DuBose Porter was in the audience, but Roy Barnes was the Democratic candidate for governor with stage presence this morning at the annual Martin Luther King memorial services at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.
The former governor was the first speaker of note, and appropriately extolled King’s legacy. But Barnes was not about to let the chance pass, and also took a crack at the boys and girls in the state Capitol:
I suggest to you that [King would] be demanding of his politicians – why they let campaign contributions and expensive dinners allow predatory lenders to run free and take advantage of an entire generation of our people. Georgia has one of the highest – is always in the top five – of foreclosures in this nation. In fact it has been as high as No. 3, falling only behind California and some of these large states.
But yet I read in the newspaper yesterday that the politicians who have gathered in that Gold Dome say that we don’t need any more regulation about predatory lending. How is it that we allow such to happen? What would Martin Luther King be saying today? He’d be saying, ‘Shame on you. Shame on you that you allow our houses to be taken.’”
U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, who is up for re-election but has yet to attract any serious Democratic opposition, carried the Republican flag at the King Day event.
As this is being written, Bernice King – a pastor and daughter of MLK — is asking the house to stop taking pictures with their digital cameras and cell phones, out of respect for the ceremony. Official photographers and videographers have been designated, she said.
One of the chief violators in the congregation has been former U.N. ambassador and Atlanta mayor Andrew Young, one of King’s lieutenants, snapping pictures right and left – as he often does at events. We do not think he will be tossed out.
Bernice King also apologized for the absence of her brother, Martin Luther King III. President Barack Obama had called him to Massachusetts for last-minute campaigning in that state’s U.S. Senate race. Health care reform depends on it, she said.
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