Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Right Wing Panties In a Bunch--Film at 11

To all those on the Right worried about the legacy of Coretta Scott King—who the fuck do you think you are to tell people how to pay tribute to someone? Particularly in the case of the Kings, or a few years ago, Paul Wellstone—these are public figures who were activists working against pretty much everything you stand for. Their families and followers ahould be free to express and console themselves however they choose.

Everyone from Imus to Michelle Malkin is wringing their hands over the fact that some of the speakers at Coretta Scott King's funeral took time at the podium to criticize the War or point out that her life's work might not quite be accomplished.

Perish the thought.

They are concerned that it wasn't gracious to do so in front of the President. Well, fuck that, and fuck him. And fuck anyone who has a problem with it. This was the funeral for a woman who dedicated her life to fighting injustice, war and racism. Her husband was gunned down in the prime of his life for doing the same thing. Many of the people attending or speaking at that funeral fought those same battles. There is no MORE appropriate place to make those comments. If the President cannot handle it, he should never have gone. This was a lose/lose for him—if he attends, he might be exposed to some hostility, if he doesn't, he opens himself up for criticism—boo fucking hoo. That's part of the job. Considering he spends the other 364 days of the year surrounded by nothing but yes-men and sycophants, he can suck it up for an hour or two.

More here, here, here, and here. John Cole was fool enough to opin on this, and got roundly smacked down by his readers. 150 560+ comments later, I'm sure he wishes he could have that one back. (For some highlights from that thread, go to the the comments below, I picked out a couple good ones.)

[Added 2/9] If the President or Republicans (or the government as a whole) want to throw a memorial service or reception, then fine, perhaps they can set some groundrules for decorum. If the President decides at the last minute to crash a private ceremony, then he gets whatever is coming to him.

UPDATE: I should note. I have NO problem with Bush attending the funeral, or anthing he did or said while there. I have a problem with the Bushmonkeys who feel it's their place to leap to Bush's defense when he suffers any indignity, perceived or real. Bush went to the service, was gracious, and left. While he was there, some other folks levelled criticisms that could be laid at Bush's feet. And there is no indication that he had a problem with what he heard. End of story. Except that to some on the right, criticism of Dear Leader is an offense, even if he is not named, or if he doesn't care. They cry "politicization!" when the only people talking about this and stoking the fire is themselves, just like at Wellstone's funeral. Shut the hell up, already. Funerals and feeding tubes are none of your business.

[Note: Opener rewritten slightly & new content added (as noted). 2/9]


Mr Furious said...

"Political speeches at a funeral for a very political lady. And you are shocked?"
"Yeah, how DARE people speak about poverty, war, and racism at Mrs. King’s funeral? It’s not as if Mrs. King or her husband cared about those things…"
"Coretta Scott King and Martin Luther King, Jr. were activist. They were stridently anti-war. They fought for years for equality among races and spoke out against poverty and injustice. This was a funeral to celebrate Coretta Scott King’s life, what her life meant and what she fought for. Would it have been appropriate for them to simply say she was a great woman, a great mother and that’s it?

On top of all of this, Bush wasn’t even planning to attend the funeral. He was scheduled to speak in New Hampshire yesterday and was planning to send his father in his stead. When he found out the Carters and the Clintons were going, he changed his plans. Coretta’s friends and family were supposed to change their words honoring her because someone she didn’t agree with was going to attend?"
"This is the closest our President has ever come to an uncensored, unscripted audience. Perhaps our dear leader could learn that even when black people aren’t drowning in New Orleans, they’re actually worthy of our attention."


"Um, maybe if the president gave his critics a little face time, like an ordinary politician, they wouldn’t have to tee off on him at a funeral."

Cole asks: "Would it be appropriate, were you attending a ceremony, for the minister to stand up, point at you, and tell everyone in attendance that the deceased hated the way you run your restaurant?"

"This is the stupidest fucking analogy I think I’ve ever heard. If the deceased had spent his/her entire life organizing rallies protesting the way I ran my restaurant, if the deceased had dedicated his/her life to fighting me over the way I ran my restaurant, then maybe, just maybe, I would see it coming."
"I don’t have any sympathy for George Bush. It is quite clear to me that he is afraid to face an audience that isn’t full of brain stem Republicans. If he didn’t want to be critisized he should have sent a card instead of going to the funeral of a political activist who vehemently opposed his policies.

Fair warning to George Bush: If Dubya attends my funeral all my family and friends have my permission to tell him what an asshole they think he is.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't bother me that Carter made those's just a shame the Bush didn't call it like it was and point out the DEMOCRATS tried to blackmail Martin Luther King and DEMOCRATS listened to his phone calls and DEMOCRATS voted against civil rights until the last and DEMOCRATS are the ones who perpetuate a system that forces black Americans into a cycle of poverty...but're to Furrrrrrious to understand how that could have been a great moment in American political life.

