Imagine being able to squeeze those words out
with your dying breath
because that’s what you’d been thinking about for so long
‘Is everybody ok?’
The starving children
the hungry millions
the Black people
The working people who want to feed and clothe their families
the seekers of equality?
Is everybody ok?
Is anybody ok who has their dreams pulled out from under them?
But the dream:
we must always keep the dream
even as they take away our lives,
take the dream and pass it to our children
and our grandchildren
continue to live the dream
dream and dream on
let them win.
© Experimentsinfiction 2021, All Rights Reserved
Robert F. Kennedy was shot dead on this day in 1968
His final question was reportedly ‘Is everybody ok?’ The assassination took place at The Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, moments after he had given a victory speech celebrating his wins in the California and South Dakota primaries earlier that day. He looked set to win the Presidency, like his brother John F. Kennedy before him, who had been assassinated five years earlier. Bobby Kennedy’s murder took place only two months after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
It seems a remarkable coincidence to me, that so many politicians and public figures who fight for equality and justice, and who want to change the status quo, end up being killed by ‘lone wolf’ assassins. It does depress me to think what we are left with: a world in which neoliberalism and rampant individualism are rife; a sick world which we are destroying through our own greed and lust for power. A dream of infinite growth upon a finite planet. But it is still a world in which people are prepared to die for their ideals, so we must not lose faith in humanity.
If you want to know more about Bobby Kennedy, his campaign for the US Presidency, and the circumstances surrounding his death, I recommend the Netflix documentary ‘Bobby Kennedy for President.’
Image: wikimedia commons, taken moments before the fatal shooting. His last question may have been ‘Is everybody ok?’ but his last words to his supporters were ‘Everything’s going to be ok.’