United States, Michael and Martin Luther King discussed on Diane Rehm: On My Mind


Some very sad news for all of you. The people in the front of the crowd had come early. So they hadn't heard the news. We beat for cellphones, and that is that Martin Luther King was shot and was killed tonight Memphis. The people in the back of the crowd had heard the news and they came equipped with molotov cocktails and bicycle chains, and they were ready to riot Condado hits. Stood up and proud of that crowd and said for those of you who are angered by this injustice, I can say I have that same sort of because I had a member of my own family killed. 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. Training too. That politicians standing up in front of a group of people were ready to riot and saying, I understand your feelings. Wow. And then he said, but we need the United States is not division what we need in the United States. It's not violence and lawlessness, but compassion towards those who suffer and a sense of Justice, but we need in the United States is not hatred. What we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness. But his love and wisdom and compassion toward one another. Feeling of Justice to those who still suffer within our country, whether they'd be white, whether they be black. And that night a hundred twenty five cities across our country started to burn in Indianapolis, remained calm. Isn't that fascinating? It's amazing. This is that's the same thing he was doing with Khrushchev that ability that empathy, it's that ability to see yourself. See the other person's perspective. It does seem to me that empathy is something that's sadly lacking in today's politics in today's entire environment between the press the politicians, it's the other somehow that we don't get. Yeah, I think you know, this was something that was so important to daddy. Even as a child. I remember night talk a little bit about this in the book him trying to teach us his children about about empathy, win whenever we had a battle and we had a lot 'cause I had seven brothers and three sisters, and he would always follow the same course. And I remember one time I was fighting with my brother, Michael. We were playing World War Two in or a magnolia tree and was throwing. Yeah, he was throwing Doug. No, you Pudge. Look like hand grenades, but feel like rocks and he was he was the Americans of at the top of the tree. I was the Germans losing the battle, and he hit me too many times and I ran up to my father studying. I didn't choose earn post to run guest. Exactly. Not very important. Exactly. And he and daddy said, go get Michael, and I ran and got my brother and I thought Justice will be done, and I brought him up there and daddy said, no, Michael, you be quiet and carry you tell your side of the story and I did. And then he said, now carry you be quiet. And Michael tells his side and through the process I realized I wasn't tall, right? And he was until wrong and and then he made his kiss and make up and go to our rooms and read for an hour. And you know, would he was doing is he was getting us to see that you have to see. Your enemy as your brother or your sister, and that was his. That's how he conducted his entire life and that each of us has responsible for peace. But you have to see things from the other person's perspective. You have to take the time to understand the awfully important that there were so many newspapers in the how, and they were in part required reading for you kids because they it would be kind of quiz at dinner. Well, yes, exactly. So breakfast, we had five or six newspapers on the table on several magazines another five or six or seven magazines, and we had to read those and then a dinner time, we would go around the table and everybody had to say one article, they read dot day and you couldn't repeat with somebody else had written. So depending on where you see very strategic seeding. But you know, and then a discussion would ensued my father really wanted us to articulate how we felt on issues to hold up our arguments to engage in debate with one another. What do you believe are a specific life lessons that you take from both your father and your mother and carry on to? Well, I think the belief that one person can make a difference in that you, you must be engaged. She got to be engaged and that not that that you have to because it's some sort of punishment or duty, but because that's just the way to have the most fulfilling and fun and interesting, wonderful light. I mean, I think that's the way both of them live their lives. Where were you on the day? He died. I was out in California. We had been campaign. Inning, daddy always loved to take all the kids campaigning. Any made a huge effort to make it fun. So we, he had brought us hall to Disneyland a couple of days earlier. And then we had been campaigning in watts and in the Latino part of Los Angeles. And then that day on June fourth, we went over to of friends house who lived on the beach, and we all went swimming and and then the events at the embassador hotel hop and the the younger kids, including me, I was eight were sent back to our hotel before, you know, we, we had good, but and so I heard the news because the next morning I woke up probably four or five in the morning to watch because I was still on east coast time to watch cartoons. So I walked into the living area of hotel room and turned on the TV and then flash. Across the television. So that was pretty tough. And and then we went home to hickory hill. We've flew across the country the younger kids, and that was June fourth, we flew home to fit and then he died on June six. And I remember my brother Joe called and told me that news and I went to my room and I laid down on my bed and I prayed for my father. And you know, we had this very strong image of heaven as being a wonderful place to be. So I thought about him with on Jack and with other people who had died, who were close to us in that wonderful reunion. So I anyway, I prayed for him and then I prayed for the person who killed him and I didn't know Sirhan her hand at the time, but I just prayed to God that nobody would harm him

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