Roy Barnes: MLK wouldn’t like high-living lawmakers

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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25 comments Add your comment

Warrior and Mom

January 18th, 2010
12:14 pm

King Roy forgets he was tossed out on his assets due to his bad management and his living “high on the hog”. Go Ray McBerry!!!

spirit of 76

January 18th, 2010
12:47 pm

Apartheid, that vicious system of racist repression which once barbarically burdened the lives of people of color in America and South Africa, deserves our firm condemnation wherever it rears its ugly head. As bad as apartheid was in Jim Crow America and fascist South Africa, it is worse in contemporary Israel and its illegally Occupied Territories.

F-16s did not routinely bomb Bantustans. Federal troops did not seal off urban ghettoes from contact with the outside world for years. Armed forces did not unleash a wholesale slaughter of innocents for weeks on end and then forbid reconstruction of their devastated communities. No huge concrete walls with military outposts surrounded Black neighborhoods. No population of color was forced to slowly starve within an open-air prison regularly used as a shooting gallery by the border guards.

What would MLK do about apartheid in Israel? The same thing he did about the less vicious forms of racism in America and South Africa. Call for a boycott of all institutions and divestment of all funds supporting Apartheid Israel. If you open your heart and mind, you can hear that clarion call for justice from the other side of the River Jordan.

Taxed Middle Class

January 18th, 2010
1:09 pm

MLK said he hoped one day that his children would not be judged by the color of their skin but of their character. He had no idea of how bad it would turn out to be. They fight and cheat on each other for money that surpasses condemnation.


January 18th, 2010
1:18 pm

There are 2 MAJOR Civil Rights movements happening right now…the rights for gays to marry and the right to medicate with medical marijuana. Here’s what MLK means to the Marijuana Movement:


January 18th, 2010
1:20 pm

Don’t think Dr King would care too much for his greedy, high living, moochin’ off the legacy of a great leader offspring either!

Mike Smith

January 18th, 2010
1:40 pm

I don’t think Dr. King would care for a former Governor who has the perverse $20 million statewide record for most money raised by lobbyists and special interest groups. Where does the hypocrisy end?


January 18th, 2010
1:55 pm

The KGB will soon be a 2 time loser.

Uncle Jessie

January 18th, 2010
2:16 pm

If MLK were around today thar would be a bunch a young gals telling stories to reporters ’bout all the time they spent in hotels a drinking and partyin all nite wit him on SCLC money. He must be Tiger Woods role model. Newspapers done wrote an article what tells of a book one a his pals wrote bout all a that.

Common sense

January 18th, 2010
2:33 pm

Only reason Bernice King didn’t want the great unwashed to take photos was that might cut into her take from selling “official” photographs. If the children has their way the King family home in Atlanta would be turned into something aking to an MLK Graceland with a multiple gift shops across the street

MLK III is in Mass no doubt because he was paid an honorarium to be there, the actual trubute to his father in Atlanta didn’t line his pockets.

Praying Grandmother

January 18th, 2010
2:36 pm

Governor Barnes stated, “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.”

I would suggest to former Governor Barnes that Martin Luther King would tell his people to stop electing politicians and replace them with public servants. Skilled politicians are self-serving while public servants do what is best for the public. Our government has too many politicians and not enough public servants. Politicians need to go! Politicians need training on how to serve the public…just take a few classes from police officers, firemen, soldiers, nurses, etc.

Rob Vinson

January 18th, 2010
4:11 pm

Hey uncle Jessie…. What’s the title of that book?


January 18th, 2010
4:23 pm

He would probably say pay your bills and you won’t have your house foreclosed on.


January 18th, 2010
4:26 pm

Praying Grandmother – Your sentiments are shared and your words applauded!

Road Warrior

January 18th, 2010
4:47 pm

spirit of 76 needs to reread his history books not the revisionist tomes from the Liberal left! The west bank territories were taken in combat with Eygpt, Syria, Jordan. Thats one of the bad byproducts of attacking your neighbor militarily if you lose you also lose ground! been a common theme since the beginning of man! Isreal is the One country in the World who stands up to Extremist Muslim Groups such as Hamas. don’t start a fight with Isreal if you can stand the consequences then cry about it for the next 50 yrs


January 18th, 2010
6:34 pm

Or high-living trial lawyers either!


