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When funerals become politics

In contrast, aside from the commemoration of the dead, Americans mostly have seen funerals as solemn reminders of how frail and transitory life is for all of us, and how our shared fates should unite even the bitterest of enemies. Mr. Wellstone’s Minnesota funeral was meant to be a commemoration of a life of public servant well lived. Mr. McCain and President Trump were hardly friends. In not-so-veiled allusions, daughter Meghan McCain received loud applause for blasting Mr. Trump, as if she had delivered a partisan campaign speech: “We gather here to mourn the passing of American greatness, the real thing, not cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice he gave so willingly, nor the opportunistic appropriation of those who live lives of comfort and privilege while he suffered and served.” Former President Barack Obama used his time similarly to reference Mr. Trump, with similar not so subtle attacks, “Much of our politics can seem small and mean and petty. He contrasted Mr. McCain with Mr. Trump’s policies on illegal immigration and the summit with Vladimir Putin, “[McCain] respected the dignity inherent in every life, a dignity that does not stop at borders and cannot be erased by dictators.” Once a funeral is turned into politics, then politics takes on a life of its own. Why are funerals of celebrities and politicians turning into extended and televised political rallies? Partly, the volatile Donald Trump and his frantic political and media critics are locked in a crude, no-holds-barred war against each other — waged everywhere nonstop. Partly, everything in America has become politicized. Not even the dead escape it. Politicizing funerals will not end well.
Michael Eric Dyson: President Donald Trump Is A 'Lethal Liar' | The Beat With Ari Melber | MSNBC

Michael Eric Dyson: President Donald Trump Is A ‘Lethal Liar’ | The Beat With...

A new book by Investigative Washington Post journalist, Bob Woodward, who is known for much of the original reporting on Nixon’s Watergate scandal, alleges Trump’s closest staffers overlap with the core Trump resistance, both saying President Trump is a liar…

From Get-Out-the-Vote to Respectability Politics, Aretha Franklin’s Homegoing Was a Dramatic, Political Affair

DETROIT—A stage is a stage, even when it’s a church and the performance is a marathon of a funeral. Some were barnburners who brought the house down, like Rev. Jasper Williams, Jr. of Atlanta who turned her eulogy into a more than 30 minute Bill Cosby-esque “Pound Cake Speech” rant, steeped in respectability politics on the problems in the black “house,” and how it needed to become a “home.” You could feel Fox News commentators potentially salivating over his oratory as he railed against black women’s abilities to raise their sons, despite their strength and how “fine” they are. He even criticized Franklin’s religious and civil rights titan of a father, Rev. Then there was Sharpton, who was seated next to Farrakhan during the beginning of the funeral. “She sang a song for all of us,” calling her the “soundtrack for the civil rights movement.” Then Sharpton turned, and used President Donald Trump’s recent statement about Franklin’s passing, that she used to “work” for him, as a cudgel to beat the president with. “She used to perform for you, she worked for us!” railed Sharpton. He called Bill Clinton “the first black president,” something I’m sure Clinton hadn’t heard since we elected an actual black president in Barack Obama back in 2008. Ellis joked how some of the white people in attendance (a personal side-eye from me to Hillary Clinton) were clapping “on the 1 and 3” instead of the one and two. And Franklin was a queen who loved to perform, who loved her people and loved the flare for the dramatic.
Michael Eric Dyson: I Love You Kanye West, But Shame On You | The Beat With Ari Melber | MSNBC

Michael Eric Dyson: I Love You Kanye West, But Shame On You | The...

Republican Gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis is under fire for comments he made about his opponent mayor Andrew Gillum. Michael Eric Dyson joins “The Beat” to discuss, as Kanye West apologizes for saying slavery was “a choice”. » Subscribe to MSNBC:…
Michael Eric Dyson: Trump talks like a racist, thinks like a racist

Michael Eric Dyson: Trump talks like a racist, thinks like a racist

Michael Eric Dyson, author of "What Truth Sounds Like," responds to a new Quinnipiac University poll that reports 49% of Americans said they believe President Donald Trump to be a racist while 47% believe he is not.