CHAPPAQUIDDICK ISLAND, MASSACHUSETTS, JULY 18, 1969:
Ted Kennedy was a young United States Senator when, as a result of his own admitted negligence, he drove his car off a one-lane bridge and into a tidal channel, resulting in the death of his companion, 28 year-old Mary Jo Kopechne. He swam free, left the scene and didn’t report the incident for 10 hours, adding more grief to an already horrific situation.
Many believe this incident led to Kennedy’s decision to not campaign for the presidency in ’72 and ’76. Nevertheless, Ted Kennedy did go on to become one of the greatest legislators to ever sit in the sacred chamber of the U.S. Senate. By the time of his passing on August 25, 2009, he was held in great regard on both sides of the aisle and was commonly referred to as the “Lion of the Senate.” It is indeed most laudable that Kennedy, in spite of his grievous and most regrettable shortfall that caused the death of another human being, would still take hold of his destiny.
So what then can be said of the millions of drug dealers, robbers, petty thieves and burglars incarcerated across this country, many of whom come from impoverished homes and communities? Why are they viewed by many in society as not deserving of redemption? Whereas, individuals like Kennedy and the architects behind the 2008 financial meltdown, the privileged few who have the political ties, capital and so-called “pedigree” to circumvent punishment, are seen as above reproach no matter their offenses?
Again, we don’t claim that the late Kennedy shouldn’t have been able to ascend to his destiny … We are only stating emphatically and without equivocation that American Society, if it is to be the fair and just society it postures to be, should give room for the redemption of ALL THOSE who are willing to do the hard work and utter alchemic transformation required to achieve it.
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