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Old 01-15-2004, 08:15 PM   #1
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Bush's visit to MLK's grave unwelcome...

Hundreds Protest Bush Visit to MLK Tomb

By LOUISE CHU, Associated Press Writer

ATLANTA - Kathy Nicholas had planned to pay quiet tribute Thursday at the tomb of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. So did President Bush. The combination was anything but quiet.

Nicholas was among about 700 people who booed, chanted and beat drums near the typically placid grave site, angry that Bush was there on what would have been the slain civil rights leader's 75th birthday.

"When I heard Bush was coming here I couldn't believe it. I was outraged and disgusted, and I just think it's a photo op. It's so transparent," said Nicholas, a flight attendant who brought a sign that read: "Mr. Bush, May Dr. King's spirit rise up n welcome you, touch you n speak to you."

The protesters pushed past Secret Service barricades. They pounded on the sides of three city buses parked on the street in front of King's tomb to block them from the president's motorcade. Two people were arrested for stepping into the street and refusing to move.

As Bush arrived, the crowd booed and chanted "Bush go home!" He placed a wreath on King's grave before heading to a $2,000-a-plate fund-raiser in Atlanta.

While the protest was loud, no one was injured and the crowd dispersed soon after the president's 15-minute stop.

Bush's visit to observe King's birthday upset some civil rights activists who said the president's policies on Iraq, affirmative action and funding for social services conflict with King's legacy. They also complained that the scheduling conflicted with their own plans to honor King.

"If Dr. King was here today, he'd be protesting too," said Petite Hammonds, a protester from Atlanta.

Officials at the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change, the organization founded by King's widow, said they extended no formal invitation to Bush but accepted his offer to come.

"Out of respect for that office and out of respect for Dr. King, he's coming," said Lynn Cothren, an assistant to Coretta Scott King.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the president's visit was a way to pay tribute to "Dr. King's legacy, his vision and his lifetime of service."

"This is a way to honor a lifetime dedicated to fighting for equal opportunity and equal justice for all people," he said.

King's widow declined to comment on Bush's visit but has been vocal about her opposition to the war in Iraq.

******

Veeeeerrry interesting...

Angela
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Old 01-15-2004, 08:50 PM   #2
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Interesting indeed!
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Old 01-15-2004, 09:16 PM   #3
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Veeery Interesting......

suddenly we have srystal balls and can predict how dead leaders would react to current Presidents.....

Have we forgotten that Dr. King believed that Vice-President Nixon was possibly the better civil rights cqandidate in 1960 and that President Kennedy was just paying him lip service through most of his administration. History backs that up, many times the Kennedy's would not publicly meet with Dr. King and made sure that it did not get out that they had met up with him.

It is sad when a sitting President cannot honor Dr. King without others interjecting politics into it.
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Old 01-15-2004, 10:10 PM   #4
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I agree, Dread. I wouldn't have protested Bush in this capacity. Shouldn't people be glad he wants to honor Dr. King? What if he didn't say anything and just stayed in Washington for his birthday? He would have been criticized like hell. I'm not a Bush supporter but I don't think this is fair.
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Old 01-15-2004, 10:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
Have we forgotten that Dr. King believed that Vice-President Nixon was possibly the better civil rights candidate in 1960 and that President Kennedy was just paying him lip service through most of his administration. History backs that up, many times the Kennedy's would not publicly meet with Dr. King and made sure that it did not get out that they had met up with him.
The irony isn't lost. Michael Moore called Nixon "America's last liberal president." Of course, it is more of a slam on his successors than a reflection on him, but he does mention this as one of his examples.

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Old 01-15-2004, 11:25 PM   #6
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Wow, I never thought I would defend Bush but it looks like I'm about to. I don't see what the big deal is if he wants to visit Dr. King's grave. Maybe he just wants to pay his respects to a great American. Yes, I agree, King probably would not have agreed with a lot of Bush's polices, but it's not exactly like he's Strom Thurmond either. If King's widow declined to comment, maybe others should take the high road as well.
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Old 01-15-2004, 11:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
Veeery Interesting......

suddenly we have srystal balls and can predict how dead leaders would react to current Presidents.....

Have we forgotten that Dr. King believed that Vice-President Nixon was possibly the better civil rights cqandidate in 1960 and that President Kennedy was just paying him lip service through most of his administration. History backs that up, many times the Kennedy's would not publicly meet with Dr. King and made sure that it did not get out that they had met up with him.

It is sad when a sitting President cannot honor Dr. King without others interjecting politics into it.
People always speak for the dead. Haven't you heard someone say "_____ is rolling over in his grave". I'm not saying it's right, but it's not suddenly.

