Friday 16 January 2004

Bush Exploits MLK's Grave For Political Fundraiser

They simply have no shame, the Bush Regime gets more arrogant by the minute. For him to use the anniversary of the death of this shining example of humanity is worse than sick. Dr King had more moral courage and eloquence in his little toe than the entire Bush Regime put together! For a rich white-boy to use that great man as a political tool makes me feel physically ill! Haven't we done enough to try and oppress, enslave, kill and maim black people without trying to steal their great leaders as well? The legacy of Martin Luther King belongs to the millions of African Americans who he fought and died for. The present regime cares not one ounce for the ideals or the vision that Dr King represented.

Here's an example of how much the Bush regime and its roaches care about civil rights. I bet you didn't know that in 1986, Cheney voted against a resolution expressing the sense of the House that the President should urge the South African government to engage in political negotiations with the country's black majority, grant immediate and unconditional release to Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners, and recognize the African National Congress (ANC) as a legitimate representative for the black majority. Cheney said he voted against the measure because it would have imposed economic sanctions on South Africa. According to the Washington Post, "Mr. Cheney's response was that he had been opposed to the imposition of economic sanctions on South Africa. But the resolution made no mention of such sanctions." (LINK).

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."1 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."2 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.3

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."

Full story...