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McCain Apologizes for Opposing MLK Holiday

By Michael D. Shear
Sen. John McCain apologized Friday for opposing a federal holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr. as he honored the slain civil rights leader at the hotel where he was assassinated 40 years ago.

In a speech outside the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, McCain said he was "slow ... to give greatness its due" before eventually supporting a state MLK holiday in Arizona.

"I was wrong and eventually realized that, in time to give full support for a state holiday in Arizona," he said. "We can all be a little late sometimes in doing the right thing, and Dr. King understood this about his fellow Americans."

McCain recalled hearing of King's death from his prison in Vietnam, where his captors allowed only bad news to be heard.

"The enemy had correctly calculated that the news from Memphis would deeply wound morale, and leave us worried and afraid for our country," he said. "Doubtless it boosted our captors' morale, confirming their belief that America was a lost cause, and that the future belonged to them."

But McCain said King's legacy would prove his captors wrong. "The cause of Dr. King was bigger than any one man, and could not be stopped by force of violence. Struggle is rewarded, in God's own time. Wrongs are set right and evil is overcome," he said.

With the speech, McCain neared the end of a week-long biography tour aimed at reminding voters of his personal history.

By Web Politics Editor  |  April 4, 2008; 12:17 PM ET
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Next: Mark Penn Apologizes for Colombian Trade Meeting


there is the professional world of warcraft power leveling here. welcome.

Posted by: jimelyyes | May 3, 2008 1:56 AM | Report abuse

i personally wouldn't have stood there in the rain to listen to a damn thing he had to say. what a waste of time; life's too short.

***HE'S TOO OLD!!!!***

the only sane choice is OBAMA '08--the PEOPLE'S PRESIDENT!

**long live the spirit of martin l. king, jr.**

Posted by: caligirl1 | April 5, 2008 12:41 AM | Report abuse

It takes a big man to admit he's wrong.

(1) Apology to Falwell for calling him an agent of intolerance by kissing his ring

(2) Apology for opposing Pan's desire to torture with a recent vote

(3) Apology for opposing voodoo economics tax cuts by embracing them

Big man indeed!

Rock solid principle at play (I want to be President)

Posted by: R49Thomas | April 5, 2008 12:34 AM | Report abuse

Note: This is my life story and this case is on-going...they will not drop the charges and my trial is Sept. 4th, 2008. I scored a 1250 on my SAT, was in college, I come from a two-parent home, have no children, and have no criminal record. DO NOT TELL ME RACISM IS GONE. DO NOT TELL ME THAT THIS STORY IS FAKE. I HAVE ALL DOCUMENTATION. I AM FACING 5 YRS IN PRISON FOR A CRIME THAT I DID NOT COMMITT. WHITE, RACIST, POLICE OFFICERS NOT ONLY ARRESTED ME FOR DRUGS THAT I NEVER POSSESSED, THEY LIED ON THE POLICE REPORT IN ORDER TO CHARGE ME. MY STORY IS NOT AN EXCEPTION I FEAR, BUT THE RULE. WAKE UP. E-MAIL ME @

On December 13th, 2006 James Lewis, 24 of Pittsburgh, was headed over to his friend's house located in the 800 block of Mellon St. That day, he was going there to play a video game, but before he could make it inside of the apartment to play, he was harassed. It turns out that he would never fully make it to his destination because, as fate would have it, he was arrested by the Pittsburgh Police for a crime he never committed. As he was waiting to be let into the apartment, 4 police officers in a marked cruiser drove past the residence, then stopped and backed up because they saw a Black male standing outside alone looking nervous, or so they say. The officers then jumped out of the police car with guns drawn on him, because the arresting officer claimed he saw a "bulge" in his sweatpants, from street level in a passing vehicle. James did have a gun on his waist but, someone and something had given him a licence to carry that gun, The Allegheny County Sheriff's Office and more importantly, the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution gave him the licence to carry that gun. Anyhow, the police unlawfully detained him, they patted him down, they groped him in private places, and then when the information came back that he was clean, they knew exactly what they were going to do next. The main officer, after telling the young man that he can leave once his personal information checked out properly, then slid over to a row of garbage cans located outside of the apartment building. He opened one of the garbage cans and strangely, as if guided by prior knowledge or a premonition, reached barely into the first garbage he checked, only to produce a plastic bag, a bag which police said had contained 4.5 grams of heroin. If properly tested, the bag would show no evidence of Mr. Lewis' fingerprints, or even a trace of his DNA. James had never seen heroin before; James had never possessed heroin for a moment that day; James had never purchased heroin before in his life; James had never intended to deliver heroin to anyone. Regardless of those facts, the police were about to prove to everyone that, the fact that you are innocent means nothing much, when the police are planting drugs on you.

When the officer asked him if the drugs were his, Mr. Lewis plainly said that they were not, and that he had no knowledge of the drugs being there in the garbage. The response obviously fell on deaf ears because, after he emphatically and truthfully denied having possession of the drugs, they picked him up and placed handcuffs onto his wrists, as if what he said hadn't mattered. What the police officers didn't realize, is that their actions were being watched by two other pairs of eyes. Malcom Seay, 25 of Pittsburgh, was in a car across the street along with Mark Bullitt, 24 of Pittsburgh, who were both closely watching what was happening. Malcolm is James' cousin, and he had actually drove him over there to see if his friend was willing to set up a tournament in the video game they were supposed to play. Malcolm had never left the scene because he realized that his cousin never got into the building, since the police had pulled guns out on him and had stopped him for at least 5 minutes already. The police were doing this to him as though there was no one watching. Luckily, someone was there to witness the severe miscarriage of justice that was about to take place. In the initial police report, the officer said that they stopped Mr. Lewis, first because he "looked nervous", then because he had a "bulge" in his waist. The police officer later testified in court that, the reason that Mr. Lewis was stopped is because as the police were driving by, he claims that they saw Mr. Lewis walk up to those garbage cans, pull a plastic bag out of his pocket, and while staring at the marked police vehicle, swiftly placed the drugs inside of the garbage and walked up the stairs to a door he couldn't get into. James was charged with possesion of a controlled substance, that he did not possess; James was charged with intent to deliver a controlled substance, that he did not possess. James had never seen heroin before; James had never possessed heroin for a moment that day; James had never purchased heroin before in his life; James had never intended to deliver heroin to anyone. Regardless of those facts, the police were about to prove to everyone that, the fact that you are innocent means nothing much, when the police are planting drugs on you.

