A Proper Burial?

A PROPER BURIAL?….I don’t have much time to comment on this right now, but I feel the need to say how absurd and ridiculous the whole debate about Mrs. King’s funeral is. I was on “Scarborough Country” to argue about it last night (you can see the shout-fest here), but I figured this was just a stupid debate Scarborough ginned up so he could have something to talk about. Plus, he was joined by Tucker Carlson, who ? you may remember ? was one of the guys responsible for screaming “outrage!” after Paul Wellstone’s funeral.

They’re the ones making this political. As far as I’m concerned, everything I heard at the funeral was in the spirit of the Kings’ lives and legacies. These were not shrinking violets who stood on ceremony and mouthed niceties to political leaders. They spent their lives preaching truth to power, specifically saying the hard things that needed to be said.

Conservatives don’t seem to be as concerned when solemn events are made political in a way that suits them. In 1993, for example, at the dedication of Washington’s Holocaust Museum, keynote speaker Elie Wiesel turned to President Clinton and admonished him for not getting involved in Bosnia, telling him that once again the U.S. was turning a blind eye.

The official white-washed (no pun intended) version of the Kings may be that they were all about love and peace and overcoming differences (all true), but to leave it at that is to do them both a disservice. They were radical in their own way, pushing conservatives and a lot of liberals down a path that the rest of the country would have preferred to tip-toe along. They couldn’t be silenced in life and they can’t be silenced in death. Shame on conservatives for even trying.

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Amy Sullivan

Amy Sullivan is a Chicago-based journalist who has written about religion, politics, and culture as a senior editor for Time, National Journal, and Yahoo. She was an editor at the Washington Monthly from 2004 to 2006.