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February 07, 2006

Cheap Shots: Politicizing the Funeral of Coretta Scott King

The memorial service of the wife of one of our great civil rights leaders, who was herself a pillar in the civil rights movement, was hijacked by those who have no shame when it comes to shilling for support of their various agendas. From Drudge:

Today's memorial service for civil rights activist Coretta Scott King -- billed as a "celebration" of her life -- turned suddenly political as one former president took a swipe at the current president, who was also lashed by an outspoken black pastor!

The outspoken Rev. Joseph Lowery, co-founder of Southern Christian Leadership Conference, ripped into President Bush during his short speech, ostensibly about the wife of Martin Luther King Jr.

"She extended Martin's message against poverty, racism and war. She deplored the terror inflicted by our smart bombs on missions way afar. We know now that there were no weapons of mass destruction over there," Lowery said.

The mostly black crowd applauded, then rose to its feet and cheered in a two-minute-long standing ovation.

A closed-circuit television in the mega-church outside Atlanta showed the president smiling uncomfortably.

"But Coretta knew, and we know," Lowery continued, "That there are weapons of misdirection right down here," he said, nodding his head toward the row of presidents past and present. "For war, billions more, but no more for the poor!" The crowd again cheered wildly.

Former President Jimmy Carter later swung at Bush as well, not once but twice. As he talked about the Kings, he said: "It was difficult for them then personally with the civil liberties of both husband and wife violated as they became the target of secret government wiretaps." The crowd cheered as Bush, under fire for a secret wiretapping program he ordered after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, again smiled weakly.

Later, Carter said Hurricane Katrina showed that all are not yet equal in America. Some black leaders have blamed Bush for the poor federal response, and rapper Kayne West said that Bush "hates" black people.

Have these people no shame? To use Coretta Scott King's memorial service as a soapbox? And to top it all off, to do it with President Bush sitting right there? He took the time out of his busy schedule to pay his respects to a woman who was respected and admired for her tireless efforts for civil rights. For him to be insulted when he had no chance to rebut their claims is both childish and outrageous. As president, he expects criticism, even harsh criticism. But this was neither the time nor the place.

Lowery and Carter should both be ashamed of themselves...but I doubt they are.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 07:30 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack (1) | Just Plain Stupid

Pam, have you received any e-mail from me in a while? Cuz my e-mail to you gets returned with this message:

The original message was received at Tue, 7 Feb 2006 16:09:26 -0500 (EST)

----- The following addresses had permanent fatal errors -----

(reason: 550 Requested action not taken: mailbox unavailable)

----- Transcript of session follows -----
... while talking to mx3.hotmail.com.:
>>> DATA
... User unknown

Posted by: Kitty at February 7, 2006 07:49 PM

I wish I could say this was shocking and surprising but in truth it is merely disgusting and expected.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at February 7, 2006 09:58 PM

I watched the whole affair on C-span and was not surprised at what the dems did. I expected something like this but how Lowery fit WMD into his speech is beyond me. Imagine if Condi was in attendance.

Posted by: THIRDWAVEDAVE at February 8, 2006 01:55 AM

Considering he's the poster boy for ineptitude, getting slammed by Jimmy Carter is almost a compliment.

Posted by: Wyatt Earp at February 8, 2006 03:15 AM

"They have something to say to every politician [Audience:] (Yeah) who has fed his constituents with the stale bread of hatred and the spoiled meat of racism. They have something to say to a federal government that has compromised with the undemocratic practices of southern Dixiecrats (Yeah) and the blatant hypocrisy of right-wing northern Republicans. (Speak) They have something to say to every Negro (Yeah) who has passively accepted the evil system of segregation and who has stood on the sidelines in a mighty struggle for justice."

it isn't politicizing a eulogy if the person had a political stance. ms. king was a vehement opponent of war, of injustice, of inequality.

that quote above is from her husband's eulogy for the victims of the sixteenth street baptist church, given on september 18th, 1963.

"In politics, a profession he loved despite his frequent frank assessments of its less admirable practitioners, he risked his career to give the country "a choice, not an echo." No one knew better than Barry that he was unlikely to win the Presidency in 1964. But he felt the Republican Party and the country needed some straight talk about old values, and he figured he was the man to give it to them the loudest. So he did, knowing the slings and arrows he would suffer, but confident that his course was honorable. And he ended that campaign, as he ended his political career twenty-two years later, his personal integrity unblemished, his honor unassailable."

john mccain in his eulogy of barry goldwater, june 3rd, 1998.

again, goldwater played an integral role in politics and his long legacy lived on in the eulogy delivered at his funeral.

please, there are enough issues to debate already, don't make one out of nothing. and, if you're going to debate it, don't forget that president bush's attendance was a political stunt.

Posted by: steve at February 8, 2006 04:21 PM

Using a funeral to take partisan potshots at an attendee is a political stunt, good call on that Steve.

Would you have preferred that our elected leader not show up to represent us all in mourning?

Should speakers at Ronald Reagan's funeral have taken the opportunity to take digs at guests who had come to remember the honored dead?

This was not about "truth being uppity to power" as I heard AA say on the radio, this was about being tasteless. And it was an issue that shouldn't have been created.

Posted by: husband-dude at February 9, 2006 12:45 PM

Exactly, husband-dude, and nicely put. Steve, had President Bush not attended, you would have said he was a jerk for not taking the time. He did attend, as was right, and he got insulted. Does the term "right time and place" have any meaning to you at all? Is it seemly to turn the dignified event of the funeral of an esteemed public personage the time to take partisan potshots at a sitting president when he, in all decency, cannot say anything back?

Perhaps in the future, when Jimmy Carter dies, attendees can comment on how his wishy-washy policies caused the Iranian hostage crisis, and how during his ex-presidency, his constant criticism of America during a time of war gave our enemies not only satisfaction, but a reason to continue. Would these comments, if made at his funeral, be true? Yes. Would they be in poor taste? Yes, and I would denounce them as well.

You only think it's right that Lowery and Carter made the comments they did because of your own political bent. If the same thing was done to someone you admire, you would be appalled.

Posted by: Pam at February 9, 2006 01:38 PM

president bush's attendance was a political stunt, he's a politician. many politicians are forced into less than favorable situations. he did well under the pressure. had it been a democrat at a republican funeral i'd hope the democrat would respond as well to pressure.

i fail to see how criticism of american policy gives comfort and aid to the enemy. it simply doesn't. in any way.

Posted by: steve at February 9, 2006 11:37 PM

As Ronald Reagan's casket was being carried up the steps of the Capitol and the band was playing Battle Hymn of the Republic, a traditionally sacred moment to honor a dead president, Peter Jennings. who was covering the ceremony for ABC. came on with a voice-over noting that Reagan was not popular in the black community. So, Jennings used the solemn moment to yell Bigot at a ceremony for an aged and respected ex-president. I have no respect for the memory of Peter Jennings.

Posted by: Larry at February 11, 2006 12:33 AM

ronald reagan financed illegal, bloody civil wars in south america, he short changed america's poor and america's big cities, he ignored AIDS and he made religion part of politics.

he isn't as respected as you think.

Posted by: steve at February 11, 2006 01:31 AM
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