|No matter how hostile I am to the Kennedy legacy, nothing
prepared me for the shock of reading this obituary for JFK's mentally
retarded sister, who died recently. This obit encapsulates the fucked-up,
phony values of one of America's most loathsome ruling class families. Good
for the Associated Press for not trying to put a positive spin on what
amounts to sheer barbarism. Joe Kennedy had a *retarded* child lobotomized
basically because she wouldn't conform to his shitty values. Amazing.
Rosemary Kennedy, Senator's Sister, 86, Dies
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: January 8, 2005
WASHINGTON, Jan. 7 (AP) - Rosemary Kennedy, a sister of Senator Edward M.
Kennedy who was born mentally retarded and lived most of her life in an
institution after undergoing a lobotomy, died Friday, her family said. She
Ms. Kennedy, the inspiration for the Special Olympics spearheaded by the
Kennedy family, had been a patient since 1949 at St. Coletta School for
Exceptional Children in Jefferson, Wis. She was the third child and first
daughter of Joseph and Rose Kennedy, born a year after her brother John.
In 1941, Joseph Kennedy was worried that Rosemary's mild mental retardation
would lead her into situations that could damage the family's reputation,
and he arranged for her to have a lobotomy. She was 23.
"Rosemary was a woman, and there was a dread fear of pregnancy, disease and
disgrace," Laurence Leamer wrote in his book "The Kennedy Women: The Saga
of an American Family" (Villard Books, 1994).
Mr. Leamer wrote that Rosemary, whose retardation possibly stemmed from
brain damage at birth, had taken to sneaking out of the convent where she
was staying at the time.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Rosemary's younger sister, recalled that doctors
had told her father that a lobotomy, a medical procedure in which the
frontal lobes of a patient's brain are scraped away, would help Rosemary.
But the operation reduced Rosemary to an infantlike state, mumbling words
and sitting for hours, staring at walls, Mr. Leamer wrote.