. . .in today's Chicago Sun-Times, columnist Mary Mitchell takes issue with the eulogies at Coretta Scott King's funeral. windycitywatch takes issue with the following statements she makes:
After all, when the King family decided to hold Coretta Scott King's funeral at a megachurch in an Atlanta suburb instead of at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church where King had preached, I figured it would end up a show.
Mrs. King was a civil rights icon who continued the great legacy of her late husband Dr. Martin Luther King, in many ways she was American royalty as well as a national hero. While it would have been a poignant statement to hold her funeral at Ebenezer Baptist Church it would have been a logistical nightmare given the number of people paying their respects as well as the number of speakers who eulogized her. Given Mitchell's logic Pope John Paul II's funeral should have been at his church in Poland and Ronald Reagan's funeral should have been held in his hometown of Dixon, Illinois.
At a political gathering, it's fair game to criticize the president.
But it was tacky and disrespectful for anyone to launch into a political attack at a funeral.
President Bush and his wife Laura were sitting directly behind the speaker's podium on big, leather pulpit chairs listening to remarks that were often caustic.
A photographer captured Laura Bush's body language. As the Rev. Joseph Lowery, who worked closely with Martin Luther King Jr. at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, launched into his tirade, the first lady squinted, pursed her lips and folded herself into the form of a disapproving mom.
"We know there were no weapons of mass destruction over there," he said. "We know there are weapons of misdirection right down here," Lowery taunted.
Where is our dignity?
Former President Jimmy Carter also got in his jabs, criticizing the Bush administration's slow response to Hurricane Katrina victims.
"We only have to recall the color of the faces of those in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi to know that inequality existed," he said.
Oh please! According to the New York Times (02/05/06) the president did not originally plan on attending the funeral, with the plan being that the First Lady and his father, former President Bush, would attend in his place, so lets not pretend that this was big priority for W*.
One thing that Mitchell fails to comprehend is that Mrs. King was in the business of civil rights, humand rights and social justice, and the statements made by Reverend Lowery and President Carter were appropriate given her life's work. It should be noted that many of the published obituaries, including the one ran by Vibe (1/31/06) mentioned her opposition to the war in Iraq, so its not a reach for a speaker to raise the issue when eulogizing her.