Alveda King: Put the Political Strife Out to Pasture
I have few regrets in my life. At the top of the list is the demise of two children in my womb, and one miscarriage. Next to that, I regret having said to a group of peers that my Uncle M. L. (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) was a Republican. My Grandfather, Dr. Martin Luther King, Sr. was a registered Republican. Uncle M. L. was an independent. I assumed that since Granddaddy was a Republican, Uncle M. L. was too. After all, before the election of President John F. Kennedy, the majority of African American voters were Republicans. Granddaddy convinced a large block of Blacks to vote for President John Kennedy after he helped to get my uncle out of jail during those turbulent days. Uncle M. L. tended to vote Democrat, but remained independent because he found weaknesses in both parties. The truth of the matter is that God isn’t a Republican or a Democrat or a Tea Party voter. God doesn’t vote. The squabbling and division among the parties is tragic.
Wise Christian leaders such as Dr. Billy Graham and others who have visited the White House over the years to advise sitting presidents have focused on the times and not the parties. I’m beginning to understand the wisdom of such. As a result, I am no longer endorsing political candidates, choosing rather to vote responsibly and to follow the Bible instructions that we must pray for all people, including those in authority.
As a Christian leader and civil rights activist, Uncle M. L. followed a pattern of not publicly endorsing a U.S. political party or candidate. He wrote: “I feel someone must remain in the position of non-alignment, so that he can look objectively at both parties and be the conscience of both — not the servant or master of either.” In a 1958 interview, he expressed his view that neither party was perfect, saying, “I don’t think the Republican party is a party full of the almighty God nor is the Democratic party. They both have weaknesses … And I’m not inextricably bound to either party.”
As one who has been elected to office as a Georgia State Representative (D), served as a presidential appointee (R) and who has often voted as an Independent, I can truly say that we would all be better off without the political squabbles that tend to divide us.