Tuesday, February 07, 2006

What A Shame

A woman who represented one of the most important and influential movements in American history deserves more respect than this:

Today's memorial service for civil rights activist Coretta Scott King -- billed as a "celebration" of her life -- turned suddenly political as one former president took a swipe at the current president, who was also lashed by an outspoken black pastor.

The outspoken Rev. Joseph Lowery, co-founder of Southern Christian Leadership Conference, ripped into President Bush during his short speech, ostensibly about the wife of Martin Luther King Jr...

Former President Jimmy Carter later swung at Bush as well, not once but twice. As he talked about the Kings, he said: "It was difficult for them then personally with the civil liberties of both husband and wife violated as they became the target of secret government wiretaps."

Thankfully, not everyone turned Coretta Scott King's memorial service into a political battleground. President Bush stayed on topic, and gave Mrs. King the memorial she deserved:

President Bush, leading the nation in celebrating the life of Coretta Scott King, praised the civil rights leader for enduring extraordinary pain and loss to give generations of people "a better, more welcoming country."

"We knew Mrs. King in all the seasons, and there was grace and beauty in every season," Bush said at a New Birth Missionary Baptist Church service Tuesday that was attended by four presidents and a crowd of thousands.

"As a great movement of history took shape," Bush said, "her dignity was a daily rebuke to the pettiness and cruelty of segregation"...

"Coretta had every right to count the costs and step back from the struggle," the president said. "But she decided that her children needed more than a safe home — they needed an America that upheld their equality and wrote their rights into law. And because this young mother and father were not intimidated, millions of children they would never meet are now living in a better more welcoming country."