You've must read it to believe it:
Poor Tom Friedman. He is looking for a Muslim Martin Luther King. There is none, Tom. If one were living on earth, they'd break his windows. Imprison him. Or kill him. Finished. (Via Yglesias)Now it's possible, I suppose, that Marty P. and Alan D. and Abe F. and the rest of that tribe of garrulous, warmongering blights on my once-held, always-cherished folkways might be spending their weekends locked in some cottage on the Cape, communing with the waking spirit of MLK in a grotesquely heterosexual re-edit of The Changing Light at Sandover. Thus the belief that he still walks among us. But to the rest of us, King is dead, and Marty Peretz is, as Kushner said of America (by way of Roy Cohn), mostly terminal, crazy, and mean.
That's a bit unfair, though, because Marty's error, and Tom Friedman's error, and most Americans' error, is to recall King as they remember Christ: a slightly chipped, beatific portrait in oil, two fingers raised, head aglow, bird of the Lord above his head, apostles all around. The real Martin Luther King, Jr. was a radical "Christian Socialist" who, like such true Americans as Mark Twain, grew bitter as he aged, appalled at the hoary, violent, incontinent monster that was and is America. I carry no brief for socialism, nor yet for Christianity (as if there's any particular difference), but I have a squishy spot for anyone who can stand in front of the Lincoln Memorial and decry "the tranquilizing drug of gradualism." But so be it. It's our depressing habit to recall black leaders in impotent Christitude. Scourge 'em and beat 'em. They love that shit!
Otherwise, Jimminy Carter, one of the men who did most to originate America's Help-Me-Rhonda policies in the Middle East, made a minor attempt at atonement for past sins by writing an historical romance entitled Golda Meir and P.W. Botha: Love at Last Sight. Marty and the Gang all leapt to the bait, screaming that not only is Isreal nothing like South Africa, and not only is the treatment of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories nothing like Apartheid, well, even if it were, where's the fucking Palestinain Mandela, huh? In this version, Nelson Mandela practiced only Satygraha, the African National Congress was just a forerunner to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and Robben Island was punishment for not moving to the back of a bus or something.
The Palestinain Nelson Mandela probably belongs to Hamas, you fools. And yes, their Martin Luther King, Jr. was probably jailed, and is probably dead.