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Posts Tagged ‘Dr. Martin Luther King’

As Americans stopped today to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King and ponder his message of freedom for all regardless of race or creed, they soon afterward began using him to score cheap points against each other on all sorts of matters Dr. King likely had no opinions about.

“Americans have to move on from a spirit of racism, which is why I want to end the alternative minimum tax,” said Jesse Stamford of Columbia, S.C. “I know that’s what Dr. King would have thought of as equality.”

“Dr. King fought for the rights of common people, which means the protection of unions and that’s why we at United Auto Workers will not budge in our upcoming talks with Ford,” said union leader Ray Johnstone.

African-American leaders led the way in arguing over the legacy of this great civil rights leader. Al Sharpton said that Dr. King would have found today’s Tea Party a travesty, while others said Dr. King would have certainly agreed with them that no matter what you think of the Tea Party, Al Sharpton is “a showboating political fringe dweller and an embarrassment to all of us,” in the words of Washington, D.C. resident Kim Watkins.

President Barack Obama, weeks after political violence erupted in Arizona, tried to use the occasion to strike a conciliatory tone.

“Dr. Martin Luther King showed what this nation could be if it had more community organizers,” said Obama. “Like me.”

But it wasn’t only politicians piling on. Democrats were quick to say Dr. King would have wanted better health care, while others said Dr. King would want “absolutely no government health care whatsoever.” Gays pointed out King’s history of tolerance while Jesse Jackson said King would have wanted him to be president.

“Also, he showed it’s not that big a deal having a girlfriend on the side,” said Jackson.

Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush said that Dr. King would likely want to give to their charity, while Iranian President Mahmoud Ahjadinejad said that Dr. King would have wanted Iran to have nuclear power.

Dr. King’s message was one of using civil disobedience to achieve the goals of equality and peace. Americans said that message was needed now more than ever as they raised fresh petty political arguments and showed the dissent and discord that is evidently part of human nature.

“I want ice cream!” screamed 8-year-old Beth Marshton of Bryn Mawr, Pa. in the back seat of her parents’ Lexus. “Dr. King would have given me ice cream!”

Dr. King was assassinated in 1968 by a limited, brutish man with some sort of personal agenda of his own.

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