Saturday, April 05, 2008

Breaking News! MLK, Posthumously, Pardons McCain

It's absolutely astounding the the McCain Campaign was able to keep the lid on such breathtaking news.

I mean, with all the media digging (wink, wink), the 24/7 news cycles, the rocking-and-rolling biography tour, and no one, not one single McCain worker even hinted such a blockbuster was forthcoming.

Yesterday, ol' Stumblin' Bumblin' John McCain spoke at the ceremonies commemorating the 40th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination, giving his mea culpa for, originally, dissing, and voting against, the MLK Holiday.

"We can all be a little late sometimes in doing the right thing, and Dr. King understood this about his fellow Americans. But he knew as well that in the long term, confidence in the reasonability and good heart of America is always well placed. And always, that was his method in word and action—to remind us of who we are and what we believe. ...


King, and many, many others, were being beaten, some even murdered, in the fight for equality, the battle for civil rights, the call for the country to live up to it's pledge, its' Constitution and McCain does a paint-by-numbers Norman Rockwell tribute, as if everyone listening to it was going to cheer such a distortion.

I am not an MLK scholar, however, from readings and viewings of program on Dr. King, I harbor serious doubts that Dr. King was so rosily upbeat about the "confidence in the reasonability and good heart of America is always well placed".

It was, this "good heart of America" who was, with bullhorns and angry red-faces, attempting to put Dr. King down, looking to silence him, marginalize him.

And that was just our own government.
"The FBI's interest in King intensified after the March on Washington in August 1963, when King delivered his "I have a dream speech," which many historians consider the most important speech of the 20th century. After the speech, an FBI memo called King the "most dangerous and effective Negro leader in the country.

The bureau convened a meeting of department heads to "explore how best to carry on our investigation [of King] to produce the desired results without embarrassment to the Bureau," which included "a complete analysis of the avenues of approach aimed at neutralizing King as an effective Negro leader."

No, I don't believe Dr. King understood, nor accepted, the lateness, for his fellow Americans.

If McCain bothered to look, or assigned someone in his staff to check, I think he would find that Dr. Kings' body of work was directly aimed at not accepting, or understanding such lateness from his fellow Americans.

All McCain would have had to look at was Dr. King's final day, in Memphis, to support the garbage men's strike, who protested and marched wearing signs that read "I Am A Man".

McCain was just toting the party line, engaging in the standard the "Santa Clausification of MLK" (H/T to Andrew Golis/TPMCafe).

Cornell West, speaking with Tavis Smiley;

West: I mean, I think it's very important because you see a lot of chit-chat about Martin every year and Martin has been so domesticated and tamed and defamed, you know, what we call the Santa Clausification of the brother.

Tavis: Wait a minute. Hold the phone, hold the phone. The Santa Clausification of Dr. King, which means what, Dr. West?

West: He just becomes a nice little old man with a smile with toys in his bag, not a threat to anybody, as if his fundamental commitment to unconditional love and unarmed truth does not bring to bear certain kinds of pressure to a status quo. So the status quo feels so comfortable as though it's a convenient thing to do rather than acknowledge him as to what he was, what the FBI said, "The most dangerous man in America." Why? Because of his fundamental commitment to love and to justice and trying to keep track of the humanity of each and every one of us.

McCain is not a nice, little old man, and he often sneers and snorts, and it's not toys in his bag, but wars, and more wars, and he is threat to everybody.

Too bad he didn't have Lieberman with him for his Make-Up Mitt Speech, though I doubt Lieberman would have been able to whisper the correct answer in his ear on this day.

Then again, it's a bit surprising that McCain didn't tie things together, and say Kings' killer was trained by Iran.

You're slipping there, Fly Boy ...

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