Thursday, April 03, 2008

TNGOP Mimics Media's Tendency to Make Martin a Dreamer

Tennessee Republicans are publicizing their "Buddy Martin" drift on the anniversary of the assassination of the civil rights leader, war critic, and drum major for economic justice. Their sanitized treatment of Dr. King runs parallel to much of what I see and don't see in the mainstream media's narrow focus on Dr. King.

TNGOP's emasculated tribute was notably free from any direct quotes from Dr. King outside of a couple of paraphrases that could have just as easily been mouthed out of context by opponents of Dr. King's legacy. But here is a short passage from King's Where Do We Go From Here that you do not see on the TNGOP press release:
The solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income .... dislocations in the market operation of our economy and the prevalence of discrimination thrust people into idleness and bind them in constant or frequent unemployment against their will .... Those at the lowest economic level, the poor white and the Negro, the aged and the chronically ill ... have little ability to force the necessary growth of their income .... [The guaranteed income] must be pegged to the median income of society .... [and] .... it must automatically increase as the total social income grows.
That commentary alone is a good indictment of TNGOP's "Buddy Martin" caricature of MLK, Jr. (given that Republicans would generally laugh at the idea of a guaranteed income before they attacked the character of the person proposing it), but I have to say that I am also partial to Scene editor Liz Garrigan's take on this episode:
The state GOP has lost its collective mind. The leadership has adopted a sort of Branch-Davidian nuttiness.

No comments:

Post a Comment