Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Fit For a King

Yesterday's funeral for Coretta Scott King was one for the ages, more powerful and substantial than even that of her husband. Along with rememberances, preaching, and song came razor-sharp political commentary.

With "President" Bush in attendance -- indeed, right up on the stage the entire time, a series of speakers wove perfectly contextual commentary and rememberance into a verbal leather whip, and used it to flay Mr. Bush before thousands of cheering mourners.

Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin reminded us of how King decried “the senselessness of war” with a voice that was heard “from the tintop roofs of Soweto to the bomb shelters of Baghdad.”

Senator Ed Kennedy read from the Book of Matthew, with special emphasis on on word in particular:
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

Former US President Jimmy Carter pointed out that for Martin and Coretta, "It was difficult for them personally with the civil liberties of both husband and wife violated, and they became the targets of secret government wiretapping and other surveillance." He also went on to say that one only had to look at the color of the folks who suffered from Hurricane Katrina to know the inequality still exists in America.

And to absolutely thunderous applause, the Reverend Joseph Lowery, co-founder with Martin Luther King of the Southern Christian Leadership Council, told us: "we now know there were no weapons of mass destruction over there, but we know and she knew there are weapons of misdirection right down here. Millions without health insurance. Poverty abounds. For war -- billion$ more. But no more for the poor."

Conservatives were apoplectic, suggesting that it was inappropriate to inject politics into the funeral for a... um, well... political activist.

Whatever.

Coretta must have been rolling in her casket when Mr. Bush rose to sing her praises. He used her husband's birthday in 2003 to announce his opposition to affirmative action. He used her husband's birthday in 2004 to appoint a federal judge that many blacks felt had a suspect record on racial sensitivity. It seems likely that were she able to speak, she would have told Bush to sit down, cheered on Lowry and Kennedy, and joined the mourners in the standing ovation they gave to Carter's comments.

That's whose opinion we care about.

2 Comments:

At 11:47 AM, Anonymous catherine said...

It was terrific, wasn't it? You don't happen to know if there's a written transcript of the speeches anywhere, do you? I'd love to have a copy of Mrs. Tambo's presentation to send around.

 
At 3:47 PM, Blogger The Christian Progressive Liberal said...

The conservatives don't get to dictate how we mourn Coretta Scott King. They're just upset cause Joe Lowery got in Bush's grill and there wasn't anything they could do about it, short of disrupting the service and being kicked out.

 

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