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Sirhan again denied parole, but Bobby Kennedy's children are more bitterly divided than ever

Ethel and Bobby Kennedy in happy times

… Time to let go?

Sometimes, bitterness is difficult to bury.

The pain over the death of former Senator and Attorney General Bobby Kennedy still remains within his family, but the bitter divisions within the family in the 21st Century, more than 50 years after his assassination in June of 1968 are very sad.

Kennedy’s convicted assassin, Sirhan Sirhan, now 77 years of age, was again denied parole this week, this time by California Gov. Gavin Newsom despite recommendations to release him by experts.

On the 50th anniversary of the assassination four years ago, the breaks in the RFK family over their father’s death and whether or not to forgive Sirhan became evident.

Since then, the late senator’s namesake, Bobby Jr., has become anathema to many in the family because of his incessant conspiracy theories about vaccines and Covid-19. Those have led some of the siblings and even his nieces to publicly denounce their brother and uncle.

Remember his life, not his death

In a 2018 story about the 50th anniversary, Kerry Kennedy, a daughter and activist for various causes close to the heart of her father, said this,

“The reason that people are interested in the circumstances of my father’s death is because of what he did with his life. And I think we should focus on his life and not so much on his death — his moral imagination, his capacity for empathy, his quest to heal divisions, and his belief that one person can make a difference.”

Michael Levenson, “RFK’s children divided over calls for a fresh investigation

of his assassination,” Boston Globe, May 31, 2018

Two of the Kennedy children said that they would support a re-investigation of his death after a second-gunman theory emerged,

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, the former lieutenant governor of Maryland, told the Globe this week that she supports a new investigation, joining her brother Robert F. Kennedy Jr. …

But two other children of Robert F. Kennedy said this week that they would not support a re-investigation, underscoring how divisive the second-gunman theory continues to be, a half-century after the presidential candidate, former attorney general, and senator from New York was killed in the pantry of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.

“As we approach the 50th anniversary of my father’s passing, I think what is most important is that our country and my family reflect on what my father stood for and fought for — a legacy promoting global peace, social justice, and civil rights,” Joseph P. Kennedy II, the former congressman from Massachusetts, said in a statement.

Michael Levenson, Boston Globe, May 31, 2018

Perhaps Sirhan should be paroled back to the Middle East to allow this to die. Right now, he has been such a divisive figure that nothing good comes from re-litigating it more than a half-century later.

With the craziness of Bobby, Jr. continuing to divide the family, they really need to let go of what has taken place and allow the present, not the past, to dictate to their family.

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