Friday, February 24, 2006

Coretta Scott King

Following Malcolm's assassination, King wired Betty Shabazz, expressing his sadness over "the shocking and tragic assassination of your husband. While we did not always see eye to eye on methods to solve the race problem, I always had a deep affection for Malcolm and felt that he had a great ability to put his finger on the existence and the root of the problem. He was an eloquent spokesman for his point of view and no one can honestly doubt that Malcolm had a great concern for the problems we face as a race."
Knowing these facts today, we need to stop viewing Martin and Malcolm as adversaries, between whom we have to choose, and recognize them as allies who complemented one another and who understood that revolutionary leaders need to keep developing.

I wasn't planning on blogging tonight but I saw the link to Grace Lee Boggs' "Malcolm and Martin: Allies, not adversaries" at The Common Ills a little while ago. She's someone that Liang introduced the community to. Liang's a really sweet person so whenever I see that she highlighted something or when someone highlights Grace Lee Boggs, I always pay attention.

I went to the article at the Michigan Citizen and found something on Coretta Scott King that I wanted to put up here.

George E. Curry has a column called "Tarnishing the King Legacy" and I'm going to show it to Three Cool Old Guys. If you get the gina & krista round-robin, you know they were bothered by Coretta Scott King's funeral. Not by the nonsense of "it's too political!" They felt it wasn't political enough and Curry's got some similar points.

Here's some of Curry's column:

Despite their varied contributions to the civil rights movement, none of the aforementioned was allowed to speak at the funeral. Belafonte had been invited but the invitation was withdrawn when Bush decided to attend the funeral. In January, Belafonte called Bush "the greatest terrorist in the world" and equated the Department of Homeland Security with Hitler's Gestapo. Evidently, the funeral organizers were more interested in not offending Bush than recognizing the person who had actually supported Dr. King and his work.
Of the 30 speakers who were neither relatives nor participating in musical tributes, only five or six marched regularly with Dr. King. Even more insulting, William Session, a former FBI director, was given time on the program, even though the FBI, under J. Edgar Hoover, actively sought to discredit Dr. King, taping his private conversations and urging him to commit suicide.

Another thing worth checking out is Phill Wilson's "Coretta Scott King was sensitive to gays and lesbians:"

After her husband's assassination, Mrs. King picked up the pieces, gathered her children to her bosom and assured us that we would get by. And like a good mother, she never played favorites. She was committed to including all of us -- the civil rights one, the peace one, the labor one, the gay and lesbian one, and eventually the HIV/AIDS one. While there were some old guard civil rights leaders who thought "justice" meant "just us," Mrs. King never wavered. When the traditional "civil rights" house defined by the narrow paradigm of racial discrimination became too small, she moved us to a new "human rights" house big enough for all of us.
In 1990, when her son, Martin Luther King III, made disparaging remarks about gay and lesbian people, Mrs. King hosted a Black gay and lesbian summit at the King center. She was also one of the first Black leaders to speak out about HIV/AIDS and the need for Black people to pay attention.
"AIDS is a human crisis, no matter where you live," she said while addressing a gathering of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. "Anyone who sincerely cares about the future of Black America had better be speaking out about AIDS, calling for preventive measures and increased funding for research and treatment."

Coretta Scott King stood up over and over. She was concerned with the humanity landscape and she helped all of us, regardless of color, gender, orientation.

So go check out The Michigan Citizen. They've got a lot worth reading (and a lot worth thinking about).

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