RFK's Speech Announcing the Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Is a Message for Our Day

It was April 4, 1968 and Robert F. Kennedy was en route to speak to a group in the heart of the African-American ghetto in Indianapolis. He learned in the car that Martin Luther King, Jr. had been shot and killed.

Local police advised against speaking. "We can't provide protection for you. People might riot," they warned.

Instead of retreating in fear, RFK spoke off the top of his head --- and from the heart -- to unify people with a message of love. Just a few months later he would be assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan, a Palestinian. But in the iconic moments of his speech on April 4, Kennedy spoke to the truth, even though it was difficult to say.

I have bad news for you, for all of our fellow citizens, and people who love peace all over the world, and that is that Martin Luther King was shot and killed tonight.

Martin Luther King dedicated his life to love and to justice for his fellow human beings, and he died because of that effort.

In this difficult day, in this difficult time for the United States, it is perhaps well to ask what kind of a nation we are and what direction we want to move in. For those of you who are black--considering the evidence there evidently is that there were white people who were responsible--you can be filled with bitterness, with hatred, and a desire for revenge. We can move in that direction as a country, in great polarization--black people amongst black, white people amongst white, filled with hatred toward one another.

Or we can make an effort, as Martin Luther King did, to understand and to comprehend, and to replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand with compassion and love.

For those of you who are black and are tempted to be filled with hatred and distrust at the injustice of such an act, against all white people, I can only say that I feel in my own heart the same kind of feeling. I had a member of my family killed, but he was killed by a white man. But we have to make an effort in the United States, we have to make an effort to understand, to go beyond these rather difficult times.

My favorite poet was Aeschylus. He wrote: "In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God."

What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence or lawlessness; but love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or they be black.

So I shall ask you tonight to return home, to say a prayer for the family of Martin Luther King, that's true, but more importantly to say a prayer for our own country, which all of us love--a prayer for understanding and that compassion of which I spoke.

We can do well in this country. We will have difficult times; we've had difficult times in the past; we will have difficult times in the future. It is not the end of violence; it is not the end of lawlessness; it is not the end of disorder.

But 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 who abide in our land.

Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world.

Let us dedicate ourselves to that, and say a prayer for our country and for our people.

Glenn reacted Tuesday on radio after playing Kennedy's speech:

"That's who we need to be. We need to tell the truth. What happened yesterday in Manchester will not stop until we all come to the truth, that it is about the Islamist. It is. Period. And we cannot live side by side with it. It has no reason. It has no compassion. It has no love.

"I'm sorry. I've tried to ban the word "evil" from my lexicon when talking about different ideologies and different things, but that is. When you are killing children, when you are raping children, when you are enslaving children, when you're enslaving adults, when it's my way or the highway, it is my way or death because God tells me I have a right to kill you, there is no other word than "evil." And that's just the way it is.

"Until we say there is a large group of people that are following Islam, the way it was in the Dark Ages, that have not had any kind of reformation and they want to take us back to the Dark Ages, well, I'm not going. And it's time that the West stands up and says you are either going to be a part of the future, which is bright, or you're not. But I am not going back to the caves and to the campfires and to the terror and slaughter that you want to bring us back to. I'm not going there."

Listen to this segement from The Glenn Beck Program:

GLENN: I want to take you back to April 4th, 1968.

Listen to this driving in today and thought it was really appropriate. April 4th, 1968. Robert F. Kennedy was about to speak to a group of people in Indianapolis. And on his way there, he found out that Martin Luther King had been shot and killed.

Local police said, "You can't -- you can't go. We can't provide protection for you. People might riot." It was in the heart of the African-American ghetto at the time.

He -- he's riding in the car, and he decides to scribble down a couple of notes. Nobody had helped him. Nobody said, "Here's your proposed draft."

He got to the crowd, and he stood at the top of a flatbed truck. And they handed him a microphone.

And this is what he said off the top of his head, not using any notes.

ROBERT: I have some very sad news for all of you, and I think sad news for all of our fellow citizens and people who love peace all over the world. And that is that Martin Luther King was shot and was killed tonight in Memphis, Tennessee.

(screaming)

Martin Luther King dedicated his life to love and to justice between fellow human beings. He died in the cause of that effort.

In this difficult day and this difficult time for the United States, it's perhaps well to ask what kind of a nation we are, in what direction we want to move in. For those of you who are black, considering the evidence evidently is that they were white who were responsible, you can be filled with bitterness and with hatred and a desire for revenge. We can move in that direction as a country, in greater polarization. Black people amongst blacks and white amongst whites filled with hatred toward one another. Or we can make an effort, as Martin Luther King did, to understand and to comprehend and replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand compassion and love. For those of you who are black and are tempted to be filled with hatred and mistrust of the injustice of such an act against all white people, I would only say that I can also feel in my own heart the same kind of feeling. I had a member of my family killed, but he was killed by a white man. But we have to make an effort in the United States. We have to make an effort to understand, to get beyond or go beyond these rather difficult times. My favorite poem -- my favorite poet was Aeschylus. And he once wrote: Even in our sleep, pain which cannot beget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.

