Monday, January 17, 2005

To Celebrate MLK Day....An Interview with Alveda King

Alveda King, niece of the late Martin Luther King, Jr. gave an incredible interview to Newsweek. Here are some excerpts, but I encourage you to read the whole thing:

What is the most pressing issue facing African-Americans today?
If we were in the 1990s, I would have said that school choice is the most pressing civil-rights issue. We're now in the new millennium, and the battle for life, in my heart, has equal place. By that, I'm speaking of the pro-life movement. I am a member of a group called Silent No More, of mostly women who say they regret their abortion. I'm post-abortive so I know this, when we abort the child, we violate his or her rights, we as the mothers suffer tremendously, and our families suffer. I remember my children saying, "You killed our brother or our sister, how could you do that? Did you want to kill us, too?" My uncle said that "the Negro cannot win if he is willing to sacrifice the lives of his children for personal comfort and safety.” Now if you look at the issue of abortion, that's immediately sacrificing the life of a child for personal comfort and safely.

What about a young, single woman growing up in a poor neighborhood, with few resources? A lot of people would say that it is better for her to have an abortion than to raise a child in poverty and perpetuate the cycle of poverty for another generation.
I had an abortion in my early twenties. I was married, but the father did not want the child. He was very emphatic about that, and somewhat threatening, and I felt under tremendous pressure, and so I made that choice. At the time, we had one son, and [the father] did not want other children. And it was so convenient, because Roe v. Wade had just passed, and my medical insurance paid for it. I would say in retrospect, we have a greater responsibility as a compassionate society to teach our young people, male and female, the responsibility of parenting, what happens when you have sex, and to teach again like we used to: be prepared to raise a child if you have sex. People stopped saying that. And so I do have compassion for the young person who says, “If I have this baby, my life will be ruined.” But I believe the answer is: Think about that before you have the sex. I would say to that young lady, if she's already pregnant, then we go into intervention and look for opportunities to have the child adopted, or to strengthen her with maybe a scholarship to finish school so she doesn't feel deserted or abandoned.

Bill Cosby has been very outspoken about the need for better parenting and self-improvement in the African-American community. Many were outraged by his suggestion that blacks need to take more personal responsibility and stop "blaming the white man." What's your take on this?
I admire him for what he's doing. People were upset: “Why are you knocking our people? It's the white man's fault.” Of course it isn't. White privilege aside, we as African Americans have an opportunity to be successful. Look at Dr. Cosby himself and his wife. We have many examples of African-American men and women who have succeeded without blaming others for their plight. This message can be taught in the family and it can be taught in the church, and there is a responsibility to do that.

Coretta Scott King has said that if Martin Luther King were alive today, he would be a champion of gay rights.
No, he would champion the word of God. If he would have championed gay rights today, he would have done it while he was here. There was ample opportunity for him to champion gay rights during his lifetime, and he did not do so. His daughter, Elder Bernice King has been recorded as saying, “I know in my sanctified soul that he did not take a bullet for same-sex marriage.”

Hat tip to The Dawn Patrol for the link to this article.

UPDATE: More MLK Blogging at Pajama Hadin, and La Shawn Barber's Corner

No comments: