The two Americas of these Disunited States crashed in a historical encounter this week at the funeral of Coretta Scott King. When the two worlds collided, it was quite a spectacle. And the fact that it happened at all will be the most momentous and lasting tribute to the first lady of the Civil Rights Movement.
After her husbands death, Mrs. King proved to the world that she could move mountains of hatred with her rare combination of strength, poise, beauty, and dignity. At her funeral, it was fitting to see the mountains of fraud and lies of this administration moved for a brief moment so that her memory could be celebrated with the same truth and righteousness that she gave to all.
By attending this most public of events, George W. Bush found himself right smack in the middle of the Other America - the one that wasnt pre-screened, monitored, and picked by his handlers. He became the veritable Emperor sitting in a sanctuary of ten thousand people who refused to reinforce neither his deluded version of reality nor his partys revised version of history.
Reverend Joseph Lowerys reminding that there were no weapons of mass destruction was the first salvo of truth that stripped the Emperor, rendering him buck naked. When Senator Kennedy recalled that the beatitudes of Jesus instructed us to be peacemakers, all of Bushs religious hypocrisy was laid bare. Jimmy Carters remembrance of the wiretapping of Martin Luther King and his family by the government seemed to be a sword of truth that was particularly sharp and difficult to take.
As expected, the funeral had barely ended when the right wing went into hyper mode replete with feigned outrage of the inappropriateness of it all. Listening to Kate OBeirne of CNN calling Jimmy Carter, Our most graciousless ex-president was both laughable and pathetic. The folks at FOX News were seething apoplectics. That America had heard the truth, not just their truth really had their bowels in an uproar.
Our ever amusing and always undecipherable Congressman Harold Ford, Jr., a Democratic contender for the U. S. Senate, contributed this remark about the funeral to the progressive blog, thehuffingtonpost.com: Funerals should not be ceremonies to fabricate a lifes works. The resulting comments posted mostly by Democrats indicate the congressman might be trying to explain his way out of this one for a while. At the least, his choice of words was unfortunate, as the implication seems to be that Mrs. Kings funeral was a contrivance used as a build up to commemorate someone not truly deserving of the tributes.
However, his use of the word fabrication is rather interesting, as the real fabrication lies in the pretense of a candidate who, while running as a Democrat, never misses an opportunity to suck up to and weasel down for Republicans. It is too bad for Tennessee and too bad for the Other America that the congressman can only muster enough courage to criticize those who had enough conviction to tell the truth. Instead of fighting those who personify everything Coretta Scott King stood against all her life, he apparently wants to join them.