Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Yolanda King, 1955 - 2007
While the Mainstream Media is busy trying to rewrite the history of homophobia, racism, and extremist rhetoric of the religious hatemonger Jerry Falwell (this graphic by TMZ just about sums up everything you need to know about Falwell, as far as I'm concerned), somehow the death of a greater (and morally more substantial) figure of the American religious experience, Yolanda King, only ranks a minor (or missing) hyperlink on the websites of CNN, MSNBC, Drudge, Fox, ABC and others.
Yolanda King was more than the Sean Lennon of the Civil Rights Movement, that is, someone who just happened to have cameras follow her because she was Dr. King's eldest daughter. She transformed personal tragedy to become a leader in her own right to my generation (Gen-X) and successive young 'uns, speaking on many college campuses, traditional or HBCU, to further not just the memory of her father's work, but its implementation.
The reason that many black males of my generation or Gen-Y, embraced "conservatism" or "libertarianism" is not out of the so-called "class conflict" that sociologists are so fond of citing for all of society's woes. It's that many of us who are (just barely) old enough to remember the legal ending of segregation (I was a toddler in the time span of Dr. King and Malcolm X's deaths) wonder what the hell is wrong so many younger "brothers and sisters" that can't seem to get it together, when people like Yolanda King and the generations before her accomplished so much with so little, and whole federal and state institutional racist apparatus were stacked against them.
I may not have always agreed with the left-ward politics of the King family or other civil rights leader, but Yolanda King was a class act. In an age where the Nihilism of Negro Nincompoops is elevated as high art by trashy white Mainstream Media (see also: any column by Stanley Crouch), Ms. King exhibited grace, style and intelligence wherever and whenever she spoke to the Children of the Movement. I can think of no better way to honor Yolanda King's memory and her contributions in the Ragged Thots forum, in addition to those of the "Mothers of the Civil Rights Movement," than to offer the eulogy for Coretta Scott King delivered by Malcolm X's oldest daughter, Attalah Shabazz. It says everything you need to know about the grace and character of Yolanda King.
P.S. If there is a God, he apparently missed the point of my earlier joke about Carl Jung and synchronicity to regular RT commenter, Rob. Jehovah: You were supposed to take out a comparable black scumbag with Falwell. You are truly a cruel creator to take the lovely Ms. King from us and leave us with the likes of Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and Louis Farrakhan ...