By committing the crime of perjury and swearing to false testimony on a police report, the officers have shown that the police can and will lie in order to gain an arrest or a conviction. The police knew that James had never possessed drugs that night and, they also knew that he had a legal licence to carry a weapon. They knew that James had never been in trouble with the law before; They knew that James had a legal weapon that was registered in his name; They knew that James was a college student on his way to his friend's house to play PlayStation; They also knew that if they can plant drugs on him, and charge him for it, then they can arrest a man that had never been arrested before, and have him face a minimum mandatory 5 year prison sentence for something that he never did before. Now they can finally get him into the system, not as the law abiding citizen that he's been for 24 years, but as a potentially dangerous criminal and accused drug dealer. James Lewis never had a criminal past. James was a counselor for a church's day camp for 3 years. James was a tutor and mentor to young children in inner city communities. James was a SAT Prep tutor and an assistant to the Prof. of English at CCAC. James was not a drug dealer. What does this mean to us??? This is an example of how, even by doing the right things in life, and by not involving yourself with dealers and pushers, the police can lie on you and accuse you of a crime that you didn't commit, and a crime they don't have to prove actually took place. What about all the young black men who have jobs, who go to school, who take care of their families??? What kind of message is this to those people who we want to stay on the straight and narrow?. James is facing 5 years in prison for something that he never did. James had never seen heroin before; James had never possessed heroin for a moment that day; James had never purchased heroin before in his life; James had never intended to deliver heroin to anyone. Regardless of those facts, the police were about to prove to everyone that, the fact that you are innocent means nothing much, when the police are planting drugs on you.

Posted by: RacismInAmerica08 | April 5, 2008 12:17 AM | Report abuse

whatmeregister- Believe me when I tell you, I almost wish I had been slaving for a Master, rather than being screwed over by most of my previous Employers who treated me like some expendable POS they could just flush away whenever it suited them. The modern Masters have ZERO loyalty to their modern Peons.

THEN, while yopu are espousing Socialism sooo loudly-Consider the plight of NYC Blacks who were NEVER Slaves. :-/

Then, be sure to talk trash about George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin and almost every other Founding Father! :-(

LOL, I have to wonder how much Slave Labor built some of those Historical homes in Philly and DC!

Olive7652000-You seem to be made of the same nobel values the Yellow Rose contributed for this State, that is part of this Country now! Thanks! :-)

Posted by: rat-the | April 4, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

The only National Holidays ought to be: The 4th of July, and Memorial Day.

Posted by: tucanofulano | April 4, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

In this country there ought to be no more than 2 National Holidays: 4th of July, and Memorial Day. The rest are days off featherbedding.

Posted by: tucanofulano | April 4, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

other the other = of the other

Posted by: JakeD | April 4, 2008 7:51 PM | Report abuse


Perhaps because only McCain's speech was newsworthy? Barack HUSSEIN Obama didn't even bother showing up in MEMPHIS to deliver his speech. Are you sure that neither other the other candidate's speeches are available anywhere on the WaPo website?

Posted by: JakeD | April 4, 2008 7:47 PM | Report abuse


Why hasn't the Washington Post downloaded Mrs. Hillary Clinton's and Mr. Barack Hussein Obama, Jr.'s speaches regarding Mr. King. I believe they both gave "speaches" regarding Mr. King today? Where is the Fair and Balanced coverage

Posted by: olive7652000 | April 4, 2008 7:33 PM | Report abuse

RE: rat-the

Right On, Right On. I am a Conservative, Repulican who happens to be Black & Female...please do not refer to me as "African American" There is nothing "African" about me except for my hair which I get relaxed every six weeks..

I was born and raised in rual U.S.A. and proud of my excellent education and all of the possiblities this country has to offer.

I AGREE with rat-the....Right On, Right On!!!

Posted by: olive7652000 | April 4, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

McCain is such a liar. His flip flopping makes Romney and Kerry look like pikers.

Posted by: school_is_in_session | April 4, 2008 7:23 PM | Report abuse

The comments I read here leveled at Sen McCain, while of course not racist, come from the same part of the brain. You people who so easily and viciously lash out, are the same type people Dr. King was so against. He would be ashamed. So much for Dems being the "compassionate ones".

Posted by: mmourges | April 4, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

rat-the: "Yes, the business owners went through great efforts to educate and train their investments like a race Horse owner would a Champion Race Horse!"

What's wrong with your brain? They were people, not investments. People whose children were taken and sold off as property. People who could lose their spouses at the whim of their "owners." People who were whipped and worked half to death while their masters collected the profits from their efforts.


I amend my earlier post. Most of those who owned slaves should not have been merely dispossessed; they should have been executed like the war criminals at Nuremburg, and their estates given to those blacks who actually earned that property. A person who would find nothing wrong in owning another person is a monster, period.

And yes, I do own a dog. It's ironic that she is more human than you seem to be.

Posted by: whatmeregister | April 4, 2008 6:16 PM | Report abuse

This reads like a McCain campaign press release not a WaPo report.

Posted by: jhbyer | April 4, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

jkallen001, thank you for an informative post. The absurd overreaction to the clips is, I hope, a symptom of a competitive Dem campaign and not reflective of the priorities of voters. The truth like you posted is excellent to bring out.

Posted by: jhbyer | April 4, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

whatmeregister-Do you "Own" a Pet? A Horse, Dog or Cat?

Do you senselessly BEAT them?

I'd doubt it! You probably try to care for them as best you can. After all, they are YOURS!

Yes, the business owners went through great efforts to educate and train their investments like a race Horse owner would a Champion Race Horse!

