Wednesday, February 08, 2006

A Moving and Fiery Farewell To Coretta Scott King

"Laura? Where's my hand-picked, screened audience?"

Here’s some notes from the moving, farewell service for Coretta Scott King yesterday, that included some well-placed shots at George W. Bush who has shown, in policy and deed, that he is no friend to African-Americans.

Reverend Joseph Lowery, the retired president and CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, spoke of Mrs. Kings indomitable spirit but then took aim at Bush.

"How marvelous that presidents and governors have come to mourn and praise," he said. "But in the morning, will words become deeds that meet needs?"

"We know now there were no weapons of mass destruction over there,” said Lowery to a thunderous and prolonged 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."

I should feel bad for how much Bush must have been squirming in his seat, but I don’t. It’s the least he deserves, with the damage he’s doing to our country.

Former President Jimmy Carter spoke movingly about the work of Mrs. King and her husband, but added that it was far from over.

“The struggle for equal rights is not over. We only have to recall the color of the faces of those in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi, those who were most devastated by Katrina, to know that there are not yet equal opportunities for all Americans,” said Carter in obvious reference to Team Bush’s hideous response to Hurricane Katrina.

Carter also used the example of what Martin Luther King and his wife endured to point out the troubled state of our union when it comes to the government illegally spying on American citizens.

"It was difficult for them personally with the civil liberties of both husband and wife violated as they became the targets of secret government wiretapping and other surveillance and, as you know, her harassment by the FBI," Carter said, receiving a loud and long ovation.

Speaking of both Coretta Scott King and her slain husband, Former President Bill Clinton professed his admiration for how they took on even the toughest of social challenges.

“They understood that the difficulty of success does not relieve one of the obligation to try,” said Clinton.

(It’s also important to note that Clinton gave his entire talk, without notes, and seemingly off the top of his head. Remember what it was like to have a Rhodes Scholar for our president?)

You can catch highlights of the speeches at the links above (on each person’s name).