- Describe the social and political turmoil of 1968;include the assassinations of MLK Jr, Robert Kennedy and the events surrounding the DNC
- MLK assassination – who killed him, why
- MLK assassination Riots – when, where, why, what happened, affects
- Robert Kennedy Assassination – Who killed him, why, what role did Robert play politically at that time
- 1968 Chicago Democratic National Convention (DNC) riots – causes what happened result
Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the most influential people during the Civil Rights movement. Because of this, he had a lot of attention brought to him. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee by James Earl Ray. It is believed that Ray murdered King because Ray was a racist and did not like the whole idea of everyone being equal. There are still questions about his involvement in the actual murder. For example, some believe he wasn’t doing it alone and that he was doing it for the money. At the end of the day, he admitted to the murder in court with a man in Canada, but told King’s son that he did not do it after he escaped prison. Because of his assassination, riots broke all around the country especially in black communities. Everyone mourned over the fact that he was murdered and it caused more problems between blacks and whites. It caused a lot of civil disobedience and caused the “Holy Week Uprising”. A lot of people were put in jail due to damage of property and noises they would cause. They were all angry over the fact that a racist white male would kill someone who meant so much to many people. He was like a representation of peace and hope and was a great civil rights leader.
Another important man that was assassinated was Robert Kennedy. He was killed by Sirhan right after he won the California Democratic primary. Apparently, Sirhan was obsessed with the thought of killing JFK and wrote about it in journals. When questioned, he refused all of this and had no idea about the writing in the journals so people started to believe that he was just hypnotized by someone to do it for them. Because of this, another Kennedy has lost their life while being apart of the political world.
The riots in the Chicago Democratic National Convention in 1968 all started over Vietnam. They were split on what to do with them and on the war which caused riots on the streets by anti-war protesters. Cops soon came and started to fight the crowd by physically hurting them and throwing gas into the crowd. This did calm down the crowd because a lot of them were injured and were required to go to the hospital to get checked by doctors.
There are a lot of riots happening at this time. Riots over the fact that MLK Jr. was killed by a racist and riots over trying to show a protest against the war, but it seems like no one is listening. People are just getting hurt and jailed for showing their believes and frustration. The whole non-violence movement is becoming distant and I feel like they all have started to feel the need to use violence to show and be able to show their message. Without any assassinated, I feel like there would not be so many riots and so many people trying to protest on the streets.