As you all must know, the past few weeks have been tragic, so much so that the word tragic seems insufficient.
When we check the Facebook news feed we’re confronted with such unbelievable violence. Violence against gay nightclub goers, violence against African Americans, violence against police, and we feel compelled to address this rift in our collective consciousness as ignoring it and pretending it doesn’t exist or didn’t happen seems disrespectful to the deceased, their families, and to society at large.
We realize that this is a podcast largely focused on health, exercise, entrepreneurship, and food, but none of these things exist in a vacuum.
We also realize that it can be tempting to hide ourselves from the world by focusing on the minutia of our lives, whether we drank enough bone broth, ate enough kale, or made ourselves sweat. These things are important, personal health is important, but we are all part of a tribe and right now our tribe is not well.
We don’t pretend to have any solutions but do know that as humans we are capable of doing good just as much as we are capable of committing acts of evil and we’re certain that there is more good in this world than not.
We think our own words are exhausted at this point, so we’re going to play something that feels particularly relevant to the moment we are in today.
What you’re about to hear is a speech Robert F. Kennedy gave on April 4, 1968 in Indianapolis Indiana. At the time, he was running for the Democratic presidential nomination and while one his way to what was supposed to be a typical campaign rally, he was given the news that Martin Luther King had been shot and killed.
This was before 24 hour cable news and before the internet, so many of the people assembled did not know what had happened to Dr. King. Kennedy’s aides, local officials, and law enforcement were concerned about security and the potential for a riot, but he decided to speak anyway and gave the speech from a podium mounted on the back of a flatbed truck.
When news of Dr. King’s death broke, there were riots in over 100 US cities including New York, Chicago, Boston, Detroit, and Baltimore, but Indianapolis was not one of them and it is thought that the speech given by Robert Kennedy was one reason why the city, unlike so many others, remained calm in the aftermath of Dr. King’s assassination.
63 days after giving this speech Robert Kennedy was also shot and killed, but his words and the impact that they had on the people who heard them lived on.
Our hope in sharing this speech with you today is that Robert Kennedy’s words will live in you as well and that in the face of so much tragedy, evil, and despair, you will choose love, hope, and understanding.