Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Death of Mrs. King and Ending an Era

Coretta Scott King passed away yesterday. And within me there is a great, great sense of an ideal slipping away, never to be seen again...

The 60's were a terrible time. Being a child during that time was horrific and confusing--there was the Civil Rights Movement, the Anti-War movement, three assasinationg (Dr. King's, along with John and Bobby Kennedy), protests where people were beaten (and at Kent State even killed.) There were National Guard troops on the front steps of the Capitol, and riots in our cities.

Mrs. King was beautiful, and strong,and noble--more admirable, to me, than the glamourous Jackie Kennedy, whose image was that of a pretty wife without much opinion of her own. Mrs. King did not just stand by her husband's side--she had her own life, her own convictions. It was beautiful that those convictins, that life, dovetailed with Dr. King's, and they were able to work together for what they believed. Theirs was a very special bond. After his death, she carried the torch of his message, even as the world changed and so many seemed to no longer care.

Now, I am not much of a political person--although there are many who might debate that point. Quite frankly, I hate politics--mostly because from the minute I was born, on John Kennedy's inauguration, there was controversy. Childhood consisted of watching the VietNam war with my father--watching young men blown up and bleeding every night. Learning to read the paper around the age of 7, trying to understand why all those black people, who were marching peacefully, were being attacked with water cannons and dogs, when all they wanted was the right to be considered part of the American Dream.

Trying to understand why so many people hated a man who was so peaceful, and had a dream for children--not just his own, but me too.

He died. Mrs. King, who I remember, tried to keep his legacy. But women's voices, no matter how strong and clear, are often lost in the cacophony of rhetoric. And, over the years, Mrs. King's voice was, while always strong, lost in the court of public opinion--or at least it was not as strong as her husband's had been.

But that's just life--the worst of human nature in the political realm--unfortunately.

I wonder, though, what do we do now? How do we move forward from the death of Mrs. King, which seems so much like The End. Think about it--who, really, is left from that era?

It's not just the death of courageous people like Mrs. King. It's what they stood for--which, too, is dying. The Right, under the guidance of Reagan, decided it wanted act like Dr. Who and turn time back to those "kinder, gentler" eras, the ones that weren't so kind to people like Dr. and Mrs. King. The Left has degenerated into absurity--it is now a party where a man like Dr. King would be circumspect because of his faith (faith--and religion--are destructive in the eyes of the left, and Verboten).

There would be no place for people like Dr. and Mrs. King in this century. and that is what hurts the most about her death.

Where do we go from here? Where do we go when so many people either want to go back in time or censor/dismiss a person because of his/her beliefs? Where is the Reason that guided people like Dr. and Mrs. King? Reason is gone--from both the Left and the Right.

and without Reason balacing Faith and Faith balancing Reason, we deny the world, we deny the people of our country, an essential ability to create effective change.

I am sad. And I cry. Not just for the loss of Mrs. King. But for the loss of an era, and out of a kind of fear and dread because a Light of Faith and Reason, possibly the last of that kind of Light, is now extinguished.

And I wonder--can we find our Way from here? I don't know....and I worry...who will lead us away from the Right's march backward in time and the Left's abandonment of reason and faith....I wonder...

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