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Saturday, April 05, 2008

McCain and MLK


McCain's record on MLK should be troubling. Bear with me as I digress some. I always found it odd for their to be opposition to a national MLK holiday. After all, everyone loves another holiday. Especially that results in a day off from work. Politically, you would think it would be a no-brainer. Unless you have racial undertones. While I'm not willing to go that far with McCain, I'm right at that edge. How else to explain his opposition in the past to a federal holiday for MLK. I understand the ire to only give holidays when they are deserved but MLK is one of the very few truly iconic and historically consequential Americans in the 20th century. If making a list of the greatest 20th century "politicians" you would probably have to include Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, MLK, Kennedy, and Reagan. I'm only referring to the best of the best. Even me with my myriad issues with Reagan would not discount his significance on this list. But that's it. It's not like the debate was over some inconsequential third rate "politician" who happened to be black. He was one of the most important figures of the 20th century. To not recognize him would be bad. To fight against recognizing him, well, far be it for me to use bad language but it strikes me at least as being prejudicial.

Here are some McCain "explanations":

McCain: I voted in my first year in congress against it. Then I began to learn. And I studied. And people talked to me. And I not only supported it, but I fought very hard in my own state of Arizona for recognition against a governor who was of my own party. ...

"They never gave us any meaningful news," McCain said. "They told us the day that Martin Luther King was shot, they told us the day that Bobby Kennedy was shot, but they never bothered to tell us about the moon shot. So it was certainly selected news."

The first quote wouldn't be so troubling if he wasn't close to 50 years old when he made it. It wasn't like he was some naive youngster. He was an adult. In fact, he was an older American. We can treat him as the old uncle with racist tendencies if we'd like but I want better from my President. A true leader recognizes right as its occurring, not 20+ years later after "studying" events they lived through. As for the meaningful news, that just reinforces this inability to comprehend the magnitude of what Dr King did. In a just world, this would be 10 times the story the Rev Wright story was for Obama. Sadly, our media doesn't comprehend a just world.

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politics media liberal conservative Democrat Republican McCain MLK race

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