Assassination Ruminations

Back in 2008, when Jane was in the second grade, she came home with a school assignment to determine who she thought ought to be elected President. Many parents would take this opportunity to properly indoctrinate their child to their own way of thinking. My husband, however, is not like many parents. He told her that she needed to decide what she was most concerned about and then he would help her compare the two candidates based on those concerns.

Being in elementary school, her primary concern was… school. Together, they ventured off into the world-wide web and after reading and discussing, she triumphantly announced that she wanted Barack Obama to be President. Even though she was definitely in the minority when she returned to school the next day, she stuck to her guns. She was elated the morning after the election when we told her he had won.

Some time after that, she approached me with a worried look on her face. “Mommy? I’m afraid someone is going to try to shoot Barack Obama.”

This concern had crossed my mind as well. But I very carefully adopted a neutral tone and asked why.

“Because they shot Abraham Lincoln because he was trying to help black people and Obama IS black and there’s still a lot of people that don’t like black people being equal and he’s the President so he’s kind of OVER them, you know?”

I do not recall how I responded. I probably confirmed that it was a possibility but we can hope and pray that it doesn’t happen. She wasn’t done thinking about it, though. A few days later, she had more on the topic of Presidential assassinations.

“Mom? You know how someone shot JFK and then someone shot him?”

“Yes. Lee Harvey Oswald killed JFK and then Jack Ruby killed Oswald.”

“Well, if that kept happening, eventually there would only be one person left on this earth…” {pause} “And then if an alien came along and killed THAT person, there’d be no one left. I bet the animals would be peaceful then.”

Sometimes the wisdom that comes out of a child’s mouth is stunning in its simplicity and truth.

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