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Attorney General Links Cuban Crisis to Racial Turmoil

Oct. 28, 1962 - Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy said tonight that the tensions between the U.S. and Soviet Union over Cuba were linked to the struggle against racial and religious discrimination at home. The confrontation between this nation and the Soviet Union, Mr. Kennedy asserted, is “in reality a confrontation of all people who believe in human dignity and freedom” against those who believe in the supremacy of the state. Addressing a dinner of the American Jewish Congress in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, the Attorney General stressed that the U.S. opposed Communism because it sought “by force and subversion” to impose “its tyranny all around the world.” “We will not win this struggle just by confronting the enemy,” Mr. Kennedy said. “What we do at home, in the final analysis, is just as important. We must accelerate our efforts to banish religious prejudice, racial discrimination, and any intolerance which denies to any American the rights guaranteed them by the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. That is what this crisis is all about.” In his address, Mr. Kennedy reviewed the accomplishments of the Justice Department in the area of civil rights in the 21 months since he assumed office. He asserted that while “great progress” had been achieved, “we still have a very long way to go.”


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