Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Speaking of Class at a Funeral

You might sample this to get a taste of what is appropriate and honorable.

16 comments:

James Elliott said...

Well, then there's this from the master of eloquence, one Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., as an example of how to make a political speech at the funeral.

It's not what was said that has your back up. It's who it was directed to and how it was said. Your assertion that eulogies cannot be political is, well, sad.

Karnick said...

Eulogies certainly CAN be political. However, I think most reasonable people can agree that political speeches have no place in funerals, unless they directly relate to that persons legacy. As the Bush wiretapping and wars in Iraq have little if anything to do with Coretta Scott King's lifelong legacy those words should be saved for CNN.

Hunter Baker said...

I think the example is completely inapposite. Here we have a state funeral in which Mrs. King is being honored to the hilt. The President is not off somewhere ignoring her and her sacrifice. He is there actively honoring and prioritizing her. I question the values that would call for slapping the president in the face under those circumstances.

Tom Van Dyke said...

It should be said that President Dubya was there representing the entire nation.

Had he dragged in Coretta King's support for school vouchers, which are anathema to the Democratic Party, he'd have opened the door to a partisan smackdown.

But he didn't.

Karnick said...

Sorry, for the confusion. I think BUSH's response was entirely honorable and correct. However, I was responding to Mr. Elliot's comment and the comments made by Jimmy Carter and Company at the funeral.

Tlaloc said...

"However, I think most reasonable people can agree that political speeches have no place in funerals, unless they directly relate to that persons legacy. As the Bush wiretapping and wars in Iraq have little if anything to do with Coretta Scott King's lifelong legacy those words should be saved for CNN."

They are both pretty directly connected to their lifetime of work on rights and equality.

The Classic Liberal Anonymous said...

Had he dragged in Coretta King's support for school vouchers, which are anathema to the Democratic Party, he'd have opened the door to a partisan smackdown.


Ahhh ... that passe thing called restraint, aka character.

Tom Van Dyke said...

CLA---There's something to be said for not saying what everybody already knows you could say.

Karnick said...

"They are both pretty directly connected to their lifetime of work on rights and equality."

On this I fear we must agree to disagree. I personally do not see the connection.

Tlaloc said...

"On this I fear we must agree to disagree. I personally do not see the connection."

Fair enough. Put it this way: the Kings were very much peace advocates. Obviously that issue bears on the war.

Tlaloc said...

"Had he dragged in Coretta King's support for school vouchers, which are anathema to the Democratic Party, he'd have opened the door to a partisan smackdown."

Her support of them?
Are you sure?

"She lashed out at private school voucher programs, saying strong public schools are an essential element to American society. "Anything that undermines them does a shameful disservice to children," she said.

She said she has nothing against private schools, but "I see no good reason private schools should be subsidized by taxpayers."

Voucher programs, she said, detract from the real issue: that every public school should be able to provide the best possible education for all children."

She in this case is... you guessed it Coretta King. The speech was from 1999. Doesn't sound like support frankly.

http://www.weac.org/AboutWEA/1999-00/Conven99/coretta.htm

Hunter Baker said...
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Hunter Baker said...
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Tom Van Dyke said...

Altho it was meant only as illustration, I withdraw the remark about Mrs. King, and thank you for the correction. It indeed would have been uncharacteristic of her to stray from accepted opinion.

JC said...

I heard an interesting comment on the radio. Apparently some people feel that while maybe there was a political speech at the funeral, and maybe that is inappropriate, Mr. Bush also made a political statement. Can you guess how?
...
By showing up. Right. The person commenting said essentially that Bush going to the funeral, when of course he would rather be somewhere else because he's Republican and not very popular with black people, was just a political manuever to trick black people into liking him more. I wanted to smack this person, but (logistical difficulties aside) that would have been equally tasteless.

I think political eulogies are inappropriate, regardless of the target. I wouldn't like it if Mr. Bush went to a soldier's funeral and said, "This man died fighting for our country. Too bad some people keep getting in the way of our War on Terror."

Karnick said...

"Fair enough. Put it this way: the Kings were very much peace advocates. Obviously that issue bears on the war."

Ah. I see your point. I still feel that it was unnecessary to bring this up at her funeral. I again stress my belief that a funeral should celebrate her life, not take opportunities to humiliate and degrade a good man (who I personally don't particularly like or agree with). Those comments would have been better made on a political talk show, not a funeral. For example, if I were to die today, and an important part of my legacy had been that I fought hard for democracy in the Middle East and freedom for Iraqis, I wouldn't want a speaker to bash you at my funeral.