Ever hear about the 40 Acres and a Mule? There were no Blacks left abandoned! There were people who needed their trained Cotton Gin Workers who were! Shop operators who lost their Clerks. And many other Businesses who needed the Blacks that ran off with their 40 Acres waiting in their newly founded Black Communities on their new mule!

As far as some Idiots in East Texas-Idiots are in abundance, and it could easily have been Drug related!

Again, tell me about the Yellow Rose-If you know the first thing about Texas History!

Posted by: rat-the | April 4, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

rat-the: "Then, as I said, I am in Texas. What do you all know about the Yellow Rose of Texas? Where is Her Day? ;~)"

Why should we honor a state that has people in it that would chain a black man to their pickup truck and drag him to his death? I'm guessing they were friends of yours.

Posted by: whatmeregister | April 4, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

rat-the: "Before there was Jim Crow, there were "CarpetBaggers". After the destruction of the South, the business owners who desperately needed their skilled Workers, were betrayed and abandoned by them. They we then badly victimized by opportunistic Sharks who made them pay in spades.

"Decades pass. The Segregated Communities of the Whites and the Blacks went two distinctly different directions. Bitter resentment flowed through the Whites about how they were previously betrayed and what they had to do to recover their Communities."

rat-the, until now I thought you were a clever if sometimes clueless poster who generally was still someone with a bit of intelligence. But the above statement is one of the most stupid things I have ever seen posted on these boards, and that's saying a lot. According to you, somehow the Southern white folks were victimized by the freeing of the slaves. Those ungrateful blacks up and left the whites helpless simply because they had been whipped and beaten and had their families broken up to be sold. At least the six million who were chained in ship holds and died on the voyage over weren't around to make the po' white angels feel bad by abandoning them as well, eh?

Seriously, you are a racist moron of the worse stripe if you believe one word of what you wrote in that post. What person in their right mind would willingly stay in the same community as their former slavemasters, especially when they weren't wanted in the first place? Of COURSE the blacks and white separated after slavery--the whites violently drove them out into squater communities on the fringes of most Southern towns. The only ones who stayed were those who had no resources to enable them to relocate.

And why exactly were those whites so badly off after the blacks left? Why didn't they possess any skills of their own? If we go by your argument, all the whites were unskilled, lazy and incompetent and the blacks were the real workers and craftsmen. I guess those former slaves should have just laid in their beds on their whipscarred backs every night giving thanks to God that those kind white folks had helped teach them marketabke skills.

The only betrayal to occur in the Reconstruction South was to the concept of justice. By all rights, every white slaveowner should have been tossed out of their homes and into the gutter, and their homes and lands given to those slaves and descendants of slaves whose sweat and blood and toil had built up those properties in the first place. Not one cent earned by the efforts of anyone who had been in chains should have been left in the hands of the monsters who shackled them. The Southern whites you idolize weren't betrayed in any way, shape or form--those worthless bastards should have been dispossessed and driven into the wilderness to wander forever.

Posted by: whatmeregister | April 4, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

McCain is only pandering for votes. Why now apologize when he has had many years to do so?
You don't really think he is sorry, do you?
Please, anyone can see thru this phoney
apology. The man was laughing as he was apologizing. Anyone with the GOP will do just about anything to keep the White House in November.

Posted by: joeykovac | April 4, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

OHHHH LOL! People's thinks I'hs Ignorant!

Joke's on all of you!

I know only way too well the score-MORE SO than almost any of you!

I grew up in HOUSTON. My Family operated an Industrial Hiring Hall. Want a real lecture about the Streets of Houston? From a Kid who grew up around the Street's Victims? Who grew up dealing with a Police force that would throw a Hand-Cuffed Joe Campos Torres off the Buffalo Bayou Bridge. About the Pea Farm? The Ship Channel, and the Long-Shore environment it brought with it?

Trust me.

I could write BOOKS!

Funny thing though. I never really encountered open Racism, until I got to Slave-free Los Angeles. Those nice folks in Watts, dragging a White guy out of his Truck and stoving in his Head with a fire Extinguisher during another one of their cursed Riots was very edifying!

JUST because he was White! :-(

Then, Obasama's Dad, was very happy to voluntarily COME Here!

McCain-Should NEVER have apologized for not wanting to commemorate a Day for GARBAGE like this to keep getting perpetuated!

MY Irish ancestors were Indentured Servants(Slaves). WE got over it! I am NOT a Slave no mo!-NEVER WAS, and neither was any of my Family's Members I ever met!

Then, as I said, I am in Texas. What do you all know about the Yellow Rose of Texas? Where is Her Day? ;~)

Posted by: rat-the | April 4, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse


If Hillary DIANE Clinton steals away the nomination, I would bet you more African-Americans vote for John SIDNEY McCain than for her ; )

Posted by: JakeD | April 4, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

If McCain thinks African Americans are going to believe him at this point, he has another think coming. Of course he's sorry now -- he wants the African American vote. What a hypocrite!

Posted by: Diogenes | April 4, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

rat - please give us a break. You are talking out of your ass and out of your ownlack of self worth. I think you would well take your misery elsewhere until you can espuse a cogent argument over some issue worth discussing, not the blather that comes out of your mouth.

Posted by: nclwtk | April 4, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse


I will agree with you that Martin Luther King, Jr. did not "hate" America -- he NEVER said "God Damn America" -- we will have to agree to disagree re: Wright.

Posted by: JakeD | April 4, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse


Crispus Attucks similarly gave his life for the very FOUNDING of our nation. BTW: can you talk to patmatthews about not begrudging McCain for his apology?



Posted by: JakeD | April 4, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

I disagree with most of McCain's policy positions and will not vote for him, but one cannot deny his character; I believe he would serve with distinction if elected.

One has to wonder if his flip-flops to the right are just posturing for the conservatives and perhaps he'll return to the middle if elected.

To you monomaniacal Wright haters, please recall that King himself was bitterly criticized, and spied on by the FBI, for statements critical of, even condemning, the U.S. government. Neither Wright nor King hated America; their unique experiences merely helped them appreciate the difference between honest patriotism and blind patriotism.

One last note. African Americans perhaps are more "American" than most whites. Slave trade was stopped in the mid 1800s. Most African Americans' family trees are born and raised only in the U.S. for many many generations. Most whites will find that only recent generations are purely American.

