decided to sharply restrict the bombing of North Vietnam, in the hope of finding a resolution to the conflict. Then, as I was passing by the Cosmos Club, just northwest of Dupont Circle, the President dropped his own bombshell: With American sons in the fields far air max 90 em away, and our worlds hopes for peace in the balance every day, I do not believe I should devote another hour or another day of my time to any personal partisan causes. . . . Accordingly, I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your President. I pulled over to the curb in disbelief, feeling sad for Johnson, who had done so much for America at home, but happy for my country and for the prospect of a new beginning. The feeling didnt last long. Four days later, on the night of April 4, Martin Luther King Jr. was killed on the balcony outside his room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, where he had gone to support striking sanitation workers. In the last couple of years of his life, he had broadened his civil rights agenda to include an assault on urban poverty and outspoken opposition to the war. It was politically necessary to fend off the challenge to his leadership from younger, more militant blacks, but it was clear to all of us who watched him that Dr. King meant it when he said he could not advance civil rights for blacks without also opposing poverty and the war in Vietnam. The night before he was killed, Dr. King gave an eerily prophetic sermon to a packed house at Mason Temple Church. In an obvious reference to the many threats on his life, he said, Like anybody I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But nike air max 90 360 Im not concerned about that now. I just want to do Gods will. And Hes allowed me to go up to the mountain. And Ive looked over, and Ive seen the promised land. I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land. So Im happy tonight. Im not worried about anything. Im not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord! The next evening, at 6 p.m., he was shot dead by James Earl Ray, a chronically disaffected, convicted armed robber who had escaped from prison about a year earlier. Martin Luther King Jr.s death shook the nation as no other event had since President Kennedys assassination. Campaigning in Indiana that night, Robert Kennedy tried to calm the fears of America with perhaps the greatest speech of his life. He asked blacks not to be filled with hatred of whites and reminded them that his brother, too, had been killed by a white man. He quoted the great lines of Aeschylus about pain bringing wisdom, against our will, through the awful grace of God. He told the crowd before him and the country listening to him that we would get through this time because the vast majority of blacks and whites want to live together, want to improve the quality of our life, and want justice for all human beings who abide in our land. He ended with these words: 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. Dr. Kings death provoked more than prayer; some feared, and others hoped, it marked the death of nonviolence, too. Stokely Carmichael said that white America had declared war on black America and there was no alternative to retribution. Rioting broke out in New York, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Memphis, and more than one hundred other cities and towns. More than forty people were killed and hundreds were injured. The violence was especially nike air max 90 bad in Washington, predominantly directed against black businesses all along Fourteenth and H streets. President Johnson called out the National Guard to restore order, but the atmosphere remained tense. Georgetown was at a safe distance from the violence, but we had a taste of it when a few hundred National Guardsmen camped out in McDonough Gym, where our basketball team played its games. Many black families were burned out of their homes and took refuge in local churches. I signed up with the Red Cross to help deliver food, blankets, and other supplies to them. My 1963 white Buick convertible, with Arkansas plates and the Red Cross logo plastered on the doors, cut a strange figure in the mostly empty streets, which were marked by still-smoking buildings and storefronts with broken glass from looting. I made the drive once at night, then again on Sunday morning, when I took Carolyn Yeldell, who had flown in for the weekend, with me. In the daylight it felt safe, so we got out and walked around a little, looking at the riots wreckage. It was the only time Ive ever felt insecure in a black neighborhood. And I thought, not for the first or last time, that it was sad and ironic that the primary victims of black rage were blacks themselves. Dr. Kings death left a void in a nation desperately in need of his allegiance to nonviolence and his belief in the promise of America, and now in danger of losing both. Congress responded by passing President Johnsons bill to ban racial discrimination in the sale or rental of housing. Robert Kennedy tried to fill the void, too. He won the Indiana primary on May 7, preaching racial reconciliation while appealing to more conservative voters by talking tough on crime and the need to move people from welfare to work. Some liberals attacked his law and order message, but it was politically necessary. And he believed in it, just as he believed in ending all draft deferments. In Indiana, Bobby Kennedy became the first New Democrat, before Jimmy Carter, before the Democratic Leadership Council, which I helped to start in 1985, and before my campaign in 1992. He believed in civil rights for all and special privileges for none, in giving poor people a hand up rather than a handout: work was better than welfare. He understood in a visceral way that progressive politics requires the advocacy of both new policies and fundamental values, both far-reaching change and social stability. If he had become President, Americas journey through the rest of the twentieth century would have been very different. On May 10, peace talks between the United nike air max 1 States and North Vietnam began in Paris, bringing hope to Americans who were eager for the war to end, and relief to Vice President Hubert Humphrey, who had entered the race in late April and who needed some change in our fortunes to have any chance to win the nomination or the election. Meanwhile, social turmoil continued unabated. Columbia University in New York was shut down by protesters for the rest of the academic year. Two Catholic priests, brothers Daniel and Philip Berrigan, were arrested for stealing and burning draft records. And in Washington, barely a month after the riots, civil rights activists went on with Martin Luther King Jr.s plans for a Poor Peoples Campaign, setting up a tent encampment on the Mall, called Resurrection City, to highlight the problems of poverty. It rained like crazy, turning the Mall to mud and making living conditions miserable. One day in June, Ann Markusen and I went down to see it and show support. Boards had been laid down between the tents so that you could walk without sinking into the mud, but after a couple of hours of wandering around and talking to people, we were covered in it anyway. It was a good metaphor for the confusion of the time. May ended with the race for the Democratic nomination in doubt. Humphrey began gaining delegates from party regulars in states without primary elections, and McCarthy defeated Kennedy in the Oregon primary. Kennedys hopes for the nomination were riding on the California primary on June 4. My last week in college was spent in high anticipation of the outcome, four days before our graduation.  
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