Mr Furious said...

Yeah, and Lincoln freed the slaves as a Republican. Your point?

My point? People on the right and those who rose to power on the backs of racism don't have any standing to complain about their reception at that funeral.

Is George W. Bush a racist? I don't think so, but how would I know?

It doesn't matter, because he is, in the final balance, worse. Because he is comfortable using and benifitting from racism. Did he pull Karl Rove into his office and say, "did you have anything to do with this John MCain black baby rumor? You did? You're fucking fired. Security will clean out your desk for you!" Did he visit Bob Jones University dring his campaign? Did he not on Martin Luther King Day last year appoint two well-known civil rights opponent judges to the federal bench?

Bush may not be racist himself, but he is more than happy to wink at them. Reagan started his campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi—the town where the civil rights workers were murdered—that kind of shit is not a coincidence, and the GOP does it all the time. If Dems do it, I'lll condemn them, too. I may be partisan, but my fury isn't.

The Kings were opposed to War. They were opposed to a War started by a Democrat, and continued by a Democrat in the 60s and CSK was opposed to the War we are in right now. Because the man who started that War shows up at her funeral, it's not to be discussed?

I never intended to write about this, what happened at the funeral wasn't a big deal. It's the hanky-wringing on the right afterward that pisses me off.

Oh, and the "Democrats" you are denouncing in your comment? We all know what party they feela t home in now, don't we?

Anonymous said...

"Rose to power on the back of racism?" You are referring to former Kleagle Robert Byrd, aren't you?

And by that last comment do you mean JFK, RFK and LBJ would now Republicans? Because THEY were the one's bugging and blackmailing Dr. King.

Mr Furious said...

Part two of the Lincoln sentence was going to be a reference to Byrd, but I left it out. Glad you didn't disappoint me by failing to bring it in...

Here's how it goes. Racism exists. It is particularly an issue in the South. In the 60s (and earlier), that racism was out in front for all to see. Yes, the racist politicians of the day were Democrats. We all know that.

The tides have shifted and the harbor for those racists tends to be in the Republican party now. It's all about where the social neanderthal/conservatives choose to hide or hang their hats.

As far as the bugging goes, that was probably more Hoover than anyone else.

Refresh me, did the Kennedys and LBJ actually usher in the Civil Rights legislation or not? Did LBJ and MLK not have an active, working relationship? Did LBJ, not actually feed MLK info and send him to Selma?

You are painting Democrats with a much broader brush than I am painting Republicans.

Anonymous said...

LBJ moved heaven and Earth to get the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed, then followed that up by getting the Voting Rights Act of 1965 passed.

That's not a way of saying those landmark pieces of legislation that made for real century-old unkept promises simply happened while he was president, and so he signed the bills.

LBJ was the lobbyist in chief who pulled out all the stops and called in mountains of chits to get a bunch of Dixiecrats to do what all the cells in their bodies were programmed not to do. In short, he worked a miracle of historical proportions. I've not seen anything like it before or since.

Also, while you're making much of the Dixiecrats of old, consider the civil rights work of Eleanor Roosevelt and Hubert Humphrey.

Was Robert Byrd once in the Klan? Well, so were many people who don't look back on that association with pride any more. He's admitted he was a lot younger, strongly influenced by the culture he grew up in and desirous of fitting in. He has said he is deeply sorry for his involvement with the Klan.

Anonymous, I somehow suspect you have harsh words for those who condemn Bush as a lush and drug abuser, for the indiscretions of his younger days. Why not cut Byrd some slack? He got elected to Congress when Harry Truman was president, and he's served honorably since, exhibiting not a trace of racism for at least 30 years that I've heard about.

So, why don't you just quit beating up on a very old gentleman for his mistake of very long ago?

Anonymous said...

FWIW, I'm quite sure the right-wing noise machine was on alert to raise hell about anything said at that funeral that was the least bit negative about Bush and our New Dark Age of Republican rule.

After all, they got traction out of the Wellstone funeral because some of the things said there were blatantly insulting and inhospitable.

However, although I didn't watch the whole King memorial, coverage I saw of it didn't show any any comments or actions that could be described as blatantly insulting, inhospitable or over the top. Critical, yes, but not over the line.

Mr. F. is right that nobody owes Bush praise or silence about things he's done or failed to do as president, simply because he did the politically expedient thing and showed up for King's memorial.

That's especially so considering how much of what Bush has done runs counter to what King fought for.

Otto Man said...

Robert Byrd has a 100% rating from the NAACP. But I guess it's just like the funeral -- white conservatives know what's best for blacks.