Posted by: jimstrom | April 4, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

This guy flip flops more than a dying fish.

Posted by: pete | April 4, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

To clarify, there are many great people who've lived in America, and not very many of them have holidays in their honor. Think of FDR, JFK, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Harriet Tubman, Paul Revere, etc.

The threshold should be high, and being cautious about who you honor with a limited number of holidays doesn't mean that you're not grateful for the incredible things that Dr. King did. I don't agree with McCain's original position, but I understand it, and I can see how his view of the holiday could have shifted over time without his view of Dr. King changing.

Posted by: davestickler | April 4, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Simple. Back then McCain said, he was not sorry but did what was right for Arizona and had no concern for Black American's, similar to the poster that said get over it.

McCain fought against the MLK holiday, I was there. McCain not did not vote for it, he fought against it, vigorously and only agreed to it when the US president threatened Arizona with loss of federal funds.

He was not sorry than and he is not sorry now. McCain is still a liar. I was there, and I was insulted then and I am still insulted now. I moved out of Arizona because of their racists ways.


Posted by: patmatthews | April 4, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

and for the record, i don't begrudge McCain for his apology, regardless of motive. the fact that he understands his need to do so speaks more about the greatness of MLK's legacy than anyone else's.

Posted by: rajjjj | April 4, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Duly noted, JakeD.
in my opinion, MLK is rightly honored with a holiday because he gave his life specifically causing and challenging this country to "live out the true meaning of its creed," in a way that could ONLY be paralleled by Lincoln or Washington. Is he an incendiary figure to some? Sure, as is Lincoln.

Posted by: rajjjj | April 4, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

P.S. to Bob22003 -- really, you need to pick one position and stick with it -- first you complained he had never apologized before and now you complain that McCain has apologized more than ONCE?! Given how many times I had to point out his prior apologies to people such as yourself, no wonder he's making sure everyone knows.

Posted by: JakeD | April 4, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

For the record, I listed several African-Americans above worthy of a federal holiday along with MLK, Jr. The Rev. Jeremiah Wright is not of them, and I would actively oppose such a holiday.

Posted by: JakeD | April 4, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: rat-the:

"After the destruction of the South, the business owners who desperately needed their skilled Workers [i.e, SLAVES], were betrayed and abandoned by them."

wow, Quote of the Week, that one.

Posted by: rajjjj | April 4, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Why doesn't the Post run comments from McCain at the time he was against the holiday? It wasn't just taking too long to recognize greatness.

Posted by: lrn110 | April 4, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

JakeD, if John McCain acknowledged years ago that he was wrong about the MLK holiday, then why did he choose the 40th anniversary of Dr. King's death to apologize for his opposition to the holiday? It couldn't possibly be because McCain is running for president and his opponent is likely to be a black man, now could it? Thanks, JakeD, for bolstering my point that McCain is an opportunist.

Posted by: Bob22003 | April 4, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, since this article was about McCain - what the f**k does Obama's pastor have to do with it?!

Posted by: JakeD | April 4, 2008 02:37 PM


JakeD, it was ratduh's oblivious throwaway comment about Senator Obama I was commenting on. I found the first post to be on point and intelligent. I am not surprised you lost the point of it.

Posted by: LABC | April 4, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, JKallen001 (first poster) for your thoughtful post. I agree with you that true patriotism is to be found in actions, not words. It is such a shame that Rev. Wright's extreme and angry words have been used to portray him as, somehow, unpatriotic. I have, on several occasions, made very angry remarks toward the United States--intending to express my anger toward the current administration. But I love my country deeply and do not like having my patriotism questioned because I speak out against the many injustices that plague my country.

Posted by: don6 | April 4, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

rat-the, the rat, or whatever you're called, you are an IDIOT! To think that Blacks in the south wanted to be separate is a bunch of foolishness. Umm, I'm sure Blacks realized that being lynched, spat on, raped, and everything else they dealed with was enough for them to realize the MAJORITY didn't want them included in their society. Rat-the, you are clueless. I wish you could be a Black man for a week, in the WOULD NOT survive. If not for Dr. King, Blacks would probably still be dealing with the many injustices they dealed with. You are an IDIOT and probably will always be! And if you were smart you would realize that any type of groups Blacks form that you feel are racist are formed as a reaction to racism. DUH!!!

Posted by: qdelainepage | April 4, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

rat-the/jakeD = CLOWNS

How nice of your forefathers to CHOOSE to come to America for a better life. Most people of African descent whose grandparents were born here didn't have that CHOICE. Our fellow Americans are "slow" to come around, LOL !! If everyone takes as long as McClown, I might be 3/5ths of a man again....

Posted by: isupreme | April 4, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

So the whites rejected the blacks and created Jim Crow only after the blacks betrayed the whites after they were freed? So you think the blacks owed some loyalty to their former masters? Does that make any sense to you? What is an UNNEEDED person? Would that apply to my grandmother on social security? Does it matter if she's black? I have some black Canadian friends who would disagree with your other claim lumping people into groups by pigment. Unlevel playing field? Have you ever read a census? Should you be congratulated for overcoming affirmative action? Do you even know how affirmative action programs work and what Title VII requires? Educate yourself before you go shooting off about things you don't understand.

Posted by: BlahBlahBlah314 | April 4, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, since this article was about McCain - what the f**k does Obama's pastor have to do with it?!

Posted by: JakeD | April 4, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: rat-the | April 4, 2008 02:21 PM

Me, I am a Texan/Californian/Hawaiian.

Wow, I thought their educational systems were better than this...

Trust me, rat, you don't owe me a thing. Except to once in a while to EDUCATE YOUR DUMBA** about history in this country! Get off this damn board once in a while, pick up a book, visit a museum, go to a lecture, f**king open your eyes and develop that dormant muscle between your ears. Develop a friendship with someone different than you (and no, high-fiving some black guy at a sporting event does not count). You argue like a sheltered, self-satisfied oblivious dolt. Since I know that not all white people are as simple as you, you need to see black people as less of a monolith. Maybe, you would be less likely to judge and make the stupid comments you do make.

