They came not to bury politics but to practice it, says Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell of the Coretta Scott King obsequies in Atlanta. "No one says a mean word at a funeral. Even gang-bangers hold their anger until the casket is removed from the sanctuary." But it didn't work that way this time.
[I]t was selfish and embarrassing to see so many . . . dignitaries use her funeral as their bully pulpits.At a political gathering, it's fair game to criticize the president.But it was tacky and disrespectful for anyone to launch into a political attack at a funeral.
Rev. Joseph Lowery, for instance:
"We know there were no weapons of mass destruction [in Iraq]," he said. "We know there are weapons of misdirection right down here," Lowery taunted.
And Jimmy Carter, who "also got in his jabs, criticizing the Bush administration's slow response to Hurricane Katrina victims. 'We only have to recall the color of the faces of those in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi to know that inequality existed,' he said."
Neither was Mitchell impressed with him who has been acclaimed the first black president: "As often occurs when Former President Bill Clinton shows up, black folks acted as if he had emancipated the slaves."
"You used to know what to expect at a funeral," she says. People "are not there to gawk. They have some connection to the family and they are there to help the relatives bear their grief."
"If politicians and civil rights leaders wanted to call Bush out," she concludes, "they should have called him at the White House."