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JFK AND “THE NEGRO”

May 14, 2013

AS AN AGGREGATE QUESTION, ALSO

1) There is no doubt that drive of the Kennedy Administration-the true civil rights president from what I can tell-must have been ultimately a source of great tension for US society at the time.

Because Kennedy came on fast, clear and hard with regards to this matter; and vice president Johnson’s efforts were also clear and intense-and very sincere, I believe-at that time, anyway.

But Johnson was a person who never-ever-forgot about the importance of compromise and the systemic stability conceding importance to not unnecessarily antagonizing your rivals provides.

This is perhaps, ultimately, one of the reasons he was considered as a very positive choice, in fact, as vice president by all parties concerned.

And it allowed for a more aggressively positive-yet stately- mode for the character and role of JFK as president.

But on the matter of civil rights both men left on public record, especially in the form of speeches delivered in different circumstances, since the mid 1950s-at least-that the incoherence of a United States that claimed to work for Democracy and freedom around the world and yet was only formally and on paper democratic herself, was truly outrageous on all levels.

And it was, as the Kennedy administration made clear-much too clear, it turned out-a serious flaw one saw immediately in the contemplation in the early 1960s of what would be the future of American society from that point in time onward into the 1970s at least.

And it clearly flew in the face of all the Pentagon anti-Soviet fear mongering as, ultimately, the motor behind a certain militarization of the US economy and of the incipient satellite and space race that had just begun.

And the Kennedy administration made it constantly clear to the public with regards to its policy, as opposed to the military: democratic society is more than just defense; the conquest of space shall be more than just an opportunity, once again, for man to develop even more powerful weapons of subjugation with regards to his fellow man as rival.

And the basic compromise, that Johnson never ceased to lay out in his speeches as vice President at the service of Kennedy (and he gave quite few in a very short period time) was that while it was important for deterrence to never allow yourself to get behind your foe-or rival-in terms of military power, it was also not morally acceptable to neglect the bettering of Humanity and the human condition itself based always-unfailingly-on the dignity of individuals.

And in this context, the condition of US society at the time as a kind of de facto socio-economic Apartheid was monstrous and completely unacceptable.

And although he never used that term, he made clear in the 9 speeches I have read that he gave between April 1961 and July 1963-in every single one of them- that the future of the country he served-and the importance it has had for world stability-were in clear and imminent danger if social justice as coherence with the principals of democracy and the rights of Man could not finally take their proper place at the center of the American experience.

And it was as vice president under Kennedy that Johnson spoke of the Century of The Educated Man-in the spirit of the Kennedy administration and with a care of contemplation and sincerity even greater to that of his Great Society banner as flag he would essentially hide the Pentagon with-in my opinion-later on as a function of compromise himself, once Kennedy had been most conveniently –and shockingly-eliminated.

And it is the Negro, really, that got Kennedy killed-and not the Cubans or the Soviets,  much in the way MLK went down-or Malcom X.

Kennedy was white, of course, but he was a nigger-lover.

That was also clear for all to see.

And he loved too hard, and too fast.

From a position of too much power.

2) From what I have read-and it has not been exhaustively thorough, but enough to adventure publicly these inferences-the sincerity on the part of Kennedy and Johnson as individuals and men of state with regard to racial inequality cannot be doubted.

And neither can both men’s dedication to the progress of humanity-above even questions of country and realpolitik-be questioned either.

For it has been exactly this that has been used by opposing social-political forces in US society to construe a vision of the Kennedy administration as weak, abstract –and too hazy and benign in its functional opposition to the Soviet block or the Kremlin.

But it was neither weak nor abstractly fuzzy in its contemplation of what should be America and her role in the world.

It was just undermined, from the very beginning, and eventually terminated by Washington itself.

That’s how much of a threat it was perceived as by certain sectors, especially by the Pentagon as guardian and its business associates.

And what became the greatest weapon wielded against Kennedy was the very ignorance and shortsightedness his administration set out itself to fight.

And the issue of black people and their incorporation into society and economic opportunity through education had a very important, future systemic value also for overall, aggregate American productivity, in an economic sense and obviously-on a human level, eventually as well.

