Sunday, March 05, 2006

Dr. Martin Luther King "Stood For" Childkilling and "Gay Marriage"??!! Thoughts on Odd African-American Ultraliberalism (E.g., Harry Belafonte)

I found this tidbit in a commentary about the funeral of Coretta Scott King, the widow of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., on a website called The Black Commentator. The writer is Dr. Donald H. Smith: Associate Provost and Professor (Emeritus), Bernard M. Baruch College, the City University of New York. Bolded emphases are added.

*****

"Bishop" Eddie Long, in whose New Birth Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia where Mrs. King's funeral was held is typical of the increasing number of money driven Black preachers. It is a cruel irony that the funeral was held in Long's church rather than Ebenezer where Coretta Scott King was a member, where Dr. King was pastor and where his funeral was held. Preacher Eddie Long is the very antithesis of what Dr. King and his wife, Coretta, stood for. In 2004, Bishop Long led a demonstration in Atlanta to the tomb of Dr. King to protest a woman's right to choose and to denounce the right of individuals to marry persons of the same sex. Among the thousands of supporters who marched with preacher Long was Dr. King's daughter, Bernice, a minister at New Birth. Instead of the social justice and freedom advocated by the Kings, preacher Long endorses the conservative mandates of the Republican government. Coretta Scott King opposed the march, and reaffirmed her stance for human rights and social justice.
I don't spend much time here chronicling the utter silliness of standard politically far left liberal fare these days, but this was simply irresistible. Dr. Smith, of course, had to also go after President Bush, who attended the funeral (insincerely, of course, so we are told):

. . . in the case of the present president, Black voters must not be fooled. We must not be deceived by President Bush's decision to go to Atlanta. A president whose government allowed thousands of people, mostly Black, to suffer without food or water, without medications, to die in New Orleans and the Gulf states; . . . a president whose elections were stolen by disenfranchising Black voters in Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004; a president whose budgets have made savage cuts for education and health; a president who has appointed two justices to the Supreme Court who are likely to overturn Roe v. Wade, a woman's right to choose, and who are likely to attempt to return America to the pre- Brown days of overt racism and disenfranchisement; a president who defends the right to invade personal privacy; and a president who sends our young men and women to die in an immoral and illegal war, is no friend of people of African descent.
Wow. I don't waste much time commenting on this sort of empty rhetoric. I simply expose it once in a while, as it is valuable to simply note how far left and irrational some of our fellow Americans have become. But wait! Before I take leave of Dr. Smith, I must note that he had to even take a shot at Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI:

As I listen to the oratory and read the writings and statements of the religious leaders of the Black Faith-based Initiatives, I recall the social doctrines of the late Pope John Paul II. The Polish Pope John Paul II silenced and excommunicated priests who espoused liberation theology of social justice to the poor of Latin America. Interestingly, Pope John Paul II had been elected Pope after his predecessor, a more liberal Italian Pope John Paul I, mysteriously fell ill and died one month after installation. Not incidentally, the architect of the harsh social doctrines of Pope John Paul II was the present German Pope Benedict XVI . . .

When Pope John Paul II visited New York City in 1979, my teaching schedule allowed me to listen to every major televised address he gave in the city: St. Paul's Cathedral, Yankee Stadium, Shea Stadium. Of special significance was the outdoor address he gave in Harlem. His Harlem message was to live a good Christian life and prepare for the next life. There was no hint of urging resistance to the oppression of racism and its effects in education, employment, health, housing and political participation.

Complicity with brutal dictatorships and the use of religion to attempt to silence resistance is the model for present day Faith-based Initiatives and their self-serving innovators in Black pulpits. President Bush and his paid friends in Black pulpits are the enemies of the Black masses.
Okay, sure; right . . . I will merely note that it is fascinating how Dr. Smith utterly ignores what the late pope did to effect the downfall of Communism in Eastern Europe. Instead, we hear about how he suppressed half-Communist "Catholic" ideologies in Central America. Classic tunnel-vision, blind-to-social reality liberalism . . . . .

It is encouraging and heartening, at least, to observe that some significant portions of the African-American community have become morally consistent and have shown concern for the rights of preborn children to be able to live at all. One would think that black people, above all, would have an especial compassion and empathy for fundamental human rights of this nature (many aborted children being black themselves), but alas, it is not the case for many.

