Tuesday, February 07, 2006

How Disrespectful to the Dead to Tell the Truth About What They Stood For

It was so rude of the Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowry to remind Pres. Bush, in attendance at Coretta Scott King's funeral, and in the presence of former presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and George H.W. Bush, that his administration's priorities contradict everything CSK's husband stood for.

"We know now there were no weapons of mass destruction over there [standing ovation]... but Coretta knew and we know that there are weapons of misdirection right down here. Millions without health insurance. Poverty abounds. For war billions more but no more for the poor."

For once, George W. Bush was stuck, poor guy, at an event where he hadn't pre-scripted the speeches, where he could not handpick the audience, where he could not control the logistics and make sure no unfriendly voices would be heard. And the heirs of Dr. King's dream took full advantage of that unprecedented moment to speak truth to power.

Naturally, the right-wingers are fulminating about the "lack of manners" of the people who dedicated their lives to the struggle that King led. Imagine the nerve of someone like Michelle Malkin, who supports racial profiling and the internment of Japanese-Americans and warrantless spying on Americans, using the words "absolutely ungodly" about Lowry, who has devoted his life to defeating poverty and racial injustice; and about former president Jimmy Carter, who works every day to help the same people Malkin scorns and Pres. Bush has turned his back on!

Digby says it best:

That dessicated waste of space Kate O'Beirne is on Hardball right now screeching for the laudenenum because "liberals don't know how to act at funerals!" Oh lawdy, lawdy, lawdy Miss Mellie, I do decleah these Democrats are so ungenteel! Why, they were talkin' politics and singin' and dancin' and actin' all Negro and everything!

I personally find it absolutely outrageous, OUTRAGEOUS! that Republicans are attacking Coretta Scott King and her family this way. Why, she is an American icon! How dare they! Do they really think that African Americans don't know how to behave at a funeral for one of their own? How very white of them.

Kate O'Beirne isn't fit to wipe Coretta Scott King's shoes and criticizing her on the day of her memorial service is disgusting. What kind of unfeeling ghouls have Republicans become??

Update: Oh and I think they need to apologize to the Reverend Lowry. He is a man of the cloth and a friend of the deceased. Are they saying that leaders of the African American church are less worthy of respect than the white churches they are so proud of representing? It sure sounds like it. Republicans, it seems, only respect the church when its leaders "behave" the way they deem appropriate.

Update II: Matt Singer writes:

If you haven't read about it elsewhere, President Bush apparently looked a bit sheepish at Coretta Scott King's funeral service today. Why? Because two speakers had the gall to talk about the values the Kings stood for: fighting poverty, fighting racial division, standing up for working Americans.

Yes, it had to be unpleasant for poor little President Bubble Boy having to deal with something other than his hand-picked sycophants. He's probably never even heard this stuff before.


John Palcewski said...

I just watched the entire CSK funeral on C-Span and realized that you can't get a sense of it from a few isolated quotes or sound bites.

It was a marvelous tapestry of art, full of nuance and richness. More important it was evocative of a time when we actually had decent people in the White House and Congress. In the succession of speeches there was poetry, there was soul-stirring song, there was historical context. There was spirituality, and humaneness, and love and hope.

Contrast all that with what these pathetic Republicans did immediately afterward. They seized upon tiny fractions of the event, the ones where allusions were made to Republican failures and criminal acts and lies. It shocked them. But what was more shocking was that these Republicans came away thinking the whole thing was about them.

It wasn't.

But the Republicans were not content to just leave those few TRUTHFUL fractions stand. No, fascist Karl Rove was compelled to immediately send his whores and pimps and slime merchants to try to tear it all down.

That's all they know how to do, they know nothing else. They got into power in Washington on slime and lies and misrepresentations and smear tactics, and they used their illegitimate power to sully everything good about America, most especially by lying us into an unnecessary war. And looking the other way when all those Black folks huddled in New Orleans and begged for help.

And like a poisonous leitmotiv or a lingering putrid smell, there was George Bush, sitting behind the speakers. As usual he was ill at ease and totally out of touch. He actually brought himself to believe he belonged there, sitting among honorable people.

He was so miscast. So out of place.

Kathy said...

Wow, John. That was a beautiful post. You say everything that needs to be said. And now I feel I need to watch the funeral on C-Span as you did, so I can see what you saw.