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Times Celebrates MLK Day the Usual Way: With GOP-Bashing

"Against the backdrop of an escalating war in Iraq and increasing economic disparity in the United States..." What does that have to do with Martin Luther King Day?

Atlanta-based correspondent Brenda Goodman, previously known for ignoring Rep. Cynthia McKinney's nutty conspiracy theories, puts some left-wing spin onto Atlanta's marking of Martin Luther King Day in Tuesday's "King Day in Atlanta, 'the One Without Mrs. King.'"


"Against the backdrop of an escalating war in Iraq and increasing economic disparity in the United States, many who spoke during the ceremony used Dr. King's pulpit to call for a return to the principles of social justice and nonviolence that defined the civil rights leader's life."


In other words, many used the King anniversary to push standard left-wing policies.


Goodman hands over the remainder of the brief story to the liberal speakers and their supporters.


"'Millions can't find jobs, have no health insurance and struggle to make ends meet, working minimum-wage jobs,' said Mayor Shirley Franklin of Atlanta. 'What's going on?' she asked, invoking the title of the Marvin Gaye song.


"The Rev. T. DeWitt Smith, president of the Progressive National Baptist Convention, said, 'When we fight a war for oil and not for democracy, we are in trouble,' adding, 'There is no excuse for war.'


"Outside the church, Robert Snead, 6, stood on Auburn Avenue with his brother, Tyriq, 2, and waved a white and blue sign with a dove that read 'Troops Come Home.'


"The boys' mother, Felecia Snead, of Atlanta, said she brought them to the King Day celebration this year because her brother, an officer in the Navy, was about to be sent to Iraq for a second tour of duty.


"'I wanted them to know about nonviolence,' Mrs. Snead said. 'I wanted them to know there's an alternative.'"


Yet Goodman's article is milder than another Martin Luther King Day story from Atlanta in 2004 by Jeffrey Gettleman and Ariel Hart, when George W. Bush had the bad taste to actually show up in Atlanta for the commemoration.


What Gettleman and Hart wrote: "Civil rights leaders said the hastily planned presidential visit, to be followed by a $2,000-a-person fund-raiser in Atlanta, is interfering with birthday plans. They also said coupling a visit to honor Dr. King with a political fund-raiser was in poor taste. 'It's the epitome of insult,' said the Rev. Timothy McDonald, an organizer of the birthday celebrations. 'He's really coming here for the fund-raiser. The King wreath was an afterthought.'"