, the charmer wanted to end our invasion and occupation of Vietnam. Like the skinny kid, the charmer wanted to take funding used to purchase planes and guns and to burn down villages and redirect those monies toward rebuilding America: improving education, putting Americans back to work, improving its neglected infrastructure...healing its racial wounds.

The charmer viewed our propensity for war as going far beyond politics or greed. On Face the Nation, November 26, 1967, he clearly framed our illegal occupation in Vietnam as a moral issue:

"Do we have the right here in the United States to say that we’re going to kill tens of thousands, make millions of people, as we have, refugees, kill women and children, as we have? I very seriously question whether we have that right...When we use napalm, when a village is destroyed and civilians are killed, this is a moral obligation and a moral responsibility for us here in the United States." (
The Last Campaign, by Thurston Clarke).

Like the tall skinny kid, the charmer saw past religion, race, gender and class to a promising and prosperous future for America. "For the fortunate among us, there is the temptation to follow the easy and familiar paths of personal ambition and financial success so grandly spread before those who enjoy the privilege of education. But that is not the road history has marked for us. The future does not belong to those who are content with today, apathetic toward common problems and their fellow man alike. Rather it will belong to those who can blend vision, reason and courage in a personal commitment to the ideals and great enterprises of American society."

In his own way, the young charmer was agreeing with the skinny kid: "Yes, we can! Yes, we can!

But they say all good things must come to an end. The charmer was assassinated in 1968. Still, if the charmer were around today, he would say to the tall skinny kid the same thing that his brother, Senator Ted Kennedy, said: "Well done, my son. Well done."


MountainLaurel said...

One of my concerns with Barack's candidacy is that he will suffer teh same fate as Bobby. I voted for Barack because I think he's the one with the best shot. However, I fear that he'll end up the same way the Kennedys did. Too many people are making too much money under the current system to allow change to come easily. And they have shown repeatedly that they can and will use violence to keep their power.

Remember a while back when we talked about our "no mainstream news" day? Well, now I'm moved and slightly settled, so would you like to figure out some ground rules and start it? I've got some blogs ID'd that I think might be willing to help us out.

MacDaddy said...

mountain: You are certainly not alone in your concern about Obama. He was given federal protection months sooner than any other candidate. That tells you right there that there has been numerous threats.

My friends said the same thing. One said she hoped he wouldn't become president because she feared they would kill him. I pray not. I just finished reading a book about Bobby Kennedy's campaign and assassination. It's called "A Time It Was" by Bill Eppridge, who was a photographer for Life Magazine. Amazing pictures, some never seen before. As soon as I closed the book, I began thinking about Obama...Yes, I'll give the "no mainstream news" day some thought this week. Thanks for reminding me. I won't forget. Blessings.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

The thought of Obama's campaign suffering the fate of RFK's is simply too much to contemplate. IT would be simply devastaing to those of us who believe in the good of our country and thee country itself. It would possibly bring about our demise over time.

Real History Lisa said...

I'd like to think that we're beyond election by assassination. Let's hope. It's important not to focus on that, but to focus on the good, as we tend to bring about what we focus on!

Here's a nice article calling Barack "The Honorary Kennedy" that I thought you'd enjoy.

MacDaddy said...

sagacious: Yes, it would be too much.
Lisa: Welcome. No, I won't focus on it. But Because this is the 40yh anniversary of Bobby's death, and because of the parallels between Bobby and Barack, I couldn't avoid it. I'll check the article. And thanks for the insightful article you wrote about Hillary Clinton. Blessings.

Anonymous said...

Dear, MacDaddy:

Thank you for re-posting that exquisite piece on Robert Kennedy....It is more poignant, and more meaningful, this time around...I hope, by the way, that you read the opinion page of the Tribune this morning....on Scott McClellan and Bush...I think the writer's name is Teppen...I do not have the paper down here....At any rate, it sort of states the complacency of the Repbulican party....and that we are in for more of the same in the next months.....only worse that what has been revealed....
--nuninthehood said...

Hello there!

This is a very important post!


Barack has been very lax with his security and I wrote a post about it in March when it was reported that some white man kept harassing him repeatedly and getting in his face - right in front of the cameras who were waiting for a story. I wrote in that post that if a white man was in his face and his white security detail allowed it there IS A MAJOR problem!

Barack, sorry to say, does not even THINK that there could be someone in his security detail that would deliberately NOT pay attention and allow someone to get too close to him. I absolutely believe that Barack is naive about racial hatred in this country.

Thanks for writing about this!

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!

MacDaddy said...

Yes,I remember the incident. Thanks, Lisa. I'll be visiting at your site.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

MAc, Thanks for the story of Ms. Kirkaldy.
True life stories are so much better than fiction.

MacDaddy said...

sagacious: Don't you love these stories about regular folks who once in a while win against the odds? I'm going to copy your comment to the post about her. Thanks.

New Black Woman said...

Just as an aside, I wonder how many threats Sen. Obama has received. And, I wonder if he's still receiving any.