Friday, December 19, 2008

Crop Circles

I’ve always thought rather highly of Caroline Kennedy. She has seemed so humble and modest and, to this point in time, has gone about her work and her life privately and quietly. This is a significant departure from the typical Kennedy approach. I was eleven years old when Miss Bennfield returned to our classroom at Lafayette Elementary School in tears and told us very solemnly to close our books, go into the cloakroom for our coats and go home for the day. ‘Something very sad has just happened, children. Our President has been shot. You need to be home with your families.’ As the eerie days passed it seemed to me that the world had frozen shut. The day arrived to lay JFK to rest with that eternal flame and it has been memorialized in the famous photo of John-John saluting as his father’s casket rolled by. Caroline was not in the photo. She may have been in the original but the image burned in our memories was closely cropped to include only her brother. This has always made me sad. I wonder if it made her sad, too? But this week Caroline has been in lots of photos. The one I’ve seen repeatedly was taken at a soul food restaurant in Harlem where she was lunching with The Very Reverend Al Sharpton. This also makes me sad. It makes me sad that a seemingly bright, involved, astute, generous, independent and otherwise reasonable woman – considering a bid for a U. S. Senate seat – would find it necessary to kiss the ring of such an abrasive, pompous and divisive character with a singular agenda – his own fame. Ms. Kennedy, I live 1,000 miles from The Great State of New York but I wish you well in your political pursuits. However, if things go your way and you end up representing The Empire State in the U. S. Senate your decision-making will impact my life. May I humbly request that you crop Mr. Sharpton and his hollow rhetoric out of your frame of reference?


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