Wednesday, February 08, 2006

the scarecrow and mrs. king

i didn't watch george w. deliver his address at coretta scott king's funeral, because i never listen to anything the man says. nothing new. but he was seated within frame behind the podium so his face, obviously bored and out of place, was in view while maya angelou spoke.

an awkward juxtaposition, to say the least.

you could see him grimace when the word "peace" was uttered, and "justice". i wanted to feel bad for him, since the entire event was as much an attack on his principles and policies as a tribute to mrs. king.

and how could it not be? the two are as different as night and day. championing progression in the face of impractical and often unjust tradition can be nothing but a vilification of modern-day conservatism.

african-americans have had a tragic history, like many peoples, and justice has not remotely been realized. as president carter mentioned at the funeral, recall the faces on television of the people stranded, left homeless, in new orleans after the hurricane, then try to aver that racial inequality no longer exists.

it is a struggle for human rights. conservatives value some unspoken qualitative hierarchy of people based on biology and inherent traits; the heterosexual, white, christian male occupying the pinnacle. noone else is equal.

women's rights, gay rights, minority rights, the rights of muslims and of the poor are all human rights. our republican leadership constantly wraps itself in religion but opportunistically forgets that we are supposedly all endowed by some creator with inalienable rights.

on an intrinsic level it seemed like examples of right and wrong were on display, to compare and contrast, during the coretta scott king funeral.

if anyone can find maya angelou's address from the funeral online please let me know. i don't know if the full text is available anywhere yet.

5 comments:

barb said...

Here's a video of her magnificent speech:

http://wusa9.com/video/player.aspx?aid=28303&bw

Phillip said...

thanks barb, it's great the second time too

Ian McGibboney said...

Good. I'm always glad to see Bush squirm in the face of his heartless politics. It brings to mind when Reagan signed the MLK holiday into law; when the crowd sang, "We Shall Overcome," he just sat there. You just know they don't care.

Phillip said...

dick cheney was in congress at the time and voted against making the day a federal holiday. i'm not certain but i think he was one of three to vote against it.

Ian McGibboney said...

He also helped shrink the military considerably during the first Bush administration, saying our forces were too large for the fighting we'd need to do in the 21st century.