Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Bad Manners

Shame on all of the people who took the solemn occasion of Coretta Scott King's funeral to offer their political barbs. I don't like George Bush and truly think he's over his head.

But I would have respected Ms. King enough to save my self-serving, partisan remarks for a more appropriate forum.

Those who made those comments obviously felt their egos were more important than honoring Ms. King.

Shame, shame.

And those political palaverers probably offended enough moderate people to turn them off the causes the speakers were trying to promote.

So we have bad manners and a counterproductive display of political flashing.


Blogger Darrin Bell said...

I would agree with you, except Mrs. King was a civil rights leader who devoted her life to political causes. More recently, she was adamantly opposed to the policies of the Bush administration. I don't think it's out of place to talk about her politics at her funeral, any more than it was out of place for people to talk politics at Senator Wellstone's funeral (from what I've read about them, I don't think Wellstone or King would have had it any other way). It honored them, in my opinion.

I hope when I'm gone, people who speak at my funeral will tell everyone there who I was, what I believed in and what I was passionate about. Leaving politics out of it would leave out a big part of who I am, just as leaving it out of King's funeral would leave out a big part of who she was.

2/08/2006 06:40:00 PM  
Blogger Clark Braxton said...

I agree about the involvement in politics and the struggle. I agree that the way she, MLKJr and others fought against apartheid in this country are part of their DNA, in some senses.

Call me old-fashioned, but there needs to be hallowed ground where we can come together to honor those whose work and memory deserve respect.

MLKJr and his wife succeeded, in part, because they were class acts whose respect for human dignity extended even to their enemies.

They always knew what they were FOR, and they fought for that in a way that softened the hearts of their adversaries. George Bush would never have been elected had the Democrats taken the right lessons from MLKJr and learned how to soften hearts and win minds rather than harden hearts and polarize.

They always knew their goals were to WIN their cause and the never ventured off into cheap shots just to salve an ego impulse.

2/08/2006 07:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sight unseen, my wife and I were split over whether the politicizing was the right thing for Jimmy Carter et al. to do. After witnessing it and discussing it, we agreed that it was incumbent upon these people to take the chance to speak directly to Bush because he normally allows himself to be almost completely sheltered from criticism and dissent.

2/10/2006 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger Clark Braxton said...

To paraphrase a rather scatalogoical expression, "Politicking happens."

I do understand that at Ronald Reagan's funeral Right wingers took shots at the Left.

I don't think that was appropriate either becausen it distracts from the person whose life the people have come to commemorate.

Certainly figures like Ms. King were involved in politics, but her politics and her husband's were not cheaply partisan. They succeeded, because they appealed to a fundamental level of decency that transcended partisan garbage.

Partisan sniping continues to divide and polarize us as a people. Progress only happens when we all pull together.

I'd point out here a 1972 article from The Nation written by my friend Lewis Perdue (back before that venerated publication lost its grip on reality).

Perdue's article starts on page 14 but has a wonderful drawing on page 19 which illustrates the value of putting aside small differences for the sake of a larger goal.

As an aside, the cartoons on pages 16 and 17 of that article show how little may have changed since then both in politics and in religious satirization.

My point would be that when I die, like you, I want: "people who speak at my funeral will tell everyone there who I was, what I believed in and what I was passionate about. Leaving politics out of it would leave out a big part of who I am,..."

Yes, but I want them to talk about what I stood for, the fights I fought (win or lose) and the larger issues of making people's lives better (which I hope I do.)

I don't particularly want them to stand on top of my body and hurl cheap shots at their current political enemies. That is what THEY stand for, not necessarily what I stood for.

2/12/2006 09:53:00 AM  

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