What we need in the United States is not division. What we need in the United States is not hatred. What we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love and wisdom and compassion toward one another, feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black.

(applauding)

We can do well in this country. We will have difficult times. We've had difficult times in the past. And we will have difficult times in the future. It is not the end of violence. It is not the end of lawlessness. And it's not the end of disorder. But 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, with...

(applauding)

And want to dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: To tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world. Let us dedicate us to that and say a prayer for our country and for our people. Thank you very much.

(applauding)

GLENN: Robert F. Kennedy the top of his head.

PAT: Pretty amazing.

GLENN: Standing in a crowd that police had said, "They're going to kill you." And as we know, Sirhan Sirhan, a Palestinian, ended up killing --

PAT: Two months later.

GLENN: Two months later, ended up killing RFK. A man of great compassion and great wisdom who I think unlike others, actually felt this to the marrow of his bones.

STU: It's interesting to listen to that and realize that that first moment can't really ever happen again.

GLENN: No.

STU: That moment where he announces it and the crowd is shocked is basically impossible.

GLENN: Yeah.

STU: At this point, there's almost no circumstance in which something like that can happen, where the audience would be surprised by it. Because they'd all be seeing it on their phones before he told them.

JEFFY: Right.

STU: That's really -- I mean, that --

GLENN: To think that he found out in the car on the way. And was told, "You can't go." What would the tone have been had they known? What would -- would he have been able to deliver that speech?

Telling that group of people that could have turned --

JEFFY: Easily turned.

GLENN: Easily turned. Righteously turned.

For him to be able to deliver that speech -- he may not have had -- in today's world, he may not have had that opportunity. Because they already would have had their mind made up and their choice on -- on which course they were going to go. They had probably already would have made their selection. And they would be tweeting back. And they would be seeing the hate-filled screeds on their phone.

I heard that this morning, as I was driving in, and I thought, "That's the message for today. That is truly the message for today." We can choose, and we can choose to feel empowered, or we can choose to feel afraid. We can choose to feel hatred, or we can choose to feel love.

And to feel love does not mean that you don't take a stand. There is -- there is the other side -- if -- if love is your north, truth may be your West. It just means you need to move northwest. You have to balance the truth with love.

And sometimes, as long as you stay within the -- the rose of the compass, telling someone the honest trust, but telling them knowing and having compassion and trying to solve the -- the problem -- by saying, with all the love and respect that you can muster and mean, as if Jesus were saying it, it is about Islamists. It is. It is about Islamists. That's what's happening.

And I know the world doesn't want to hear it. But it's okay. And it must be spoken. And anyone who stands in the way and tries to create more division around the truth will fail in the end. You may beat me now, but you will fail in the end because the truth will prevail. It always -- the truth always returns. And as Rudyard Kipling said, with --

PAT: With terror and slaughter.

GLENN: With terror and slaughter, it returns. But it doesn't have to be that way. It doesn't have to return with terror and slaughter. It can return with gentleness and kindness and compassion. You just saw him return a group of people to the truth. Imagine what they were feeling. Imagine the righteous anger.

PAT: And he stood there in front of a predominantly black audience.

GLENN: Thousands. It was a black audience.

PAT: And told them that it was a white guy who did it. And, still, because of his tone, because of the things he was saying, because of the deftness of his words, it was fine. It worked out.

GLENN: And he delivered the truth. He didn't pander.

JEFFY: No.

GLENN: He didn't mince words. He just spoke with love and compassion.

PAT: Uh-huh.

GLENN: That's who we need to be. We need to tell the truth. This -- what happened yesterday in Manchester will not stop until we all come to the truth, that it is about the Islamist. It is. Period.

And we cannot live side by side with it. It doesn't -- it has no reason. It has no compassion. It has no love.

I'm sorry. I've -- I've tried to ban the word "evil" from my lexicon when talking about different ideologies and different things. But that is. When you are killing children, when you are raping children, when you are enslaving children, when you're enslaving adults, when it's my way or the highway, it is my way or death because God tells me I have a right to kill you, there is no other word than "evil." And that's just the way it is.

And until we say, "There is a large group of people that are following Islam, the found -- the way it was in the -- in the Dark Ages, that have not had any kind of reformation and they want to take us back to the Dark Ages -- well, I'm not going. And it's time that the West stands up and says, "You are either going to be a part of the future which is bright, or you're not. But I am not going back to the caves and to the campfires and to the terror and slaughter that you want to bring us back to. I'm not going there."

