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 Martin Luther King, Jr/Condoleezza Rice?

HolidaysSherlyn Meinz
AlienLove Staff Writer

I awoke on Monday, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and turned on my computer, as is my practice. I was stunned and appalled to find that the AOL front page featured a picture of Martin Luther King, Jr. fading into a picture of Condoleezza Rice. Was the message supposed to be that Condoleezza Rice is today’s Martin Luther King, Jr.? Perhaps Ghandi fading into a photo of King Bush will be next image we are expected to swallow. I can think of nothing that Ms. Rice and Mr. King share except being Black or African American (whichever is PC at the moment) and being known around the world…

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As I watched Mrs. Coretta Scott King being interviewed before I went to bed that night, I was again struck by the complete absurdity of it. According to Mrs. King, her husband stood for “the universal, unconditional love, forgiveness and nonviolence that empowered his revolutionary spirit.” His inspiration was M. Ghandi, his philosophy was of non-violent social change and conflict-reconciliation. Mr. King endured threats, beatings, and 29 visits to jail in his attempts to achieve freedom for others. He foresaw that he would end up paying the ultimate price for speaking out, but he kept on marching and protesting nonetheless. Mr. King said in a 1968 sermon, “I won't have any money to leave behind. I won't have the fine and luxurious things in life to leave behind. But I just want to leave a committed life behind. And that's all I want to say. If I can help somebody as I pass along, if I can cheer somebody with a word or song, if I can show somebody he is traveling wrong, then my living will not be in vain."

Now we contrast the person of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Condoleezza Rice, a man of peace and a woman of war.

Ms. Rice made the following statement as she faced the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Tuesday on her nomination for Secretary of State, "Sept. 11, 2001 was a defining moment for our nation and for the world. Under the vision and leadership of President Bush, our nation has risen to meet the challenges of our time: fighting tyranny and terror, and securing the blessings of freedom and prosperity for a new generation." Funny it seems to me that during the Bush Administration we have seen a continual loss of freedom and prosperity in our own country and in Iraq. Personally, I can live without more ‘visions’ like this.

Three cheers for Senator Barbara Boxer from California, who pushed Ms. Rice on issues regarding the Iraq war, feeling that she refuses to acknowledge the deaths that have resulted, and is unwilling to admit to any mistakes by the Administration. Senator Boxer said, “It’s very troubling…It’s hard for me to let go of this war because people are still dying.” The senator also reminded Ms. Rice that the bill passed by Congress that authorized the war, was about “WMD’s, period,” in the face of Ms. Rice’s claims that the war in Iraq was not launched solely for this purpose. Senator Boxer, remarked, “Let’s not rewrite history, it’s too soon for that.”

As we all know, no weapons of mass destruction have ever been found, and the government has pretty much given up on looking. So we started a war with a country that had not attacked us, and the supposed reason for our attack was completely false, but yet the death and destruction goes on, while Mr. Bush tells us that he has a “big agenda in mind” for his second term. The thought leaves me feeling ill. And again I wonder if the re-election of Mr. Bush was fixed, there were certainly innumerable irregularities uncovered, how many were missed altogether? Could the people of this country really have willingly re-elected this man?

On international relations, Ms. Rice stated, “The time for diplomacy is now,” Senator Joseph Biden of Delaware was right on when he responded, "The time for diplomacy is long overdue.” Is the Bush administration really not aware of the damage done to international relations during his tenure? But I guess it’s not really that surprising given our President’s mandate to his underlings to bring him only “good news.” Ignoring that which is unpleasant and uncomfortable, is just denial of reality. So Mr. Bush continues to live within his dream, where he is omnipotent, always right - and his personal power, favors to the wealthy, and progroms for the world are what God wants.

Somehow, no matter what Mr. Bush says in his upcoming inauguration speech, reportedly to focus on uniting America to do his bidding, I don’t think I will be able to share in his dream. In fact, every fiber of my being rejects the twisted reality of where he plans to lead this country.

For more information on Martin Luther King, Jr. and his legacy, visit http://www.thekingcenter.org/

Note: 4 great illustrations by Dennis Cox!

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