Jan 31, 2006

The Passing Of A Reluctant Icon

Left: Coretta Scott King in 2004, courtesy of jsonlie.com

(Toledo, OH) It was with sadness that I read of the death of Coretta Scott King, the widow of the late Dr. Martin Luther King. She was a woman of poise, strength, and courage whose quiet demeanor and resolute passion for civil rights made her, in many ways, the equal of her more famous husband.

After suffering a stroke last August, Mrs. King had been quite ill in recent months. In her few public appearances in the last year she did not speak and was using a wheelchair.

Dan Bartlett, counselor to the president, told reporters this morning that "President Bush and first lady Laura Bush were always heartened by their meetings with Mrs. King. What an inspiration to millions of people. I'm deeply saddened by today's news."

The world was made a better place by the life of Coretta Scott King, and she will be sorely missed.


Anonymous said...

Coretta Scott King was a beautiful person and a wonderful human being.

Anonymous said...

Amen, Mike.

Anonymous said...

She was an inspiration to people of all races and creeds.

Stefan Schmidt said...

Coretta Scott King’s only contribution to this world was tolerating her husbands philandering.

historymike said...

Stefan, Stefan, Stefan...

Mrs. King should be allowed at least a few days before the chcracter assasination begins.

Let her rest in peace, friend.

Do said...

Coretta Scott King was indeed an extraordinary person. She never lost sight of the need for equality on all fronts.

Mrs. King's continued efforts toward civil rights was incredible. Her determination not to let her husband's message fade into the background is a true testament to her devotion, not only to Martin Luther, but to her fellow human beings.

I will hope and pray that her children will take up where their parents had to leave and that the messages passed down over the years will not be forgotten.

Martin Luther and Coretta Scott King were visionaries that were ahead of their time. I will forever remember their honorable place in history.

PS - Stefan, you are only demonstrating that you have no idea what the Kings were about. Perhaps a little digging into the history books would serve you well.

Anonymous said...

Coretta Scott King lived a life of calm strength and was a shining example to all people with a heart.

Anonymous said...

historymike: what stefan schmidt wrote is not character assassination, but is fact. The personal challenges faced by Dr. King are thoroughly documented at the http://www.martinlutherking.org website.

However, on this day in which Coretta Scott King has completed her mortal mission, I would agree that memorializing the legacy bequeathed by both her and Dr. King should take precedence. Coretta Scott King did not stand by her husband and defend his legacy because he was perfect, but because he did not allow his weaknesses and imperfections to distract him from his mission. As it was, the civil rights era was accompanied by considerable violence. We should consider the possibility that the violence might have been greater, leading to civil war and anarchy, had Dr. King not been around.

Anonymous said...

While there is little new to say in this thread, I would like to piggy-back on Do's comment; I think Coretta's passing is only mournful in light of her children's squabblings, since she led a complete and meaningful existence. The NY Times did a very troubling story on the King children earlier this month, and revealed that The King Center in Atlanta (which is primarily in their care) has been plagued by shoddy archivism, poor displays, and millions of dollars in squandered funds. As a young American, I hope our nation can preserve the true King legacy and not drift into postage-stamp platitudes--that is the surest way devalue the contribution of any great leader.

Anonymous said...

Let the woman rest im peace. She lived an important life and made many contributions to the civil rights movement. The world is better because of her.


What did she really do? Will the world remember her 200 years from now?

Doubt it.

historymike said...

Yes, Mr. Blevins, they will remember Coretta Scott King.

It is unlikely though that the world will rememer any member of the NSM, who will be lucky to even wind up as a historical footnote.

The decision by a member of the NSM to publish private information on the US Homeland Secutiy chief Michael Chertoff certainly ranks among the more boneheaded ploys in recent memory by a WN.

Y'all have just brought a heap o' trouble on y'selves, bubba.

That is, unless one of your neo-Nazi comrades does something spectaularly imbecilic. We must remember to never discount the power of the NSM to exhibit extreme stupidity.

Your decision to ignore documented history in favor of your whitewashed, racist worldview is sad, but I suppose we shouldn't expect anything else from people like you.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe these racists would come here and defile this woman's memory the day she died. You should delete those posts, Mike.


Mr. Schwartz said...

Look at this way.

You ask 10,000 Americans who Coretta Scott King is and at least 9000 of them will know who she is.

You ask 10,000 Americans who Jeff Schoep or Michael Blevins is and 9,990 of them wouldn't know.

Lisa Renee said...

In the real scope of what's important does it really matter what a few say that is negative about either Coretta Scott King or Martin Luther King?

A quote that Rev Al Sharpton stated today that I think fits this moment:

"She would always admonish us that ... one of the ways you bring about change is, you must change yourself so that you're prepared to lead people in the direction they should go. If your emotions are as bad as those you're fighting, even if your cause is just, you disqualify yourself from being effective,"

That's advice we all, myself included should remember at times.

Stefan Schmidt said...

Did Coretta King have any role in the Civil Rights movement?

If she did I am unaware of any specific contribution that she may have had.

Anonymous said...

While it pains me to say so, I have to agree that Coretta Scott King's place in history will amount to little more than being the spouse of Martin Luther King, Jr.

That should not diminish the sadness of her passing and we should mourn because she lost her husband to a noble cause and suffered greatly for his good works.

King's detractors often point to his adultery. If all that anybody ever remembers of any of us is our worst deed, we would all be heathens in history.

King's adultery was wrong, but his courage was right and we are a better nation for it.


Hooda Thunkit said...

Coretta Scott King's picture should be put into every dictionary, under the word dignity...