Kaufman was honest, not 'irrelevant'

December 29, 2009

Thank you for the article on the passing of A. Robert Kaufman. As one of Bob's closest friends and political comrades in his latter years, I would like to briefly respond to Professor Donald F. Norris' comment that Bob was irrelevant to the political process.

Before there was such a thing as the civil rights movement, Bob was walking picket lines against racial injustice. Before there was a mass movement against the Vietnam War, Bob was helping to organize and educate people about the crimes the U.S. government was perpetrating there. He continued in his later years to rail against what he referred to as the twin hoaxes of the war on drugs and the war on terror.

Just as the majority recognize today that racial discrimination and the Vietnam War were wrong, in the coming years Americans will come to view the criminalization of drug use and the American government's latest false justification for waging wars abroad to be equally as spurious.

Bob told the truth. For that he was often vilified, but in the long run he will be recognized for the courage of his convictions, his honesty in the face of many critics (as many from the so-called left as from the right), and, above all, his integrity.Michael Melick, Baltimore

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