Ripple of Hope

American Newspaper Coverage

  1. Bobby Kennedy: a Political Safari
  2. Kennedy Gets Book On Apartheid, Gives One on U.S. Negroes
  3. Kennedy Denounces Apartheid as Evil
  4. Sen. Kennedy In South Africa Hits Policies
  5. Kennedy Foresees Crises for S. Africa
  6. Kennedy Sees Luthuli and Finds Him 'Impressive'
  7. S. African Crowds Cheer Kennedy On Last Day of Visit
  8. Kennedy's Warns On Racial Issue
  9. Kennedy's Trek
June 12, 1966

Kennedy's Trek

     To the disgruntlement of the government and the cheers of many of its citizens, Senator Robert Kennedy has come and gone from South Africa. There will be no shortage of comment on the political purposes and results of his trip. But it was more than a personal mission. As a private citizen he had the possibility of acting in a true sense as a delegate of the American people. The distaste for apartheid which he expressed, however provocative to the Verwoerd government, surely accords with the feelings of most Americans. His tumultuous reception showed that he touched profound chords in South Africa among those struggling for social justice.
     Like no other man in public life today, Robert Kennedy has an almost unnerving compulsion to seek out the "excitement of danger." This was the phrase, and goal, he held out to his multiracial National Students Union audience in Cape Town. He spoke as though the students were judges deciding whether to admit him, at age 40, to the fraternity of honor called youth. Do not feel that individual action is futile, he said; do not accept a becalming standard of practicality; do not be timid. His speech- his South African performance as a whole— was serious, free of self-righteousness and, finally, revolutionary.