And oh, since this article was about McCain - what the f**k does Obama have to do with it?

Posted by: LABC | April 4, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

At least it's not the political equivalent of: "Sending your daughter out to refuse answering credibility questions surrounding the Lewinsky scandal", right?

Posted by: JakeD | April 4, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse


His POW experience had nothing to do with the question, except, as to how he heard about the news. Assuming you were old enough at the time, don't you remember where YOU were on that fateful day?

Posted by: JakeD | April 4, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't have minded McCain's weasely explanation of his previous oppostion to the MLK birthday (I mean, most of us know what Arizona was like 25 years ago) if he hadn't dragged in his POW experience, which really has nothing to do with the question.

Is this going to be St. John's way of deflecting other tough questions -- "When I was being held captive and tortured at the Hanoi Hilton, etc. etc."

It's the political equivalent of: "You wouldn't hit a man with glasses, would you?"

Posted by: PeterPrinciple | April 4, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

For the record, pointing out there are OTHER great men too does not mean that I am unwilling to acknowledge MLK Jr.'s legacy.

Posted by: JakeD | April 4, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

We should also be reminded that the FBI with the COINTELPRO program sought to smear King and anyone else that supported civil rights. J.Edgar Hoover had it out for MLK for years. This is where Wright's rage also comes from. He fights for his country and his country tells him to stay in the back of the bus, uses tax money to take away civil liberties, and publishes untrue and/or private things about civil rights leaders. An agitator? Is that you, Bull Connor? We should also hold leaders responsible for their judgment, and on this, like Iraq in 2003 and now, McCain was dead wrong.

Posted by: BlahBlahBlah314 | April 4, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, JakeD, here is an article about McCain apologizing for a past action, and as usual, you are offering your twisted two cents about it. MLK was a brave man who actions, considered radical in the day, contributed to reawakening the american conscience on matters in this country. No matter how long and tortuous, his voice still compels us forward.

Your take, disingenuous as usual, is to denigrate the giving of a holiday as "undeserved". Even McCain offered an unvarnished apology.

Martin Luther King came from and represented a long line of African Americans, both known and unknown, who fought for and died for the beliefs of this country. That is what the holiday represents. You playing "I can name that famous black person in four seconds" game does not diminish him or his legacy.

Posted by: LABC | April 4, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | April 4, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Blahblahblah-Before there was Jim Crow, there were "CarpetBaggers". After the destruction of the South, the business owners who desperately needed their skilled Workers, were betrayed and abandoned by them. They we then badly victimized by opportunistic Sharks who made them pay in spades.

Decades pass. The Segregated Communities of the Whites and the Blacks went two distinctly different directions. Bitter resentment flowed through the Whites about how they were previously betrayed and what they had to do to recover their Communities.

YEAH. You better believe they never wanted to have to allow the now impoverished and mostly UNNEEDED Blacks BACK! Put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself if you would have!

Me, I am a Texan/Californian/Hawaiian. Never lived in the Deep South, and Texas only allowed "Indentured Servants"(Of which many Irish were once). I cannot claim any first hand resentment that is still held by some people in places like Mississippi. What I suffer, is resentment that a group of people somehow feel I "OWE" them something. I resent the reverse Racism!

IF, the US is such a BAD place for Blacks, WHY does every Black Person on this Planet want to come here?

Maybe, because there is no place on this planet, they have ever had it so good, and maybe because too many stupid people here are willing to treat them like they are OWED something!

Me, I am SICK of Backwards thinking, and the Un-Level playing field. Obasama has ZERO ties to anything remotely associated with Martin Luther King! BUT, just because he is half Black, he feels entitled to climb up on the cross!

Give ME a Break!

Posted by: rat-the | April 4, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse


I don't know -- be my guest tracking down each and every reason he actually gave -- I was simply responding to the generic claim: "There was never any reason to oppose a holiday for MLK."


Have no fear -- President John SIDNEY McCain will hire plenty of brilliant people -- hopefully even Doug Kmiec regardless of his recent endorsement ; )

Posted by: JakeD | April 4, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

You're stretching there. Yes, his apology in 1990 was to gain acceptance nationally in order to run for president. By that time it was conventional wisdom that we should honor King. I don't know what you are accomplishing by saying there are others who deserve to be honored. Did McCain present legislation or even voice the opinion to honor Crispus Attucks?

Posted by: BlahBlahBlah314 | April 4, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Your stretching there. Yes, his apology in 1990 was to gain acceptance nationally in order to run for president. By that time it was conventional wisdom that we should honor King. I don't know what you are accomplishing by saying there are others who deserve to be honored. Did McCain present legislation or even voice the opinion to honor Crispus Attucks?

Posted by: BlahBlahBlah314 | April 4, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse






Posted by: jkallen001 | April 4, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

McCain does not have the intelligence to run the greatest country in the world. The idiot republicans got us into this mess, we the people of the United States should force these idiotic selfish republicans to fix this mess. McCain is not very smart, but we should force him to hire brilliant people to fix our country.

Posted by: dwashington1 | April 4, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, davestickler.

Posted by: JakeD | April 4, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

King was a controversial figure in his day. He was smeared as being Communist, anti-American, being an agitator, being an adulterer, plagiarizing parts of his dissertation, and other things. Some of these were true, some of them weren't, but all were based in some kind of evidence about his beliefs and actions.

Thing is, we can acknowledge that Dr. King was flawed at the same time as we celebrate his legacy of justice and non-violence. Our public discourse tends to require that people be good guys or bad guys, with no room to acknowledge what we know about human beings from our everyday lives -- that we are all an inconvenient mixture of right and wrong, hard to categorize easily.

That's where we should be reminded of Rev. Wright. Not because his achievements are anywhere near the same order of magnitude as Dr. King, but because we should recognize that, on the whole, he has fought for justice and good, and that his ministry is basically decent, even if he expresses those beliefs in unusual or controversial ways.

And it's also why we should forgive McCain for not supporting the holiday at first. He's changed his mind, and we can acknowledge that McCain is basically a decent person who happened to choose incorrectly for a while. I see no reason to doubt his sincerity.

