Monday, January 16, 2006

Free but not equal?

"we are free but not equal" Jesse Jackson said in a sermon at the Bethlehem Baptist Church in Simpsonville, S.C. on Sunday as part of an MLK remembrance service. Then there's New Orleans mayor Nagin who told a crowd outside city hall who was honoring King with a march "New Orleans will be Chocolate Again". Pastor Cummings of Bethlehem Apostolic Temple in Wheeling Ohio said some good things but then said "I believe America is a better America because people of color are more free." More free, but not fully free! There are plenty of examples like this one, they're not egregious, but they are reflective of an attitude I think perpetuates the very thing they wish to end. But the most pathetic politicization of an MLK event microphone was Hillary who during a Martin Luther King Jr. Day event, predicting the presidency "will go down in history as one of the worst" also said "the House of Representatives is run like a "plantation" where dissenting voices are squelched". Al Sharpton, who was at the same event, said Clinton's comments were important to her primarily black audience.

Pelosi attempted to better Hillary, but the attempt was a weak one. At a union labor breakfast honoring King the Terminator (Arnold) spoke and afterward Pelosi who was there said "the special election that Schwarzenegger called in November was a threat to King and the social justice for which he fought." This is only but a few of the many examples of partisan grandstanding that trample on MLK's memory and message of unity. Sadly, at a local SF bay area gathering in Walnut Creek Rev. Laurie Manning told the small crowd "Are we keeping the dream alive? How much has changed for African Americans in this country? How little?" Manning asked. "They were, in truth, betrayed by America's promise." "They were waiting for days in the astrodome," continued Manning, following applause. "They were waiting for days to die." Apparently Katrina was in fact a racist weather phenomenon! And you have to love that that an Imam from a local Mosque led a prayer from the Koran following the speeches, read first in Arabic and then translated in English. How appropriate!

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