While reflecting on the life of Coretta Scott King today, it's occurred to me that many politicians, on both sides of the political aisle, will be tripping all over themselves to issue press releases and fawning statements about Mrs. King.
Bushie has already issued a statement about Mrs. King, and probably has even made a few last minute changes to his State of the Union speech, to include some reference to the civil rights icon, if for no other reason than to try to score political points within the African-American community tonight.
However, what Bushie and all the other politicos need to realize is that while flattering statements about Mrs. King are well deserved on her part, what we need now is action, not words.
You can't praise Martin Luther King's legacy and all that he stood for on one day, and then the next, announce your Administration's opposition to the University of Michigan Affirmative Action Program, as Bushie did several years ago.
You haven't earned the right to speak about the honor of Coretta Scott King, when you nominate a Supreme Court Justice like Samuel Alito, who was against everything that Mrs. King stood for.
And you certainly haven't earned the right to pay tribute to Coretta Scott King, or the civil rights movement as a whole, when you continue to ignore the widening gap between the rich and the poor, or the disparity between the African-American and Caucasian unemployment rates.
We need action, not words.
Sadly, Democrats are challenged in this area, too. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said "On some positions, cowardice asks the question, is it expedient? And then expedience comes along and asks the question, is it politic? Vanity asks the question, is it popular? Conscience asks the question, is it right? There comes a time when one must take the position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must do it because conscience tells him it is right."
The Democrats (particularly the Red State Dems) who either agreed to cloture, or voted in favor of Samuel Alito, haven't really earned the right today to speak about Coretta Scott King today, either. Because they did not heed Dr. King's admonishment. They displayed the ultimate act of political cowardice, either voting for cloture (or in some cases, for Samuel Alito) because of the political backlash they feared from the Republican Party.
We need action, not words!