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The Deafening Silence of the Republican Field in the Wake of the Planned Parenthood Shooting

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Reprinted from The Nation

Republican contenders who have had so very much to say against Planned Parenthood were largely mum after Friday's deadly violence.

From youtube.com/watch?v=EfVv_nXLDwc: Colorado Planned Parenthood Shooting
Colorado Planned Parenthood Shooting
(Image by Mango News, Channel: mangonews)
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There are many measures of how a presidential candidate might respond in a moment of national trauma. To my mind, the standard was set on the night of April 4, 1968, when Robert F. Kennedy learned shortly before he was to speak in Indianapolis's inner city that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. had been assassinated. Indianapolis Mayor Richard Lugar, reportedly fearing an eruption of violence, informed Kennedy's aides that he could not guarantee the safety of the Democratic presidential contender. But Kennedy went ahead and gave his speech that night at an outdoor rally. He began by informing the crowd of the death of the civil-rights leader. Then, sharing the shock and grief of his audience, Kennedy continued:

"Martin Luther King dedicated his life to love and to justice between fellow human beings. He died in the cause of that effort. In this difficult day, in this difficult time for the United States, it's perhaps well to ask what kind of a nation we are and what direction we want to move in. For those of you who are black -- considering the evidence evidently is that there were white people who were responsible -- you can be filled with bitterness, and with hatred, and a desire for revenge.

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"We can move in that direction as a country, in greater polarization -- black people amongst blacks, and white amongst whites, filled with hatred toward one another. Or we can make an effort, as Martin Luther King did, to understand, and to comprehend, and replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand, compassion, and love.

"For those of you who are black and are tempted to fill with -- be filled with hatred and mistrust of the injustice of such an act, against all white people, I would only say that I can also feel in my own heart the same kind of feeling. I had a member of my family killed, but he was killed by a white man.

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