Posted by: davestickler | April 4, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse


You may not have to be racist to oppose a US holiday for MLK but there is no way in hell Im accepting any reason for supporting an apartheid regime in South Africa.

Posted by: areid45 | April 4, 2008 01:47 PM

I admire what you are doing, areid45. But JakeD is set in his ways - McCain demographics to a T- he is not going to see anything outside of that demographic. In his world, it is okay to use sanctions Cuba 'cause they are commies and we are morally opposed to them, but sanctions against aparteid rule because it hurts non-caucasians? Piffle!

And the MLK holiday? He was a commie and a race agitator who was ag'in the war.

See, when you simplify things like JakeD, it is much easier to respond in black and white, instead of being concerned with shades of gray.

Posted by: LABC | April 4, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse


Ronald WILSON Reagan came around on this issue too (see link above).

Posted by: JakeD | April 4, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

McCainocrat it is obvious you never listened to any of MLK's speeches. There were those speeches for the media and there were those for the black church.

To the person who suggested a national resentment I say it is never appropriate to ask a people to forget about and erase part of their history. I have yet to hear anyone tell Jewish people to forget about the holocaust--yet you have no problem telling black folks to forget about slavery--I have not heard you tell the American Indians to forget about the atrocities the white man committed against them (at least now they got the casinos). This country is still racist and bigoted the only difference between then and now is that it was out in the open as opposed to now being in the closet and behind closed doors.

Posted by: Yurdelite | April 4, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I want someone who can get it right the first time. Not spend 25 years reinforcing the same bad idea. This guy still thinks Vietnam was a good idea and now we want the slow learner to be in charge of the occupation of Iraq? You can't be serious.

Posted by: BlahBlahBlah314 | April 4, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Sen McCain has said he is Reagan's man. Ronnie opposed the MLK holiday as well. And campaigned through the South in 1964 for "States Rights" (we know what that meant) and began his presidential bid in Philadelphia, Mississippi. Now why would he do that?

Posted by: roscym | April 4, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse


Pointing out there are OTHER great men does not, necessarily, mean we are unwilling to acknowledge this great man's legacy. BTW: was McCain's apology in 1990 also "just for votes"?

Posted by: JakeD | April 4, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

For anyone else unfamiliar with Crispus Attucks, he was killed on March 5, 1770, the first American to die for the Revolutionary cause in the "Boston Massacre". Attucks was the American son of a native African father and a woman belonging to the Natick Indian tribe. As a young adult, Attucks escaped his "owner" in Framingham, Massachusetts, and went to sea as a whaler and worked as a ropemaker in Boston, Massachusetts. He learned to read and write himself, and even studied government. Attucks went to many anti-British meetings to discuss unfair taxes; he wrote to Governor Thomas Hutchinson (the Tory governor of Massachusetts) to protest these taxes. Attucks and other Patriots (Colonists who were against British rule) fought with the Red Coats (British soldiers) at Dock Square in Boston in an unofficial skirmish. Attucks was the first of five people to die in the fight. The soldier who shot the Patriots were tried for murder, but most were acquitted; the acquittals further enraged the people of Boston.

As the first person to die for the American Revolutionary cause, Attucks was buried with honor in the Park Street cemetery in Boston. "Crispus Attucks Day" was begun by black abolitionists in 1858; in 1888, the Crispus Attucks Monument was built in the Boston Common.

Posted by: JakeD | April 4, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

John McCain is not unlike alot of Americans...unwilling to acknowledge this great man's legacy. It's ok...we know just what MLK did for our country, not just black Americans but for the entire country and possibly the world. He was and is a great man and truly a historical figure that we will never forget. I listened to the speech of Robert Kennedy delivered in Indiana on this day 40 years ago and it brought tears to my eyes as I know it did to many, many others who were there including Sen. Kennedy. Both great men in their own rights...that is what this country has produced...great, great men and figures for us to follow to strive to be like in their devotion to the betterment of this country...I do believe John McCain has the best intentions but we cannot continue invading other countries that he feels is bad...Sen. McCain should not be elected president.
and we know his apology was for votes and nothing more than that.

Posted by: hemnebob | April 4, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse


You still exist? And you're saying that Jim Crow was just as much the fault of black racists? I can't wait until the Jim Crow apologists and racists like you finally die off in sufficient numbers to be completely marginalized. You are an embarassment to yourself and country, and I pity you for your self-imposed ignorance.

Posted by: BlahBlahBlah314 | April 4, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the reason McCain didn't vote for the holiday is because of what King said in his "Drum Major Instinct" speech (full speech is here - )

Here is the part McCain may have held as a grudge and why he was slow to vote for a King holiday. King was very outpoken and critical of the Vietnam war.

"But this is why we are drifting. And we are drifting there because nations are caught up with the drum major instinct. 'I must be first.' 'I must be supreme.' 'Our nation must rule the world.' And I am sad to say that the nation in which we live is the supreme culprit. And I'm going to continue to say it to America, because I love this country too much to see the drift that it has taken.

God didn't call America to do what she's doing in the world now. God didn't call America to engage in a senseless, unjust war as the war in Vietnam. And we are criminals in that war. We've committed more war crimes almost than any nation in the world, and I'm going to continue to say it. And we won't stop it because of our pride and our arrogance as a nation.

But God has a way of even putting nations in their place. The God that I worship has a way of saying, "Don't play with me." He has a way of saying, as the God of the Old Testament used to say to the Hebrews, "Don't play with me, Israel. Don't play with me, Babylon. Be still and know that I'm God. And if you don't stop your reckless course, I'll rise up and break the backbone of your power." And that can happen to America. Every now and then I go back and read Gibbons' Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. And when I come and look at America, I say to myself, the parallels are frightening. And we have perverted the drum major instinct.

Posted by: rwpayton | April 4, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse


How about the argument that sanctions, as proposed, would not (and, in fact, didn't) work? I know that Dick Cheney used that as a reason.

Posted by: JakeD | April 4, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse


You just proved my point (although I think the first American to die for our own Revolution at least sacrificed as much as MLK, Jr.) YMMV.