Instead, what we see is a widespread chilling callousness and moral atrophy, which might be summarized by a little proverb I coined myself, some 21 years ago: "The liberalism of death is the death of liberalism." In other words, liberalism is supposed to be about concern for the well-being and rights of the "little guy." Indeed, I would readily grant that this is largely how it used to be (at least in its more centrist manifestations, and among the common Democratic people), with legitimate concerns about civil rights, labor unions (along the lines of Pope Leo XIII's encyclical Rerum Novarum) and so forth.

But no longer. Once liberals threw their support behind childkilling, this noble, quite Catholic aspect of liberalism died, and hence, liberalism with it, because it has contradicted its self-understood fundamental principles. How can one go, after all, from protecting the little guy to sanctioning legal murder of the littlest guys (and girls) and claim to be withholding the same principles as before? It's morally and logically impossible.

Whether Dr. King would have moved far left had he lived is an interesting hypothetical to think about. Sadly, if we are to judge by the leftward movement of his own wife, and civil rights figures and King colleagues such as Jesse Jackson (who used to be pro-life), Congressman John Owen, and Rev. Joseph Lowery, co-founder with Dr. King of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, it is reasonable to (sadly) opine that he would have (including, quite possibly, support for child torture - partial birth infanticide and other hideous forms of abortion - and genocide of the preborn child and all the rest of the immoral Democratic policy positions).

Yet we cannot know for sure. His best friend, Rev. Ralph Abernathy (as I recall) moved to the right, supporting President Reagan in some ways, but met with ferocious opposition and had to relent a bit. This is the lot of every black person who dares to think out of the "liberal plantation box" set for the community by its so-called mainstream "leaders" (all very liberal, of course). Hence the vicious smear campaign against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and more recently, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

On that score, I rather like what blogger "DKelSmith" wrote. He is an African-American who is a Democrat and self-described liberal (albeit "centrist" in some ways), He wrote on 14 August 2005:

Recently Harry Belafonte blasted blacks in George Bush's higher administration as being "tyrants". He earlier raised eyebrows by stating that Colin Powell was a House Negro. Other well known people such as Al Sharpton have labeled any people who align themselves with the Republican Party, or with conservative ideals as being black in physical characteristic only. As if, there is some litmus test of socio-political thought that allows you to be a card-carrying member of the black race. I myself am a Democrat, and I am more of a centrist on issues. But, overall when it comes to social issues I consider myself to be liberal. I have no problem calling myself liberal, and it irks me when people rename themselves as "progressives" to avoid the "scourge of being declared a liberal". I recognize the ebb and flow of political and cultural tides here in the United States, and I remember when the Republicans were the minority party, the idea of being conservative was synonymous with backward, stilted thought, therefore I see no reason to hold true to your ideals no matter what.

What I do have a problem with is the notion that Black Republicans are thought of as being anything but black. When you look at powerful people such as Condoleeza Rice, Colin Powell, and Clarence Thomas you can't help but to admire the great things that they hae accomplished in their life, regardless of whether or not you agree with them. Yet, these people find themselves denigrated in a more harsh manner by people of their own race as if they are somehow race traitors. I suppose the notion is, "You are black, why don't you think like the rest of us?" Usually my exasperation over the notion that blacks are a monolithic, multi-organism yet single thought race is reserved for white people. I had a good friend ask me once, "What do black people think about Condoleeza Rice being named to Colin Powell's former post?" I said, "Hell I don't know what 'black people think', but personally I think it is historic for an African-American woman to take the post of a high office immediately after an African-American male had the same position." Immediately I think he realized the mistake he made and sort of dropped the subject.

. . . At no time would I ever tell a person that they were or were not black because of how they vote, where they and if they go to worship, their sexuality, their socio-economic level, or even if they have had brushes with the law. I suppose that is the vaunted open-mindedness that we liberals talk about, but we should apply that liberalism across the board, not simply when it suits us.
Physicist and social commentator Mano Singham's article, The later Martin Luther King, noted changes in emphasis in Dr. King's post-1964 viewpoints, focusing on an increased class and economic analysis of race relations and racial discrimination in America (a bit closer to the rhetoric of earlier Malcolm X, but still peaceful non-violent resistance). But he mentions not a word about abortion or the homosexual controversy.

