On my way home today I turned on the radio, like I normally do, to listen to whatever CD happened to be in the CD player. I decided today however, to listen to the radio. I have pretty much given up on FM radio, but I still like NPR and some AM channels. I first turned to AM 1250, which is the AM station for WNEM-TV 5, one of our local CBS affiliates. Upon tuning in I heard someone singing a looooooooooooong drawn out version of "Wind Beneath My Wings". I immediately recalled that today was the day that Rosa Parks’ funeral was being held in Detroit. I listened to this long winded song for a bit and when I had enough, I changed the channel to NPR to check out All Things Considered. When I didn’t find the news story interesting I turned back to AM 1250. I was interested to hear the Rev. Jesse Jackson preaching to the attendees of Rosa Parks’ funeral. I decided to listen to him preach for a little bit. I have always found his type of preaching very interesting. At my church when the priest does his thin there is little to no excitement or passion in his voice. When Baptist minister preach you can feel the excitement and passion in every word they say, and that is what I find intriguing. Anyway, I listened to the Reverend preach and he said some very moving things. He spoke about Rosa Parks in very high regard. He talked about her n relation to Dr. Martin Luther King and other civil rights leaders. It was a great sermon…or at least that’s what I thought until he started talking politics. He began by saying that we should put a life size statue of Rosa Parks in the halls of congress. I agreed. He then said we should honor her along with the men we honor each day that were associated with slavery and segregation. Again, I totally agree. Then Jackson started on a tangent of attacks on President Bush, all of which I happened to also agree with. Jackson spoke of how Bush just selected a candidate for the Supreme Court who is anti Rosa Parks thinking. Jackson also spoke of how a couple of years ago Bush went and placed a wreath on M.L.K’s grave ant then the next day began fighting to eliminate affirmative action. Again, I totally agree that Bush is a turd. What I don’t agree with is Jackson’s choice to use the death of Rosa Parks, and her funeral, as a platform to promote his political agenda. A funeral is a time of mourning, or a time to get some closure. For other a funeral is a time of celebration. It’s a time to celebrate that the deceased has left this earth and gone to a better place. I was not aware that for some, a funeral is a place to stand on a soap box and promote a political agenda. I believe in civil rights and I agree with many of the things that the Reverend spoke of, but I found it completely disrespectful, even offensive, that he chose this day and place as his venue to voice his political agenda. I lost a lot of respect for Jesse Jackson today!
Wow! I believe that was my first real rant on this blog. For anyone reading this who might one day attend my funeral: Please, do not let Jesse Jackson preach at my funeral! (or do my eulogy). Instead, encourage everyone to remember me with a smile, and have a drink…on me!