January 18th, 2010
8:27 pm

A Great Person I’m doing a study on him and I luvvvvvvvvv him that’s why I picked him. Martin Luther King was one of the worlds beautiful human beings, a Soul who lived for a purpose…sadly he was assassinated and taken from us too soon. But I’m not so sure that Barack Obama becoming president was exactly what the “King” had in mind… This was a great incite in to the great man though…

roy money

January 18th, 2010
9:59 pm

roy got richer while governor and made all kinds of sweetheart, million dollar deals for friends and lobbyists. now, he uses some phony speech mentioning mlk to get votes for governor. hang it up roy–hypocrisy doesn’t work.

Bitter EX democrackkk

January 19th, 2010
6:12 am

Did Senator Isackson, or ANY of the speakers, REMIND the assembled crowd that MLK, his father, AND his grandfather were ALL members of the Party of Emancipation, the Republicans? It was JFK, who ‘converted’ MLK to the party of slavery …


January 19th, 2010
6:32 am

I like how the comments about Roy Barnes focus on him and not what he said.

The Georgia legislature has enabled predatory lenders in our state. To a shameful extent these lenders take advantage of our young soldiers at Benning, Stewart, Gordon, etc.


January 19th, 2010
7:21 am

Barnes is a shameless demagogue. His infamous attack on so called predatory lenders (back when he was governor) was nothing but a means for lawyers like him to sue people and make money. His comments imply that lenders somehow profit because of the state’s high foreclosure rate. Lenders don’t want to own houses; they want us to make our payments.

I'm Not A Believer

January 19th, 2010
8:38 am

MLK is not the person blacks should listen to……they have a spokesperson still alive and kicking who tells it like it is…….Bill Cosby. Start listening to him…’ll be a whole lot better off.


January 19th, 2010
9:07 am

MLK was also awarded the Margret Sanger award, a woman who was a racist and eugenics that fought to have poor whites and minorities their right for abortions and birth control because they were considered inferior.

Here are some of her comment “It is said that a fish as large as a man has a brain no larger than the kernel of an almond. In all fish and reptiles where there is no great brain development, there is also no conscious sexual control. The lower down in the scale of human development we go the less sexual control we find. It is said that the aboriginal Australian, the lowest known species of the human family, just a step higher than the chimpanzee in brain development, has so little sexual control that police authority alone prevents him from obtaining sexual satisfaction on the streets.”

Despite allegations of racism, Sanger’s work with minorities earned the respect of civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr.

In 1966, Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) inaugurated the PPFA Margaret Sanger Award to honor the woman who founded America’s family planning movement.

Dr. King was one of the first recipients of the Sanger Award, recognized for “his courageous resistance to bigotry and his lifelong dedication to the advancement of social justice and human dignity.”


January 19th, 2010
9:10 am

GB, true lenders don’t want to own homes, but i do recall barnes suggesting that mortgage originators/lenders have some skin in the game instead of bundling and passing the risk to someone else. You must live in some fantasy world to not understand that folks making $75K/yr could not afford $450K homes. Lenders did not have to make these risky loans. Granted there were many deceitful borrowers but if you look at foreclosure map you see strong correlation to socio/econmic challenged people. Many were duped and a modicum of due diligence by lenders/wall st/fannie mae could have minimized much of this mess. barnes spoke to this issue….the resounding response by business is business as usual. Hard to understand why so many GA banks have tanked given all the warnings about the bubble.

Uncle Jessie

January 19th, 2010
9:40 am

Ralph David Abernathy wrote book bout MLK called “and the walls came tumblin down” he were a close associate and tells lots of inside stories you never hear much about. Fer instance MLK and his daddy were named Michael not Martin Luther never was changed official. and night he were in Memphis afore he got shot he were in hotel with 2 or 3 gals one a whom he beat up.

Dunwoody Dan

January 20th, 2010
2:36 pm

Has Roy forgotten that he let the AJC take photos of his huge mansion in Marietta a few months ago – gee, wonder what special interest groups help get him that house. Roy is a huge hypocrite.