I'd like to think that Dr. King had a lot more sense than that, and that he could have persuaded many African-Americans to avoid falling into the far-left trap and advocacy of childkilling and the forsaking of the very notion of traditional marriage, since so much of what he preached was true and noble. Much misery in the community he loved could have been avoided, had that been the case. Malcolm X, had he lived, almost certainly would have opposed abortion and "gay marriage."

Instead, we have figures from the classic Civil Rights days, such as Harry Belafonte (whose music I love), who called President Bush "the greatest terrorist in the world" in Caracas, Venezuela, while meeting with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, according to an Associated Press report. WorldNetDaily provided a fuller quotation:

No matter what the greatest tyrant in the world, the greatest terrorist in the world, George W. Bush says, we're here to tell you: Not hundreds, not thousands, but millions of the American people ... support your revolution.
In the same article, account is given of Belafonte defending his remarks:

"So when I make my remarks, they may stir up controversy," Belafonte continued, "but then it's time to talk about new definitions, new points of view."

The reporter then asked Belafonte, "Some (of your comments) are a little over the top, you must admit?"

"Over whose top?" he replied.

The reporter clarified that the comments were regarded as "pretty outrageous."

"Outrageous?" Belafonte exclaimed, adding, "of course" he was only being "truthful," not outrageous.
Yes, of course. The above-cited Mano Singham heard Belafonte speak shortly after the funeral, and reported:

He again called Bush a terrorist and added "traitor" as well.
How quaint and intellectually impressive. Belafonte spoke at Duke University on 15 January 2006, offering further gems of stellar, gleaming insight:

It is an act that has driven fear and terror into the hearts of the American people. What is the essential difference in quality of our humanity for those who would do the cruel and tragic deed of flying an airplane into a building and killing 3,000 innocent Americans and those who would lie and lead the nation into a war that has killed hundreds of thousands? Excuse me, fellow citizens, if the line for me becomes a little blurred.
Belafonte noted how Rev. King was called "a Communist, a rabble-rouser, a discontent" and that Nelson Mandela was described as "a terrorist and a Communist and a man who was a danger to democracy . . . Many have been called many names."


Castro enthusiast and master folksinger Harry Belafonte at Duke University, excoriating President Bush as morally indistinguishable from Bin Laden and other planners and perpetrators of 9-11.

That's right; so why not add to the list of silly accusations and name-calling by calling President Bush names and making him out to be worse than Bin Laden and the real terrorists? If you are playing the fool already, why not add hypocrisy to the list of your transgressions: intellectual and moral?

In another interview around 30 January 2006, this virtual sage and prophet for our time stated:

I call President Bush a terrorist. I call those around him terrorists, as well: Condoleezza Rice, Rumsfeld, Gonzales in the Justice Department, and certainly Cheney. I think all of these men sit - and women - sit in the midst of an enormous conspiracy that has been unraveling America for the last eight years -- six years. It is tragic that the dubious way in which this president acquired power should have begun to unravel the Constitution and the peoples of this country.

. . . I think that every person in the United States of America should be up in arms, should be up in rebellion against the reality that we face, that it is that fact that made me say that I think and I feel that we are at the dawnings of a new Gestapo state here in the United States, through the security - Securities Commission and through the Homeland Security, as well – National Security Agency.
One tires of this droning leftist obscurantism and easy acceptance of the most appalling propaganda and lies (and - not least - injustice). I wondered what Belafonte thought of Fidel Castro? After about ten seconds on Google, I found this interesting report, dated 6 May 2003, itself citing an article in the Wall Street Journal:

Many people know Danny Glover as the genial salesman on evening television pushing MCI long distance telephone services. It's less well known that Mr. Glover is a big fan of Fidel Castro. To prove it, he and Harry Belafonte and another 160 or so ''artists and intellectuals'' have just signed a declaration of support for the Cuban regime.

Published on May 1 in Cuba's government newspaper, Granma, the statement says: ''Today there is a tough campaign against a Latin American nation. The harassment of Cuba could serve as an excuse for an invasion.'' The document supported Fidel's May Day warning to the Cuban people against President Bush's ''Nazi'' aggression.

