Thursday, February 16, 2006

funereal politics

under the influence of a caffeine-induced acid flashback on the way home from WCU last night (my gawd but those espresso double shots are a hell of a buzz), i was mulling over the politics of the public funeral for coretta scott king.

some folks are saying it was inappropriate to blast mr. bush's policies at a memorial service. others are saying it was totally cool (not to mention very entertaining) to watch mr. & mrs. bush squirm and glare at reverend lowery, mr. clinton and mr. carter for speaking their honest opinions.

i haven't weighed in comfortably on this yet. on the one hand, i wonder what mrs. king would have thought - and given her efforts towards promoting peace and ending war and poverty, i have a strong suspicion that she would have appreciated the opportunity to have her own views propelled off the pulpit, especially if her service was going to be nationally televised.

on the other hand, it was pretty rude to put mr. and mrs. bush up there on the dais behind the pulpit, having to suck it up and swallow it in such an exposed manner. really, i mean, that couldn't have helped them feel more comfortable about their participation in the memorial service of a national heroine. and i doubt they knew they were walking into a minefield.

for me, though, the act of publicly remembering someone who has died ought to be governed by the wishes of the survivors - the kids, in other words. and if the kids knew what the score would be, and didn't have a problem with it, then it's ok. it's absolutely their right to do what they want in the ceremony, and it's their right to make decisions for their deceased mother. end of story.

the question that i can't answer here, of course, is whether the siblings were in agreement as to the specifics of the ceremony - particularly the unambiguous blasting of current administration policies. that's harder to say - i can't find a lot of information on that at the moment.*

it's hard for me to imagine any set of four siblings to be in unanimous agreement about anything, to tell you the truth.

so if y'all happen to hear anything about it, let me know. i'd be interested.

*over the course of my brief five-minute research into coretta scott king's kids, i read up on bernice king, who is a well-known orator in her own right. although coretta scott king was a strong supporter of gay rights, it appears (from her attendance at a march to support a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage) that bernice was not. huh. it will be interesting to see what happens to the king name over the next few years, now that bernice has taken up the public torch, so to speak.

1 comment:

SB Gypsy said...

This is what I figure: If those kids grew up with the father and mother that they had, without knowing what the people who they invited to talk at her funeral would say before they said it.... well then they deserve what they got for being so oblivious.

I prefer to believe that they knew very well what the Rev, and Carter and Clinton's views are, and they invited them on purpose.

Mrs King would have approved, in my estimation.

The Bushco apologists have alot of nerve, thinking that we should make a "Hallmark Moment" out of her lifetime of service and sacrifice to the light of equality and justice. They obviously do not know what the words mean.

Thanks for writing about it.