And this should have been an argument that even then could have been understood more broadly across the whole of society-that even the Pentagon would have ultimately favored in its own drive and ambitions.

And don’t forget: Eisenhower had already spoken, on January 17, 1961 his words of warning, pointing his figure clearly at the dangers of a democracy only in appearance that is subjugated by finance, science, and the military.

This is of course, once again, the insolvent phantom that I have written long and hard about, but early in its historical evolution.

And interestingly, also at the time, it is Johnson as vice president who on several occasions, in the aforementioned speeches, complains in 1961 or 2-or 3- that the number of white college graduates, and holders of doctorate degrees was actually declining by the end of the 1950s.

The argument was made of course-and very shrewdly-of getting people of color also into the ranks of the college and post-graduate elite as matter of future productivity, simply.

And by shrewd I mean in that it was an argument that the Pentagon could not openly-or even cryptically-oppose, in all logic.

And this is a great example of a most wholesome and positive aggregate vision of American social structure, of contemplation of the true relationships of power and dominance within it; and it is an example of human reason as political will to bring moral truth to the human beings that make up society.

And on June 9, 1963-only 5 months before the assassination of JFK- Vice President Johnson prepared the closing of his Tuft’s university commencement speech with these words:

The task before us is truly one for the educated mind because the educated mind sees things not only clearly, but compassionately. Otherwise, that mind is merely trained. We are dealing with humanity, and if we do not treat people as human beings, the educated mind is a sham and fraud.

But I find myself wondering about the importance, really, of the fall in the number of post-graduate degrees and its true implication in regards to the quality of life for individuals and for the economic system they ultimately form part of.

And I ask myself: could it have been that because of the bonanza of material comfort that, over the 1950s, flooded into the lives of people as consumer products and thanks to technology, and that even holding a menial or semi-qualified job did not exclude you, then, from a life of relative material comfort, that perhaps many people would also be satisfied with just simply that-a life of a certain simplicity but in material comfort and at less frenetic pace, by and large and more and more across American society itself?

And what, outside of aggregate, technical efficiency in regards to overall productivity of the system, would be wrong with living, really, like that, in a certain calm and serene stability as the social medium one depends on?

As long as the educated mind as compassion were also part of that life?

Well, one of the problems for banks, corporations and, finally, the Pentagon itself, would be that you would not be consuming products as much as you are needed to.

And this is the dark side of the aggregate vision of humanity as consumers; it is the vision of the Harvard MBA as the soul of American power today-and it is an example of the educated mind of Johnson that it is not compassionate-morally defined-but just trained.

And it certainly is a sham and fraud.

And the society it has taken over is based, ultimately now, on the intellectual degradation of the whole of society and people’s capacity to discern for themselves what should really be their options that they are to consider.

And freedom in America now only exists at the mall, or shopping center.

Freedom now is choosing between Coke and Pepsi.

And education itself is everything that reinforces and perpetuates life as consumer options; all that defends the basic underlying tenets of an accumulation of, simply, wealth, with no real purpose other than accumulation itself.

And education above all-and even at an elite level-is now little more than training, the learning of a function that will allow you to take part as an individual in the life cycle of work-purchase as life itself.

And the system of consumer society as social reality is a system of efficiency and rationality-but not reason.

For it serves no real, moral purpose in itself except for that of moving on in time, always into the future as a vital tension in the pursuit of profit.

And it is, ultimately, irrational, because of this.

Its pretty damn stupid, in fact, from a human stand point and in terms of real quality of life for people, if you look carefully at it!

And Kennedy and Johnson (as vice president) certainly did.

For they were educated, compassionate men.

And they lived in reason and coherence, openly for all to partake of.

And that’s exactly what they wanted for society, as well, as part of the historical moment they belonged to, defined, of course, by the particularities of the moment.

And so did Eisenhower.

The rest, however, is history.

The rest is Luis F. Powell, Richard Nixon, Corporate America and Ronald Reagan.

And now, Obama with his dog, Bo.

When the Pentagon lets him out for a walk, that is.

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