Rev. Joseph Lowery appeared on Tucker Carlson’s show last night to respond to right-wing criticisms that his remarks inappropriately politicized Coretta Scott King’s funeral. Carlson told Lowery his remarks “seemed like bad manners” and were “very uncomfortable.” Lowery stood his ground. Watch it:
CARLSON: It’s not hard to hear that [your remarks] and not draw the obvious conclusion that that’s an attack on President Bush, which of course is your right to do, and I think completely fair. But again, it seemed very uncomfortable to say something like that in a funeral with the president right there. It seemed like bad manners.
LOWERY: Well, I don’t think so. I certainly didn’t intend for it to be bad manners. I did intend for it to — to call attention to the fact that Mrs. King spoke truth to power. And here was an opportunity to demonstrate how she spoke truth to power about this war and about all wars.
And I think that, in the context of the faith, out of which the movement grows, we have always opposed war. We’ve always fought poverty. And we base our — our argument on — on the faith, on the fact that Jesus taught us. He identified with the poor. “I was hungry; you didn’t feed me. I was naked; you didn’t clothe me. I was in prison; you didn’t see about me.” He talked about war. He talked about he who lives by the sword.
So I’m comfortable with the fact that I was reflecting on Mrs. King’s tenacity against war, her determination to witness against war and to speak truth to power.
Transcript continues below:
CARLSON: Were you comfortable with President Jimmy Carter`s remarks, which also seemed openly partisan and political? His reference to the domestic spying controversy now surrounding the president and to the federal government`s response to Katrina? Was that an appropriate series of remarks to give at a funeral, do you think?
LOWERY: Well, Mr. Carter is very capable of defending himself.
CARLSON: But what did you think, I`m wondering?
LOWERY: Well, I think that I`m responsible for my remarks and not Mr. Carter`s. I just think that, in speaking truth to power, if there were no fabrications and there were no deceptions, there were no misstatements or errors in fact, then I think that Mr. Carter had a right to say what he feels.
CARLSON: All right. The Reverend Joseph Lowery, joining us by phone from Atlanta tonight.