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Jun 5, 2018 15 tweets 4 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
I was born 8 days before #BobbyKennedy was shot. My mother was still in hospital post-Caesarean; she heard the news on telly. For me, #RFK50, #MLK, #JFK are behind me, but cast a long shadow. To quote Meatloaf, objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are. 1/
When I was young, I wanted to know everything about the Kennedys and MLK, these men whose loss traumatised my parents' generation. I'll remember a PE teacher saying, 'Of course we're here. We killed the greatest leaders we had.' JFK's and MLK's losses broke my heart, but 2/
I always had a particularly strong reaction to RFK's - I would start sobbing and be unable to stop; it was like the world had shattered and could never be put back together. I wondered why, and it's only now that I have a glimmer of understanding. JFK became president. 3/
MLK was out there changing the world. Bobby Kennedy feels like lost potential in a way the others don't - their work was cut short, but their work had *begun*, some of that potential energy had become kinetic. Not fully, not nearly enough, but they'd begun. 4/
Also, Bobby would have been president in *my living memory*. Now, do I think he would have gotten the nomination in '68, given that Humphrey had the support of the Democratic machinery? Unlikely. That if he had, he'd have won? Not sure. But in 1972? 1976? Hell yes. 5/
Then, he would have been *my* president. Strengthened the legacy of the New Deal & the Civil Rights Act. Reagan might never have had a chance, & America might well have been a very different place from today - one w/ a moral centre, one w/ compassion, closer to her vision. 6/
I resent that, you know? I resent what Oswald, Ray, & Sirhan took away from me, from all of us. We should have had JFK for another 45+ years, MLK for 50, RFK for 50. That's *a century and a half* of true leadership we lost, b/c even after they'd retired, they'd be our elders. 7/
Add another 30 for Dag Hammarskjold, & we're talking about TWO CENTURIES - 200 YEARS - of real leadership we lost, supplanted by weak, corrupt men who stepped into the vacuum. Is it any wonder we're in such a mess (leaving aside WWI & WWII losses, which are incalculable)? 8/
But we're here now. This is our timeline and we can't change it - but we can still look to the legacy of Bobby, Martin, and John to know that we must look outward and do for others. To lead is to love and serve - and sacrifice. Sometimes, as in their cases, the ultimate one. 9/
We can't have them, have their leadership, have their integrity - & we can certainly never know who Bobby would have become to us - but we can put our shoulder to the wheel and do as they would have done. Let's do it. They can't fulfil their legacy, *but we can* Let's do it. 10/
So, Bobby, I'm drying those tears, taking that heartbreak, and using it to give me hope in the darkness & drive my service. Thank you for your life, for caring for others even as you were dying - everything may not be ok now, but we're going to make it so. And you know what? 11/
There may yet be a Kennedy presidency in my lifetime - your grandson Joe caught the torch you threw and is carrying it high. You'd be as proud of him as we are. And so, requiescat in pace. We've got this. 12/
Please unroll, merci bien!

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"'Father And Son' is for those people who can't break loose."
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until I actually left a decade after first hearing it:

"All the times that I cried, keeping all the things I knew inside,
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Now there's a way and I know that I have to go away
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What a fortnight it's been. A reminder to #breathe from Lynne Ungar

Breathe, said the wind.

How can I breathe at a time like this,
when the air is full of the smoke
of burning tires, burning lives?

Just breathe, the wind insisted.
Easy for you to say, if the weight of injustice
is not wrapped around your throat,
cutting off all air.

I need you to #breathe.
I need you to breathe.

Don’t tell me to be calm
when there are so many reasons
to be angry, so much cause for despair!
I didn’t say to be calm, said the wind,
I said to #breathe.
We’re going to need a lot of air
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--Lynn Ungar
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Jun 9, 2018
Ok, everyone, heads up. This is how subtle racism and not-so-subtle colonialism works. 1/
One of our students is a Brit who lived in India for 30 years and never learned Hindi. Also, shortly after she arrived here, in the middle of a community post-lecture coffee, she walked into my office - which I share with a white officemate, 2/
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This status by @DiscordianKitty made me start to write it down. She's right. American patriotism is cult-like. It's creepy. It's downright *idolatry*. This from a nation who prides itself in its revolutionary past: look at me! *I* ran away from Mummy! 2/

*I* fought Mother Britain and I won, unlike the rest of you wimps, Australia, Canada, South Africa, etc. etc. goes America's refrain. But. BUT. What stayed with me from 'Hamilton', as I thought about the land I was born in, was how adolescent our founding fathers were. 3/
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