By Diane Loupe
Friday, September 3, 2010
Rev. Alveda King's Tea Party allegiance grabbed headlines last weekend when she joined the Glenn Beck rally on the anniversary of her uncle's famous "dream" speech. It also made her an even more polarizing figure in the abortion-rights struggle.
ATLANTA (WOMENSENEWS)--Last weekend, the Rev. Alveda King, a niece of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., left no doubt about where the Tea Party movement, led by conservative pundit Glenn Beck, stood on abortion rights.
In a Beck-headlined rally, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous "I Have a Dream" speech, Alveda King--a big-name backer of a controversial anti-abortion billboard campaign here that targets African American neighborhoods--invoked her uncle and proclaimed that equal protection for all included banning abortion.
True protection, she was quoted in The Republic magazine as saying, will only be achieved "when our children are no longer in mortal peril on our streets and in our classrooms, and in the wombs of our mothers."
The 59-year-old King, a former Georgia legislator, says her uncle championed the rights of the "human family, and the human family also includes little babies in womb." Her uncle, she says, would have opposed abortion.
"The greatest way to violate the rights of a little baby in the womb is to kill the baby," King said in an interview with Women's eNews. "That violates the baby's civil rights."
This week, reproductive rights activists reacted negatively to King's appearance at the rally where Beck was widely quoted as calling President Obama a racist with a "deep seeded hatred of white people."
Loretta Ross, national coordinator of the Atlanta-based SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, expressed extreme dismay that King was assuming the mantle of her uncle and extending it to Beck's controversial effort to reclaim the civil rights movement for people of religious faith.
"That's like Martin Luther King Jr. endorsing the Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan," Ross said.
Pro-choice advocates note that Martin Luther King Jr. accepted an award from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America in part for his support of "the cause of worldwide voluntary family planning."
By Diane Loupe