Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A. Robert Kaufman, R.I.P.

Bob Kaufman, a perennial candidate for office and a civil rights activist, died last week at the age of 78.

While I personally didn't agree with most of his politics, I appreciated the fact that he became a staunch advocate against the war on drugs.

After he was brutally attacked by a drug addict who needed money for his next fix, Kaufman still kept perspective on it all. Jay Hancock of the Baltimore Sun blogged:
But his motives were pure, and he never wavered. The cliche has it that a liberal is just a latent conservative who's never been mugged. But after Bob got hit in the head with a brick by a would-be robber, not only was he as lefty as ever; he used the occassion to decry the war on drugs:

The attacker "was so desperate for a fix that he resorted to doing this," Kaufman told the Sun at the guy's sentencing. "Both he and I are victims of the drug trade. If he had been able to go to a clinic and get what he needed, we both wouldn't be here. Now he has to go to prison. ... I wish him the best of luck while he is there."

I never really met Kaufman. I once saw him sitting in my office waiting for my boss, who was handling the above mentioned case. I was busy and he looked annoyed. We may have exchanged brief pleasantries. I regret that I never really got the chance to talk with him.

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