Friday, July 18, 2008

McCain hearts MLK

Over the years, I've developed this weird tic where I cringe when people - usually conservatives - invoke the name and words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to make a larger point about racial politics or socioeconomic justice.

Not that Dr. King's legacy belongs only to Democrats or liberals. But if Republicans are going to try to convince me they're down for the cause, so to speak, they should try to stay away from Dr. King. It seems like an uninspired pander.

They should mix it up, throw in some James Baldwin, W.E.B. DuBois, or Booker T. Washington or something. Let me know that you're familiar with more black philosophers than the one with a national holiday.

That brings me to Republican presidential nominee John McCain, who recently addressed the NAACP Convention in Cincinnati.

McCain, of all people, recalled that he felt "perhaps even more uncertain and alarmed for my country" when he learned that MLK had been assassinated while he was a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

I guess it was a passing feeling: McCain voted against creating a holiday to honor Dr. King in 1983 and, four years later, supported the Arizona governor's effort to rescind MLK Day as a state holiday. (more on McCain's record regarding the holiday can be found here).

McCain has since apologized for the opposition to the holiday - at least in front of large groups of black people. It's tough to know what he really thinks about MLK and the holiday because McCain never brings him up unless a few brown faces are around.

And that tic I have? Ugh. It was acting up a little as I heard McCain speak the other night. And even as I wrote this. But it's good to know McCain is down with Black Power - just check out the pic above. Or maybe it's the start of a terroristic fist jab.


Stephen said...

Is anyone else getting tired of McCain's constant reminder of being a P.O.W? We get it, you were shot down, capture and held for 5 years. Is that really going to make him a better president? FDR never served a day in captivity and somehow his Presidency is looked on as successful.

blackink said...

Watch it, Steve. You sound like Gen. Wesley Clark or something.

I mean, clearly being a prisoner of war makes you, among other things, a perfect wartime Commander-in-Chief and an expert at foreign policy.

McCain doesn't have to know how to use a computer, or remember that Czechoslovokis doesn't exist anymore, or have to know much of anything about the economy.

He's a "maverick," dammit!

blackink said...

And make that, uh, Czechoslovakia. Slip of the pinky, that was.

Zen said...

I think his reminder about being a POW is a reminder about his service and sacrifice to this country. I'm hoping that neither of you is taking that lightly.

A man puts his life on the line for my freedom, he can talk about it all he wants.

blackink said...

No one is taking McCain's sacrifice for the country lightly. But, again, that's not a qualification for the presidency. At all.

If it were, my father and most male members of my family on both sides would have started campaigning a looooong time ago.