Posted by: JakeD | April 4, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse


You may not have to be racist to oppose a US holiday for MLK but there is no way in hell Im accepting any reason for supporting an apartheid regime in South Africa.

Posted by: areid45 | April 4, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

rat-the, trust me, at your demise, there should be some celebration, a day off even.

JakeD, I am pretty sure the "others who are equally well-deserving" argument was never brought up as a reason to deny his holiday and certainly not a reason used by McCain.

Posted by: LABC | April 4, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I think it's disrespectful to Dr. King to use this day to promote Jeremiah Wright, a man not even in the same category, or Barach Obama, who is also not in the same class as Dr. King. It's also wrong to use it as a breeding ground for more hateful political comments, and those of you who are, are giving no respect to Dr. King or this day. Maybe you're just using Dr. King for your own purposes - that's so very respectful. Way to go.

Posted by: McCainocrat | April 4, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse


At least he has "followed the same consultants' instructions" for years now.

Posted by: JakeD | April 4, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse


Maybe Douglass. No one else on that list even comes close.

Posted by: areid45 | April 4, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Consultants have obviously instructed McCain on how to portray himself to win the prize. He is acting a part, faking everything because he knows that once in office none of this pre-election charade will matter. His apology is as shallow as the fact that he has switched religion at age 71. These "changes" should be a clue that he will do anything, say anything to get elected.

Posted by: larryecoffey | April 4, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse


At least he has "mouthed that empty apology" for years now.

Posted by: JakeD | April 4, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Sen. McCain is a hypocrite and an opportunist. He supports the disasterous war in Iraq and proposes that we keep U.S. forces in that country as an occupying force for 100 years. He also supports the do-nothing policies of economic subservience to Wall Street and corporate giants that has driven our nation into recession and millions of people out of work.

Dr. King opposed the war in Viet Nam. He worked tirelessly to raise up issues of poverty and economic injustice in our nation in an attempt to better the lives of all Americans.

Sen. McCain would do actual service to America if he were to actually study and follow the teachings of Dr. King rather than merely mouthing an empty apology in pursuit of a few votes in election year.

Posted by: dee5 | April 4, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

I think they should just make it "National Resentment Day".

That way, everyone can Parade around bringing up all the past injustices that no longer Exist.

I can see all the Irish remembering the Potato Famine, and British Absentee Landlords! American Indians crying about Buffaloes...

Wrong Reason for a "Holiday" Folks! :-(

Posted by: rat-the | April 4, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Those are just off the top of my head -- my point is that you do not have to be "racist" to oppose federal holidays or even sanctions against South Africa -- I could have even missed someone that most African-Americans would rather honor than MLK Jr.

Posted by: JakeD | April 4, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Dubois,
Booker T. Washington, Dred Scott, or Crispus Attucks (for example).

Posted by: JakeD | April 4, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse



Posted by: areid45 | April 4, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse


ONE reason, for the sake of argument, is that there are other, at least as deserving people (even other African-Americans, or Native Americans, or any other minority) who do not get a federal holiday either.

Posted by: JakeD | April 4, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Linda.J.randle, McCain has actually commented that he doesn't think Rev. Wright should be an issue, because he knows Sen. Obama and understands that Rev. Wright's comments don't at all reflect Obama's view of the world.

Watch here:

Posted by: davestickler | April 4, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse


What part of this indicates that McCain has not already "forgiven" Obama -- perhaps you are confusing McCain for Clinton on this?

HANNITY: He's been -- but he's been going to the church for 20 years. His pastor -- the church gave a lifetime achievement award to one of the biggest racists and anti-Semites in the country, Louis Farrakhan. Would you go to a church that -- where your pastor supported Louis Farrakhan?

MCCAIN: Obviously, that would not be my choice. But I do know Sen. Obama. He does not share those views.

Posted by: JakeD | April 4, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

There was never any reason to oppose a holiday for MLK. At least McCain has apologized. Sen Edwards had an opportunity to crush VP CHeney on that very topic in their debate and he took the usual soft route. Did McCain vote against sanctioning Apartheid South Africa as well?

Posted by: areid45 | April 4, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Way to go - McCain! You want forgiveness for what you did but I can assure you when you are running against Sen Obama, you will not forgive him for what his Pastor said. (We will remember this). It is always easy to ask for forgiveness when it's you but can you forgive and not keep beating a dead horse.


Posted by: Linda.J.randle | April 4, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse


As I just pointed out, McCain has admitted he was wrong before just today.


What, exactly, about this don't you believe?

"Sometimes the most radical thing is to be confronted with our own standards -- to be asked simply that we live up to the principles we profess. Even in this most idealistic of nations, we do not always take kindly to being reminded of what more we can do, or how much better we can be, or who else can be included in the promise of America. We can be slow as well to give greatness its due, a mistake I made myself long ago when I voted against a federal holiday in memory of Dr. King. I was wrong and eventually realized that, in time to give full support for a state holiday in Arizona. We can all be a little late sometimes in doing the right thing, and Dr. King understood this about his fellow Americans. But he knew as well that in the long term, confidence in the reasonability and good heart of America is always well placed. And always, that was his method in word and action -- to remind us of who we are and what we believe. His arguments were unanswerable and they were familiar, the case always resting on the writings of the Founders, the teachings of the prophets, and the Word of the Lord."

Posted by: JakeD | April 4, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

How interesting. Evidently, its not okay for Obama to spin McCain's statement about the US staying in Iraq for 100 years, but it is okay to wait 25 years to apologize for opposing a holiday for Dr. King and then to do so on the 40th anniversary of his death, while you're running for president, possibly against a black man. Gee, who's the real opportunist here???

Posted by: Bob22003 | April 4, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse


Why do you think he is "lying" when he has said the same thing for many years now?

In 1990, Arizonans were given an opportunity to vote to observe an MLK holiday. McCain successfully appealed to former President Ronald Reagan to support the holiday. In a letter to voters, Reagan wrote that he hoped Arizonans would "join me in supporting a holiday to commemorate these ideals to which Dr. King dedicated his life."

