We’ve got a little catching up to do on some stories that have fallen through the cracks of our personal busyness and ended up on the sticky, seldom-cleaned floor of unaddressed political issues. Fortunately, we’ve got our paper towels of truth and the pine-scented cleanser of insight handy (not the mention the copious bucket of extended, useless metaphor) and we’re about to go to work.
The first thing we wanted to mention is the backlash from the funeral of Coretta Scott King. This will be sure to elicit the snarky from many of our readers – but that’s how we roll.
Some people are all up in arms because some political figures, notably Jimmy Carter and Rev. Joseph Lowery, chose to make political remarks. To that we have the following thoughts to offer.
Coretta Scott King was a political figure herself; her life and her life’s work was irrevocably intertwined with politics. Her politics, and those of her many professional and personal friends, were progressive. And yet, some people don’t believe that talking about Mrs. King’s life’s work is appropriate at a funeral. Why not?
We didn’t see any members of Mrs. King’s family complaining. Indeed, the only people complaining are the political figures whose ideology was roundly criticized and their supporters. What’s the matter guys – can’t take a little heat without crying to Mommy?
It goes without saying that the bitch ‘n’ moan squad here are conservative Republicans, and it’s absolutely hilarious that by accusing Carter and Lowery of politicizing Mrs. King’s funeral, they are doing the lion’s share of the politicizing. That’s a side issue though. The real point here is that conservatives can’t stomach the fact that people disagree with them, often loudly, often vehemently. Unfortunately, that’s a factor that they’re going to have to deal with more and more often.
The fact is, a small minority people out there have their panties in a wad because their dear leader had to sit uncomfortably on stage while others stood in front of him and said, “Your policies, your ideology, you worldview, is anathema to everything that Coretta Scott King stood for.” So what? Is George W. Bush so delicate that he has to be insulated from honest opposition? We’ve always kind of thought that politicians should stand by their records, and Bush’s record runs counter to the things that Mrs. King worked for.
Now as to the biggest complaint – that politics has no place at a funeral – we call shenanigans. Would you avoid talking about music at John Lennon’s funeral, or writing at Hunter S. Thompson’s? (We’re not sure if the good doctor actually had a funeral, but you get our point.) Of course you wouldn’t. But hey, if you object to the tone of Mrs. King’s funeral, or Paul Wellstone’s memorial service there are two things you can do. Don’t go to funerals where you might hear something that smacks of politics, and make whatever arrangements you feel are necessary to keep the politics out of your own memorial.
And until then, just shut up and stop whining.