Terry Trobiani owns Gianelli's Drive Thru in Prairie Grove, Illinois, where he put up a row of American flags for the Fourth of July. But the city claimed he was displaying two of them improperly and issued him a $100 ticket for each flag.

Terry joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Tuesday to explain what he believes really happened. He told Glenn that, according to city ordinance, the American flag is considered "ornamental" and should therefore have been permitted on a federal holiday. But the city has now classified the flag as a "sign."

"Apparently, the village of Prairie Grove has classified the American flag as a sign and they've taken away the symbol of the American flag," Terry said. "So, as a sign, it falls under their temporary sign ordinance, which prohibits any flying, or any positioning of signs on your property — and now this includes the American flag. [...] The only way I could fly the American flag on my property is if I put it on a permanent 20 to 30-foot flagpole, which they have to permit."

Terry went on to explain how the city is now demanding an apology for his actions, and all after more than a year of small-business crushing COVID restrictions and government mandates.

"COVID was tough," Terry stated. "You know, we're in the restaurant business. COVID was tough on us. We succeeded. We made it through. We cut a lot of things, but we never cut an employee. We paid all our employees. I didn't take a paycheck for a year just to keep our employees on, because it was that important to me to keep things going. And, you know, you fight for a year, and you beat a pandemic, and then you have this little municipality with five trustees and a president, who just have no respect for small businesses. And right now, what I see is they have no respect for the republic and the United States ... I think it's terrible. The direction that government, at all levels, have taken us to this point, it's despicable."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:


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The Biden administration is now doing everything it can to censor what it has decided is COVID-19 "misinformation." But Glenn Beck isn't confident that the silencing of voices will stop there.

Yeonmi Park grew up in North Korea, where there is no freedom of speech, and she joined Glenn to warn that America must not let this freedom go.

"Whenever authoritarianism rises, the first thing they go after is freedom of speech," she said.

Watch the video clip below from "The Glenn Beck Podcast" or find the full episode with Yeonmi Park here:

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Most self-proclaimed Marxists know very little about Marxism. Some of them have all the buzzwords memorized. They talk about the exploits of labor. They talk about the slavery of capitalist society and the alienation caused by capital. They talk about the evils of power and domination.

But they don't actually believe what they say. Or else they wouldn't be such violent hypocrites. And we're not being dramatic when we say "violent."

For them, Marxism is a political tool that they use to degrade and annoy their political enemies.

They don't actually care about the working class.

Another important thing to remember about Marxists is that they talk about how they want to defend the working class, but they don't actually understand the working class. They definitely don't realize that the working class is composed mostly of so many of the people they hate. Because, here's the thing, they don't actually care about the working class. Or the middle class. They wouldn't have the slightest clue how to actually work, not the way we do. For them, work involves ranting about how work and labor are evil.

Ironically, if their communist utopia actually arrived, they would be the first ones against the wall. Because they have nothing to offer except dissent. They have no practical use and no real connection to reality.

Again ironically, they are the ultimate proof of the success of capitalism. The fact that they can freely call for its demise, in tweets that they send from their capitalistic iPhones, is proof that capitalism affords them tremendous luxuries.

Their specialty is complaining. They are fanatics of a religion that is endlessly cynical.

They sneer at Christianity for promising Heaven in exchange for good deeds on earth — which is a terrible description of Christianity, but it's what they actually believe — and at the same time they criticize Christianity for promising a utopia, they give their unconditional devotion to a religion that promises a utopia.

They are fanatics of a religion that is endlessly cynical.

They think capitalism has turned us into machines. Which is a bad interpretation of Marx's concept of the General Intellect, the idea that humans are the ones who create machines, so humans, not God, are the creators.

They think that the only way to achieve the perfect society is by radically changing and even destroying the current society. It's what they mean when they say things about the "status quo" and "hegemony" and the "established order." They believe that the system is broken and the way to fix it is to destroy, destroy, destroy.

Critical race theory actually takes it a step farther. It tells us that the racist system can never be changed. That racism is the original sin that white people can never overcome. Of course, critical race theorists suggest "alternative institutions," but these "alternative institutions" are basically the same as the ones we have now, only less effective and actually racist.

Marx's violent revolution never happened. Or at least it never succeeded. Marx's followers have had to take a different approach. And now, we are living through the Revolution of Constant Whining.

This post is part of a series on critical race theory. Read the full series here.

Americans are losing faith in our justice system and the idea that legal consequences are applied equally — even to powerful elites in office.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to detail what he believes will come next with the Durham investigation, which hopefully will provide answers to the Obama FBI's alleged attempts to sabotage former President Donald Trump and his campaign years ago.

Rep. Nunes and Glenn assert that we know Trump did NOT collude with Russia, and that several members of the FBI possibly committed huge abuses of power. So, when will we see justice?

Watch the video clip below:


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