In December 1999 McCain told NBC's Tim Russert, "on the Martin Luther King issue, we all learn, OK? We all learn. I will admit to learning, and I hope that the people that I represent appreciate that, too. I voted in 1983 against the recognition of Martin Luther King....I regret that vote."

Posted by: JakeD | April 4, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Smile. The GOP hates you.

Posted by: mobedda | April 4, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse




Posted by: DONNAMARIEDMD | April 4, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

People should be willing to accept an apology. Unfortunately, McCain's statement, while using the word, doesn't sound like one, but rather like the opportunistic rhetoric that it is. He just uses MLK to talk about himself, employs religious terminology that he thinks appeals to black voters, and glosses over his substantial opposition as just a temporal lapse.

Posted by: cpwdc | April 4, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

John McCain and all of his fellow conservatives, had they lived in the 1960s, would have been lined up behind Selma Sheriff Jim Clark and his lynchmob deputies, not behind MLK.

They lost, so now they pretend to have been on the right side all along.

It's the same phenomenon as the millions of Americans who somehow can't remember voting for George Bush in 2004.

Posted by: Bud0 | April 4, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

First, understand that I regret what happened to MLK, and I think that he was a good man who was cut short of much more good he could have done.

However, I feel that a National Day of pulling a Scab off a Healing Wound, only to make the wound freshly damaged, is DUMB!

IF, Blacks want to be accepted, part of the whole, and SHARE the Dream, all they have to do is DO IT!

Much as the Cosmopolitan Barack, retrogressed into a predominantly Black Racist Group, many other Blacks do the same.


BTW-After they were Free, the Blacks in the South, did the same thing. THEY, "Segregated" themselves, because THEY did not want to be part of regular society.

WHEN, are they ever going to learn that "Whites" joined Eastern Society? Long before there were WASPS, civilization was composed of Arabs, Orientals, and Persians (Caucasians)!

Posted by: rat-the | April 4, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

"We can all be a little late sometimes in doing the right thing, and Dr. King understood this about his fellow Americans."

Yea - MLK also fought his entire life against slow and complacent movers like McCain, which he talked about in what he called the "fierce urgency of now."

MLK understood that some of his fellow Americans would willing fight a decades long war - he just wouldn't agree with it.

Why in tarnation those people in front of his memorial wouldn't join hands and silently start praying that McCain would change his mind about the illegal and immoral War in Iraq is personally BEYOND ME!

Wake up America, Please at some point wake up...

Posted by: treeohtwo | April 4, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Nice, now that he's running for Prez, he says he was wrong. Note to McBush=too late!

Posted by: sfilutze | April 4, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Looks like McCain is trying to snuff out his paper trail before its gets followed . . . this is known as a "preemptive strike". Sorry, but it won't work!

Posted by: meldupree | April 4, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

King was an outspoken critic of the war, compassionate about "the murder of millions of Vietnamese-- most of them children."

McCain, as someone who reveres the Vietnam War as a just war that we shouldn't have lost, should not pretend to be knowledgeable about Martin Luther King. King and McCain would have one hell of a debate about Vietnam. I know one candidate, riding on the broad wings of the King legacy, who will give McCain a hell of a debate about Iraq this fall.

Posted by: scharb | April 4, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I am a black man that used to live in Arizona. That is not what Mr. McCain said then. Mr. McCain is a LIAR.

The Feds had to ORDER the state of Arizona to honor MLK day, and Mr. McCain dragged his feet not wanting to., or loose federal funding.

Mr. McCain never made the decision, The President and Congress did. Mr. McCain still feels the same except he wants blacks to vote him for now, when he would not vote for Blacks then.


Posted by: patmatthews | April 4, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Each of us has a history - and we often believe that our history predicts our future - but is this really so?.................

Posted by: glclark4750 | April 4, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

He was only doing what he thought politically expedient . Same as now .

Posted by: borntoraisehogs | April 4, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

In 1961, a young African-American man, after hearing President John F. Kennedy's challenge to, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country," gave up his student deferment, left college in Virginia and voluntarily joined the Marines.
In 1963, this man, having completed his two years of service in the Marines, volunteered again to become a Navy corpsman. (They provide medical assistance to the Marines as well as to Navy personnel.) The man did so well in corpsman school that he was the valedictorian and became a cardiopulmonary technician. Not surprisingly, he was assigned to the Navy's premier medical facility, Bethesda Naval Hospital, as a member of the commander in chief's medical team, and helped care for President Lyndon B. Johnson after his 1966 surgery. For his service on the team, which he left in 1967, the White House awarded him three letters of commendation. What is even more remarkable is that this man entered the Marines and Navy not many years after the two branches began to become integrated. While this young man was serving six years on active duty, Vice President Dick Cheney, who was born the same year as the Marine/sailor, received five deferments, four for being an undergraduate and graduate student and one for being a prospective father. Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, both five years younger than the African-American youth, used their student deferments to stay in college until 1968. Both then avoided going on active duty through family connections. Who is the real patriot? The young man who interrupted his studies to serve his country for six years or our three political leaders who beat the system? Are the patriots the people who actually sacrifice something or those who merely talk about their love of the country? After leaving the service of his country, the young African-American finished his final year of college, entered the seminary, was ordained as a minister, and eventually became pastor of a large church in one of America's biggest cities. This man is Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the retiring pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ, who has been in the news for comments he made over the last three decades. Since these comments became public we have heard criticisms, condemnations, denouncements and rejections of his comments and him. We've seen on television, in a seemingly endless loop, sound bites of a select few of Rev. Wright's many sermons. Some of the Wright's comments are inexcusable and inappropriate and should be condemned, but in calling him "unpatriotic," let us not forget that this is a man who gave up six of the most productive years of his life to serve his country. How many of Wright's detractors, Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly to name but a few, volunteered for service, and did so under the often tumultuous circumstances of a newly integrated armed forces and a society in the midst of a civil rights struggle? Not many. While words do count, so do actions. Let us not forget that, for whatever Rev. Wright may have said over the last 30 years, he has demonstrated his patriotism.,0,92000.story

Posted by: jkallen001 | April 4, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

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