Ever since the March jailing of 77 writers and political dissidents and Cuba's firing squad execution of three young black men, Castro's international fan club has been shrinking. Portuguese Nobel-Prize winning writer Jose Saramago broke with his longtime friend and ideological ally. Fifty prominent Spanish artists, including film director Pedro Almodovar and philosopher Fernando Savater, denounced the regime's practices. Writer Susan Sontag not only pronounced Fidel a lost cause but said that Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez's silence about it all is ''unpardonable.'' Mr. García Marquez didn't answer Ms. Sontag, but he did add his name to Mr. Glover's declaration of support.
Humberto Fontova, in an article in the online Human Events (10 August 2005) hits the nail on the head:

A few years ago Belafonte was asked about his friend Fidel Castro. Here's a "Cuban leader" (the term used by the late Peter Jennings) who jailed more political prisoners as a percentage of population than Hitler or Stalin. Here's a "Cuban Premier" (as Barbara Walters prefers) who executed more political prisoners in his first year in power than Hitler did in his first five. Here's a "Cuban President" (Dan Rather's term) who jailed or executed any union official, journalist, or political opponent who uttered a peep against him.

"If you believe in freedom!" Belafonte quickly replied. "If you believe in justice, if you believe in democracy - you have no choice but to support Fidel Castro!" (Fidel: Hollywood's Favorite Tyrant, p.11 [book written by the writer])

. . . The "liberation" Castro sought in October 1962 for the people crowding pastor Butts' church, for Charles Rangel's constituents, and indeed for Charles Rangel and pastor Butts himself, was in the form of nuclear incineration. "If the missiles had remained," Che Guevara admitted in November of 1962. "We would have used them against the heart of the U.S., including New York. We must attain victory even if it costs millions of atomic victims." (Fidel: Hollywood's Favorite Tyrant, p. 24)

Che T-shirts have always been very popular with "peace activists."

The People's Weekly World describes Castro's Harlem visit [in 1995] best: "The audience which included New York Democratic representative Charles Rangel enthusiastically greeted the Communist leader with a ten minute standing ovation. Chants of 'FIDEL! FIDEL! VIVA-FIDEL!' resounded from the rafters."

Then with Rep. Maxine Waters looking on in rapture, a beaming Charlie Rangel waddled up to the podium beside the Great One himself and - oomph! - engulfed him in a mighty bear hug. Castro finally caught his breath, smiled and returned the rotund senator's passionate abrazo. The following day Castro was feted in the Bronx at "Jimmy's Bronx Cafe," where Rep. Rangel again embraced him warmly to a wild cacophony of claps, whoops and cheers.

Eusebio Penalver might quibble with Harry, Jesse and Charlie. He's the longest-serving black political prisoner of the 20th century. A black Cuban, he was holed up and tortured in Castro's jails longer than Nelson Mandela languished in South Africa's. Mr Penalver was bloodied in his fight with Communism but unbowed for 30 years in its dungeons. "N**ger!" taunted his jailers. "Monkey! We pulled you down from the trees and cut of your tail!" snickered Castro's goons as they threw him in solitary confinement.

. . . Through 30 years of hell in Castro's dungeons, Eusebio Penalver stood tall, proud and defiant

Ever heard of him? He lives in Miami. Ever see a CNN interview with him? Ever see him on "60 Minutes"? Ever read about him in the New York Times? The Boston Globe? Ever hear about him on NPR or during Black History Month? Ever hear the NAACP or Congressional Black Caucus mention him?

Why do I bother asking? He was Castro's political prisoner, you see. And as we all know, with the Mainstream Media, that doesn't count. Today Castro's police bar black Cubans from tourist areas and 80 percent of Castro's prison population is black. Cuba's most prominent political prisoner, Elias Biscet, is black (I won't bother asking if you've heard of him). And exactly .08 percent of Cuba's Communist rulers are black.

In other places they called this "apartheid," and Harry, Jesse and Charlie ranted and railed against it, as they rant against President Bush today. But regarding a tropical Stalinist and major league racist, they do a quick thumbs up and shout themselves hoarse with "Viva Fidel!" What happened to "We Shall Overcome?"
I mailed notice of this article to Donald H. Smith, "KDelSmith", and Mano Singham, letting them know that they were most welcome to come comment here.


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