4 January 2009 Posted on BlackState 4 January 2009
She has her eyes full of Christmas, but does she know who the gift belongs too?
Caroline Kennedy, the sole survivor of the cherished First Family of America of the Sixties has deigned to offer her services to the state of New York .
Ms. Kennedy has failed to state concrete positions on many international and national issues at these critical junctures of our times. Even though the appointment would only last through 2010, a compassionate, committed voice could serve as beacon for other in the two houses of the national legislature.
The propensity to wait for popular sentiment to dictate crucial votes and postures stands as stark repudiation of the standards of service established by Kennedy’s father in his Pulitzer-prize winning book, Profiles in Courage, which ranked high on the best seller lists throughout 1956.
The 2008 winner of the contest, Laura Shapiro, tells the inspiring story of Judge Pamela Alexander, a judge in Minnesota who felt that the disparity in the laws governing the possession of crack cocaine and powder cocaine were grossly unfair. Judge Alexander agreed with the defense argument that the sentencing guidelines were racially biased since defendants accused of possession of crack cocaine were 92% black, while 85 percent of those accused of having powder cocaine were white.
The following year the Minnesota Supreme Court upheld Judge Alexander’s decision. But the Judge’s career suffered mightly. Despite Senator Paul Wellstone’s nomination of Alexander’s nomination as a U.S. District Court judge, the Clinton administration refused to push the nomination of a judge some felt was soft on crime. Judge Alexander never reached the federal bench.
If one wishes to look for a model of a female legislator who stood firm in the face of all obstacles, one needs to look only to the country of South Africa which bid farewell yesterday to Helen Suzman, an international human rights activist of 91 years who was the Progressive Party’s only representative in the all white Parliament while some of the most repressive instrument of apartheid were being devised. She didn’t just talk the talk, she actually braved the cold waters surrounding Robben Island to visit Nelson Mandela in prison many times. Imagine the impact of our state and nation if we had a Senator willing to visit the many innocent and perhaps not so innocent men and women in prison to show them that we are a nation of compassion which has not forgotten them.
Caroline need but look and call to the future in the teenage girl who wrote of a courageous Judge and look to the past in the rocking boat of a woman who went to the stones of a South African prison island to see a man who was scorned as the worse of the terrorists, and you will be guided and pushed by the present and the past.
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