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08/08/2010

King's queen vs. NOM's latest knight

by Jeremy Hooper

Coretta Scott King presumably knew her late husband's heart better than anybody else:

CORETTA QUOTES
"I still hear people say that I should not be talking about the rights of lesbian and gay people and I should stick to the issue of racial justice... But I hasten to remind them that Martin Luther King, Jr., said, 'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere' ... I appeal to everyone who believes in Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream to make room at the table of brotherhood and sisterhood for lesbian and gay people."
-March 31, 1998

Like Martin, I don’t believe you can stand for freedom for one group of people and deny it to others", she would tell black civil rights leaders angered by gays and lesbians comparing their struggle to their own. She would quote her husband and say, “I have worked too long and hard against segregated public accommodations to end up segregating my moral concern. Justice is indivisible."
-June 23, 1994

"Gay and lesbian people have families, and their families should have legal protection, whether by marriage or civil union. A constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages is a form of gay bashing and it would do nothing at all to protect traditional marriages."
March 24, 2004

"We have a lot more work to do in our common struggle against bigotry and discrimination. I say "common struggle" because I believe very strongly that all forms of bigotry and discrimination are equally wrong and should be opposed by right-thinking Americans everywhere. Freedom from discrimination based on sexual orientation is surely a fundamental human right in any great democracy, as much as freedom from racial, religious, gender, or ethnic discrimination."
November 9, 2000

"We have to launch a campaign against homophobia in the black community."
June 8, 2001

"Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood. This sets the stage for further repression and violence that spread all too easily to victimize the next minority group."
April 1, 1998

But since Coretta's passing, it's been niece Alveda King, a mere teenager when MLK was tragically assassinated, who's become the most vocal person with that royal surname to profess mental ownership of the family's civil rights legacy. Like she did yesterday in Atlanta, as part of the National Organization For Marriage's summer tour, where she compared same-sex marriage to "genocide":



In Atlanta, a two-faced NOM: songs of unity while trashing same-sex families [NOM Tour Tracker]

Fortunately, almost nobody was in Atlanta to hear Alveda speak (only around 20 people turned out on NOM's side, compared to around 250 for the pro-equality team). But still: Where does NOM (and the rest of the "pro-family" movement) get off putting Ms. Alveda King out there while completely overlooking what Coretta felt so deeply in her bones?! We are talking about a movement that puts man/woman marriage on a pedestal like no other. So why are they so willing to act as if the Kings' marriage was one where husband and wife carried two separate agendas?! Why wouldn't they place the highest of premiums on the late Ms. King's pointed takeaways from her fifteen year marriage to Martin?! Where is the respect for the sanctity of the Kings' bond?!

The answer is of course obvious: The late Coretta Scott King's message to inclusivity runs 100% contrary to that for which NOM stands and fights, so acknowledging it would be at their own organized peril. But okay, fine, whatever. NOM's disingenuous streak of propping up Alveda while wholly forgetting Coretta runs 100% contrary to all logic. The public will not be fooled, even if two handfuls of NOM protesters (in a city of 540,000+) happen to be.

***

*Or when they don't ignore Coretta, they can be downright offensive to her. Check out around the 7:40 mark in the second video, where Alveda discredits Coretta by saying that [paraphrase] "she didn't have Martin Luther King's DNA in her"

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