Black Activists Outraged By Politicization of Coretta Scott King’s Funeral

Members of the black leadership network Project 21 are outraged by political grandstanding by speakers at the funeral for civil rights icon Coretta Scott King.

In eulogies at the February 7 funeral, former President Jimmy Carter and Reverend Joseph Lowery criticized the Bush Administration. 

President Carter attempted to tie the Bush Administration’s terrorist surveillance efforts to 1960s-era FBI wiretaps of the King family. Reverend Lowery spoke about Iraq, health care and poverty.  President Bush was in attendance.

“I find it shameful that not even the service to honor the stellar life of Coretta Scott King is exempt from classless political behavior from the likes of former President Jimmy Carter and Reverend Joseph Lowery,” remarked Project 21 member Mark Jordan.  “At an event to celebrate the achievements of one of America’s greats, these two men conducted themselves in a disgraceful manner.  They descended into the muck to take poorly-timed shots at the President.”

“It is pathetic that these individuals choose to turn a funeral into a political statement,” said Project 21 member Geoffrey Moore.  “You would think they would have learned something from the late senator Paul Wellstone’s memorial back in 2002 that people don’t like such shameless political promotion.  There is a time and place for everything, and for this behavior the funeral of Coretta Scott King was neither.”

“As Americans of all colors and creeds gathered in Atlanta and in front of televisions across the nation to honor the life and works of Mrs. King, liberals such as Reverend Joseph Lowery and former President Jimmy Carter used her funeral as a stage for their politics of division,” said Project 21 member Kevin Martin.  “Stirring up racial animosity is something Mrs. King and her husband stood against, but these people only seem interested in hijacking that dream and turning it into a scheme to practice the politics of personal destruction.”

Project 21 member Mychal Massie added: “Should we really be surprised these people would choose such a solemn occasion to emote and foment?  Their attempts to insult President Bush served only to further reveal their contempt for unity.  That they chose the eulogizing of Mrs. King was obviously not out of character, but it is a sad and antithetical commentary pursuant to their part in the legacy of Dr. and Mrs. King.”

For more information, contact David Almasi at (202) 507-6398 x11 or [email protected], or visit Project 21’s website at New Visions Commentaries can be found at


Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over 25 years, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research. Its members have been quoted, interviewed or published over 40,000 times since the program was created in 1992. Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated, and may be earmarked exclusively for the use of Project 21.