Senator Edward M. Kennedy 1932-2009

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Dr. Boyce Watkins wrote movingly of the treasure America has lost.

By Boyce Watkins, The Grio

Many of us once joked that Bill Clinton was the “first black president” (which he wasn’t). We had it wrong. If such a title were to be given to any white man, that should have to be the late Senator Ted Kennedy.

As a member of the Senate since 1962, Senator Kennedy had a long career fighting for those forced to live in the underbelly of a capitalist society. Over the last 47 years, he has done it better than nearly any politician in American history. African-Americans were among the many beneficiaries of his passionate life’s work, and for that, we will always be appreciative.

In a multitude of areas including housing, income, civil liberties, and equality, Ted Kennedy has been on the front lines. His brother John introduced the Civil Rights Act of 1964, considered to be one of the most impactful pieces of legislation ever produced by our government. After John’s death, Ted and his brother Robert were instrumental in seeing that the bill was passed.

Senator Ted Kennedy then went on to help pass one law after another to support the rights of the elderly, the sick, the poor and the incarcerated. He introduced the Americans with Disabilities Act, The Civil Rights Act of 1991, The Civil Rights for Institutionalized Persons Act, among others. He also helped to amend the Fair Housing Act, and has fought relentlessly for those who’ve never known the comfort of attending an Ivy League University.

I can’t believe that this consumate politician full of passionate eloquence and masterful legislative skill is gone.  I am undone.

8 thoughts on “Senator Edward M. Kennedy 1932-2009

  1. Tyren M.

    SB Good to see you back in action. I met Senator Kennedy when I was 13 in Minneapolis. This was before the 20y anniversary “March on Washington” Summer of ’83. He shook my hand. Though I knew who the Kennedys were I didn’t realize then how lucky I was to be in his presence. A true fighter to the end, I hope the current Senate takes note. I don’t think they’ll ever have another like him. Take Care.

  2. I didn’t think that you could let his passing go unnoticed. It didn’t hit me until this morning, when I saw the post over at DailyKos about all the editorial cartoons honoring him…that’s when the tears flowed. He was all the family’s promise rolled into him….the baby of the family…the runt of the litter, who had been dismissed by everyone, but he grew into the role. he’s the only son that lived past the age of 46, yet he put so much into those extra years.

  3. “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

    The “least of these” have lost their greatest champion. Who is there to carry the torch now?

  4. Angie

    I pray that God sends us another servant-leader that will fight for the forgotten, the ignored, the misunderstood, the hated, the lost, the underserved.

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