Skip to comments.A funeral turns into a spirited tribute to democracy.(big barf alert)
Posted on 02/10/2006 10:12:49 AM PST by Eva
Listen, I watched the funeral of Coretta Scott King for six hours Tuesday, from the pre-service commentary to the very last speech, and it was wonderful--spirited and moving, rousing and respectful, pugnacious and loving. The old lions of the great American civil rights movement of the 20th century were there, and standing tall. The old lionesses, too. There was preaching and speechifying and at the end I thought: This is how democracy ought to be, ought to look every day--full of the joy of argument, and marked by the moral certainty that here you can say what you think.
There was nothing prissy, nothing sissy about it. A former president, a softly gray-haired and chronically dyspeptic gentleman who seems to have judged the world to be just barely deserving of his presence, pointedly insulted a sitting president who was, in fact, sitting right behind him. The Clintons unveiled their 2008 campaign. A rhyming preacher, one of the old lions, a man of warmth and stature, freely used the occasion to verbally bop the sitting president on the head.
...........With Bill nodding beside her, his hands clasped prayerfully in front of him, nodding and working that jaw muscle he works when he wants you to notice, for just a second, how hard it is sometimes for him to contain his admiration.
God I love them. .........
(Excerpt) Read more at opinionjournal.com ...
No, civil rights could have been an appropriate topic, but not WMDs. ....and certainly not trying to blame Republicans for the spying on the Kings. That was an insinuated lie. It was the Kennedy's who were reponsible for that.
Bottom line, the speakers were ungracious, oppurtunistic, lying politicians, with the exception of the Bushes.
This wasn't the church that MLK himself dipped his wick into many of the congregation members or was that the one in Birmingham?
You need a license to quote Martin Luther King Jr.
Bucks County Courier Times
Tomorrow marks the 40th anniversary of Martin Luther King's immortal speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. I'd like to quote from the speech, but I hesitate to even mention its title, since I leave myself open to a lawsuit.
The King family, you see, holds a copyright on the 1963 speech along with most of MLK's papers, writings, and images.
Publish or use these without permission and you likely will find yourself receiving correspondence from the family's lawyers, which begins: "You have been sued in court."
USA Today discovered this when it reprinted the full text of the "I Have a Drea-" oops, I mean The Famous Speech On The Mall - and was sued for copyright infringement.
Gannett, which owns the paper, settled out of court for $1,700, plus legal fees.
Then CBS, whose cameras captured King delivering the speech live on Aug. 28, 1963, was sued. Its mistake was including excerpts from its archives in its documentary series, "The 20th Century with Mike Wallace."
CBS settled the case before it went to trial.
Harry Hampton, producer of the marvelous series on the civil rights era "Eyes on the Prize" was sued by the Kings, and settled for an amount "under $100,000," according to news accounts.
The King family has said it's protecting the image of the great civil rights leader from hucksters with crass gift shop proposals like refrigerator magnets, MLK ice cream and pocketknives, according to Slate, a Web magazine.
Yet, the family approved "Keep the Dream Alive" personal checks and a "tasteful" King statuette available from the King Center in Atlanta.
Even so, it's hard not to empathize with the King family.
The King children were small when James Earl Ray murdered their father in 1968. King was not a wealthy man. When he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, he donated the $54,000 prize money to civil rights groups.
Only the most hardened heart would begrudge King's survivors the licensing deal they have with Time Warner, which reaps them about $10 million a year.
Still, the complete commodification of a modern prophet is cheesy.
And, despite son Dexter King's assertion that the Time Warner deal helps spread King's message far and wide through all kinds of media, well, I doubt it. In fact, it works against it.
The family's vigorous enforcement of copyright protections and heavy restrictions on King's personal papers have driven away researchers, writers and scholars who either can't afford or who refuse to pay the royalties the family demands, according to a story published on CNN's Web site.
In a rare interview on the subject, Dexter King told The New York Times: "It has nothing to do with greed. It has to do with the principle if you make a dollar, I should make a dime."
