The 35th President of the United States of America celebrated for his successful foreign relations during his presidency. John F. Kennedy not only pushed the frontiers of his liberal democratic ideology on the international scene but also paid active attention to the domestic issue of racial violence and segregation in America. He is well applauded for his policies which contributed to the protection of the civil rights of the blacks. This should never be seen as a form of political propaganda; his genuine intentions were explicitly conveyed in this very word of his as regards the issue of racial segregation in America at this time: “…We are confronted primarily with a moral issue. It is as old as the Scriptures and is as clear as the American Constitution. “Below are five ways in which he largely influenced the freedom of the black race in the United States.
1. A Spokesman for the Negroes
Second to Abraham Lincoln on the active pursuit of equality for all regardless of color and race was John F. Kennedy. He publicly discredits the anti-social vice of segregation and became the voice of the blacks especially at the level of the US Congress the only place where the constitutional remedy can be made for the legal protection of the rights of the blacks.
2. An Activist of Social Justice
Although a lot of doubts surrounded the altruistic motive of Kennedy in ensuring civil rights of the black, his call to Coretta King, wife of Martin Luther King Jr. when her husband was jailed and subsequent calls made by his personal aide, Robert Kennedy to secure the release of Martin Luther King Jr. demonstrated his support for the civil rights movement.
3. A Vox Populi
John F. Kennedy’s solid position towards civil rights movement did not begin when he was elected into office in 1960, right from the period of his presidential campaigns, he campaigned for constitutional reforms regarding civil rights. This in effect made the agitation for civil rights more of a public discuss than ever; the National Conference on Constitutional Rights and American Freedom organized by his campaign team made Participants of the Conference agreed that it was necessary to press for the fulfillment of Commitments regarding civil rights set in the Democratic platform.
4. Passing It On
As a mark of his visionary leadership, he not only did have a noble vision but had it communicated to his team. Though Kennedy never did live to see the civil right acts passed into law but his voice, who later became the president few hours after his assassination did ensure the passage of the civil rights act into a binding law. This could not have happened outside the faith in the visionary leadership of John F. Kennedy.
John F. Kennedy could have left without notice in the cold hands of death. His ideology and stance, especially on issues such as the civil rights for blacks and desegregation which he demonstrated in both words and actions, continues to be a legacy and inspiration to all freedom fighters.