By Rady Ananda
Be sure to see the 10-minute video, With Bobby, after Bobby.
The NYTimes writes:
“In a family synonymous with tragedy, Mr. Kennedy had his share of woes, many of which were self-inflicted. The car accident in Chappaquiddick in 1969 in which a young woman drowned permanently stained his reputation for many voters; his only bid for the presidency, a 1980 primary challenge, was easily turned back by President Jimmy Carter. In 1991, with his poll ratings among the lowest in Congress, he issued a public apology for his personal shortcomings. In 1994, after having divorced and remarried, and with a new sense of energy and determination, he bounced back to defeat Mitt Romney and hold onto his Senate seat. He never faced a serious challenge again, and at the 2004 Democratic convention in Boston, he was cheered and celebrated as the party’s patriarch.”
Read the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights piece “on the Passing of a Human Rights Icon and Founding Board Member, Senator Edward M. Kennedy.”
Kennedy’s Last Goal
At the 2008 Democratic National Convention, he said:
“And this is the cause of my life. New hope that we will break the old gridlock and guarantee that every American — North, South, East, West, young, old — will have decent, quality healthcare as a fundamental right and not a privilege.”
My own inadequate eulogy
A part of me dies with his passing. My progressive hopes and dreams die as I take a look across a bleak landscape of corporatists holding all the levers of power. Torture, spying on citizens, “bailout” schemes that enrich the wealthy and impoverish the rest of us, coup d’etats, illegal wars and invasions, genetically modified food, RFID tagged humans and animals, exaggerated flu scares, genocides and land grabs… The number of true representatives of the American people is maybe 11% of Congress.
I remember November 22, 1963.
I was in kindergarten. An announcement over the public address system called all teachers to the auditorium. The mean old matriarch told us not to move from where we sat; that she would be back in a few minutes. We were shocked. They never left us alone! But, as promised, in just a few minutes, she returned, quite distraught.
“The President of the United States has been shot.” She announced, looking out the window past us.
I asked, “In the auditorium?”
That wasn’t the first nor the last time she slapped my face.
I remember the wives in the neighborhood talking about it, while sunning. It was a terrible thing, I could feel their pain. Then, a couple years later, I heard about a terrible black man who had been killed (Malcolm X). The neighborhood thought it was a good killing. I remember just three years later, feeling all grown up now that Mother was divorced and I was the oldest daughter, hearing about the “Reverend King” being killed in the South. This time, the killing was not good. And then, just months later, RFK was killed.
When Dick Holler’s Abraham, Martin and John came out, deep inside me, something changed. I have never been the same since. I understood, then, that “assassination politics” was the rule of law, tho I did not yet know that term. As sung by Dion:
Fare thee well, Kennedy Clan.