While he's making all those dimes, he should consider this: A quarter million people stood on the Washington mall as King delivered his speech. It was seen live on TV by 80 million Americans. Each January we celebrate Martin Luther King Day and are reminded of his "dream."
And yet, as famous as that event is, most of what King said that day is largely unknown.
If you read King's text, it sends chills not only because of the beauty of phrasing, but also because a lone man speaking truth to mighty power is so biblical.
America would reap the whirlwind, he warned. Revolt is here. A new militancy has emboldened black Americans. Racial injustice must be ended immediately, not gradually.
But today, for a news network to broadcast much more than the old reliable touchy-feely snippets of the 16-minute speech, it will cost money, lest they violate the family's copyright privilege. You want more than a couple of stock lines from the speech? Licensing fees start at $2,000.
If King remains a one-dimensional grainy black-and-white figure who utters the same sunny sound bite year after year until it's a cliche, it's because news networks won't pay for more, and researchers have been kept from delving deep into his papers to tell us something new about the Martin Luther King the man, not the statuette.
And his family wants it that way.
J.D. Mullane can be reached at 215.949.5745 or at
I think Peggy's missing the point here - a funeral isn't supposed to "turn into" anything but a funeral.
Tribute to hatred is more like it. My wife said that Carter and that psuedo reverend's speeches were not in the spirit Dr. Kings' vision of little black kids and little white kids holding hands and playing together.
I didn't read this article, but I suppose she means a "tribute to democracy" in the sense that democracy is a cornerstone of socialism.
I always thought he worked his jaw muscles so everyone would [erroneously] think he was masculine. FRAUD!
She's lost whatever was left of her mind. The performances by Carter and the Clintons, among others, was a disgrace. This was a funeral, not a campaign event
Seems like she's completely gone to the Dark Side. This should've had a rectal bleeding alert.
Poor Peggy, clearly menopause stole her brain cells.
Calling you for unnecessary roughness.
Yeah, right. Had President Reagan's funeral been a series of attacks on Carter's failure to effectively counter Communist expansionism and Clinton's propensity to appear in the Oval Office with his boxers around his ankles, every 'rat on the North American continent would have stroked out.
Why do columnists feel compelled to weigh in on everything.
Because that's what columnists do, I guess.
To get another perspective of the funeral read Krauthammer's article.
She's a speechwriter, she's all about style over substance.
I read it as extremely sarcastic.
The old lions and lionesses speechifying old lions cant hunt and just feebly growl waiting to die
This is how democracy ought to be, ought to look every day--full of the joy of argument (lies and bitter innuendo),
and marked by the moral certainty that here you can say what you think. And not worry about being lynched.
A former president, a softly gray-haired and chronically dyspeptic (gassy) gentleman who seems to have judged the world to be just barely deserving of his presence (thinks his stuff dont stink), pointedly insulted a sitting president who was, in fact, sitting right behind him. sitting light-years in front of him
A rhyming preacher, one of the old lions, a man of warmth and stature, freely used the occasion to verbally bop the sitting president on the head.
A clichéd, bitter, old never-was used the occasion to take a self aggrandizing political cheap-shot at the president.
Pointing out the irony of Hillarys launching her run for the presidency at a funeral.
""""God I love them.""""
""""God I hate them"""".
And that cartoon of Coretta Scott King glancing heavenward and frowning.
Yep, we have a democracy, and that means folks have the right to say what they want to say. It also means that others have the right to point out the fact that their comments were inappropriate to the occasion, mean and petty.
The term "idiot" is overused, but Peggy Noonan begs for it.
I wonder what would have been her opinion, of Bush 41 during a speech at Reagan's funeral, mentioning "interns bumping their heads on the underside of the President clinton's desk".
Not quite as charitable, I suppose.
That sounds like unimaginable torture.
I'd rather wear panties on my head (and probably have, back in college or something.)