I'm a little torn over this. I don't agree with you that it's sad, but I'm not sure that's the way I would have dealt with the situation. In a way they were following the path layed by MLK, that of non violent protest. I understand where they are coming from, Bush hasn't exactly been the voice for all Americans(but that's a different debate). But I'm not sure if I would have chosen a gravesite to do my protesting.
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Old 01-15-2004, 11:33 PM   #8
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Originally posted by Bono's shades
Wow, I never thought I would defend Bush but it looks like I'm about to. I don't see what the big deal is if he wants to visit Dr. King's grave. Maybe he just wants to pay his respects to a great American. Yes, I agree, King probably would not have agreed with a lot of Bush's polices, but it's not exactly like he's Strom Thurmond either. If King's widow declined to comment, maybe others should take the high road as well.

Agreed. Wrong place, wrong time.
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Old 01-16-2004, 02:25 AM   #9
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MLK would be so proud of Bush

If Martin Luther King saw Bush at his grave today paying homage, MLK would be so proud.

Martin Luther King wanted rights for all people. The women of Afghanistan now know what human rights are thanks to Bush coming to their aid. The people of Iraq who saw hundreds of thousands of their family and countrymen gassed and killed by Saddam, they saw Bush come in and knock Saddam and his evil raping sons out of power. The people of Africa who are afflicted by AIDS are seeing Bush throw $ billions of medical supplies their way.

At home, Bush is continuing to work for equality, MLK would be so proud of Bush. When it came to affirmative-action such as using race to give bonus points to minorities at the University of Michigan, Bush said this practice is wrong. Bush doesn't want blacks to get bonus points just for being black, Bush wants them to be treated like whites, and not get any bonus points at all. Bush said kids should be accepted to college by their merits, not skin color, Bush understands that blacks are just as capable as whites are in the classroom, and blacks don't need bonus points to make up for any inferiorities, since they do not have any.

Bush has also been the president to have the most minorities on his Cabinet and in top positions, and MLK would love to see Bush continue this great track record during his second term.
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Old 01-16-2004, 09:17 AM   #10
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I think this is the real issue. Not Bush stopping to pay homage but using it as a way to not pay to go to his fundraiser.

BUSH EXPLOITS MLK'S GRAVE FOR POLITICAL FUNDRAISER

On last year's Martin Luther King Day, President Bush eloquently honored the memory of Dr. King, saying "I believe [in the] power of his words, the clarity of his vision and the courage of his leadership." This year, however, instead of honoring the legacy of Dr. King, President Bush has decided to use Martin Luther King Day as tool to force the federal government to subsidize a fundraising trip for his re-election campaign.

The New York Times reports that the President "hastily planned" a visit to Dr. King's grave, and then will immediately go to "a $2,000-a-person fundraiser in Atlanta." Even though Bush may spend the majority of his time hobnobbing with donors at the fundraiser, because he will briefly visit Dr. King's grave, he is allowed to deem the entire trip "official" and then bill taxpayers for portions of the huge cost of hotel rooms, rental cars, security, and travel. And those are no small costs - the Washington Post
notes that Air Force One alone costs $57,000 an hour to operate.

Civil rights leaders are outraged at the blatant exploitation of Dr. King's birthday as a tool to force taxpayers to bankroll a political fundraiser. Rev. Timothy McDonald, an organizer of Atlanta's Martin Luther King Day celebrations said, "It's the epitome of insult. He's really coming here for the fundraiser. The King wreath was an afterthought." Despite Bush's platitudes about Dr. King's legacy, he is so focused on his fundraiser - and so neglectful of the Martin Luther King Day celebrations - that he has done little to prevent his visit's security detail from limiting access to a historic black church where a civil rights symposium will be taking place.

In response to Bush's visit, protestors are marching "with bullhorns, signs and thumping drums, shouting for the president to stay away." They say that on top of Bush using Dr. King's grave as pretext for a fundraiser, his policies have directly insulted Dr. King's memory. As Rev. Raphael Allen said, "His administration has never supported anything to help the poor,
education, or children. It's all about isolationism and greed for the upper class. That's not promoting the legacy of Dr. King."
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Old 01-16-2004, 02:40 PM   #11
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Right...so let me understand this.....

year one...he was welcome.
year two he was welcome.
year three he was welcome.

Election year.....piss off....you are making MLK's grave an election year stop....

Right...Who is making it Political?
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Old 01-16-2004, 02:42 PM   #12
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The Department of ABB (anybody but Bush).
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Old 01-16-2004, 02:55 PM   #13
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Originally posted by nbcrusader
The Department of ABB (anybody but Bush).
Is that the same department that can read into a man's soul and determine his motives?
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Old 01-16-2004, 04:14 PM   #14
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Yes, when he's really a snake.


PS Hope that KS is better. Youv've had some bad luck there Dread.
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Old 01-16-2004, 04:45 PM   #15
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i don't get this it all-if it was someone else on the campaign trail, i think there would be a big difference in additude!
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