Robert Kennedy, President and Kerry Kennedy discussed on Diane Rehm: On My Mind


Him because I just wanted the. Silence to stop. What do you think he might have been able to accomplish head? He'd been elected president? Well, I think first of all, we would have gotten out of Vietnam for years earlier, saved a lot of Vietnamese, live said saved so many American lives. So I think that's the first most important thing. Second debt is whole thrust of campaign was really looking at two issues. One was healing divisions and two was addressing poverty in our car iffy. And so I think that when you look so when Nixon came in, we had Watergate. That whole thing was so horrible hard for our country. Such crisis for tomography would have been voided, but probably more importantly, Nixon southern strategy where he saw to divide our country. Based on race in order to maintain political control would have been voided. In fact, the opposite would have happened because daddy would have been all about bringing people together, not dividing that strategy was then compounded by Reagan. And after Reagan really compounded, ultimately, I Donald Trump, who's you know, I grew up in a political family. The easiest way to get elected is by peeling to people's fear and anger and hatred, and that's what that's what got tunneled Trump elected president of the United States. It wasn't because he had some visionary view what we should be. It's because he was appealing to people's anger rage. And I think with my father, he would have brought us together in a way that would have made that type of divisiveness very difficult to achieve. And then a big. Part of our structural division today is because of income inequality, and because of the pain and suffering in specific areas of our country's. So that's among immigrants among native Americans among whites, Appalachia and among inner city African American groups. Those were hit that that was his gang. You know, those were all his people and who he cared. So much about an were. And I think as president would have put in enormous time and effort, Kerry. How do you feel about the fact that your brother has been saying that, sir, sir? Head was not the assessment of your phone. Don't you want to tell you the truth? I pay no attention to it at all. I'm adding talked to Bobby about it. I know that these things are floating out out there, but I really liked to focus on my father slight. The reason we're interested in his debt is because of what he didn't as light core. And that's what I find a source of inspiration and a source of inspiration specifically for pacing the social Justice issues in. In our country today, but one has to wonder what it is that has led him. He has. He's is to with, sir, sir. You know, again, your guy can't even come in because I, I haven't read it. I don't care about it or don't it's not my head even talk to him. No, I I don't. That's not something I have any one scintilla interested. I try void. I don't wanna know, but I, I wanna focus on what's positive, and also the the difficulties that are facing our country in our world today, which are so much greater and so much more important frankly than that issue, you know, carry out was proud to chair the reparative Kennedy, journalism awards, one year. So in my office, I have this beautiful bust your father's. Head, which I regard as a very, very special monument to him. That is, that is so nice of you to recall, Diane, you know those journalism awards were so interesting because there they were started by a group of journalists who follow it, followed my father during the nineteen sixty eight campaign. And nowadays there's such a tension between journalists and the candidates that they cover. But that campaign was just such a rollicking good time for everybody on it and would happen when I've heard this Gloria Steinem talks about it in the book, but others have told me this through, I like that journalists would come to cover my father with this sense of skepticism about him, and then they would sort of fall in love with him. And then they would go to their editors and say, you have to take me off the campaign because like. Cannot be objective anymore. And so in some ways, he got harsher treatment and he probably deserved, but after he died, those journalists came together and came to my mother and said, we wanna start journalism award in honor of Robert Kennedy, which goes to journalists who cover the social Justice issues that were so important to him and they're continuing today. Tell me about the organization. You have established in memory and the owner of bureau top. So you're saying that the journalism awards were really the start of it and on. They are known as the poor people's Pulitzers and people who win them are very, very proud of of we have today. We have three major programs. So one is we hold governments accountable for human rights, abuses through litigation and advocacy. He's so when. Uganda passed a law that made homosexuality punishable by life in prison without parole. We partnered with local lawyers on the ground sued the government and overturned that law, and we're, we have similar cases all over the world. We have about thirty at a time and we've never lost case against governments mostly in Latin America opera, but also countries that's one piece of it. But today of the hundred largest economies on earth, fifty percent of them are corporations. So if you care about human rights and you're not volved with corporate corporate corporate social responsibility, you're really missing a big chunk. So we're, we're con corporation's, not through the corporations themselves, but through the owners of those corporations through the sovereign wealth funds and big pension plans that own them. So what does that the? How do you choose a focus in a particular. Country. So well, with the corporate piece of it, we're looking at three to print areas. We're looking at supply chain issues. We are looking at who is making the investments, and we're looking at the right to privacy, the right to freedom of expression and access him for mation that trikes. But in the area of who's making the investments, we're not asking if the companies are women in minority owned firms were asking, who are you hiring to make those investments make the decision of which companies to invest in. So for instance, we brought together the top thirty endowments the largest thirty endowments by universities in our country. Okay. So it's like Harvard, Stanford, it's header and we asked them what percentage of your endowments are invested by women and minority. And you know what the answer was less than two percent. So this is, you know, this is like Alabama nineteen, fifty, six ninety eight percent by old white men less than two percent by women and minority on firms this the problem because they're deciding which corporations get the investments, they're deciding who is able to cumulate Welton our country and with wealth comes power and with wealth also comes investment in nonprofit. So nonprofits are being invested in primarily by old white men as well. We need to change that if we want to change the trajectory. Oh, it sounds as you're doing a lot of traveling around the world. Well, so. Okay, so we hold governments accountable. We hold corporations accountable feel like if we are sects festival on both of those and we don't have the next generation of human rights defenders, it'll be for not. So our third big program is our human rights education program called speak truth to power something, you know so much about I n because you've been doing that your whole life. But we teach about one point two million students per year kindergarten through law school about the concept of human rights about social motion, learning and and train them to make a difference in their classrooms. Communities and countries carry. You must be one busy. Well rates, staff Kerry Kennedy, and I want to thank you so. So much, and I really hope to see your mother before. Thank you so much for being here. Thank you. Let's take a break and we'll be back with an interview from our our with one and Bobby Kennedy's biographers. Hi

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