The Last word

The recently addressed "Devil's Advo-cate"
rebuttal of the article addressing the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by a Matthew Haltom [1/23/02] printed in the Letters column was, though essentially mythological and a bit sad, still ironically thought-provoking in ways much of the emotional rhetoric of King's admirers isn't. This should not only be addressed; counterpoint arguments should be delivered in that context. Most people are aware of the instances of infidelity of which Dr. King was accused, via the illegal and ultimately unconstitutional wiretaps of his activities by the FBI under the leadership of the quite possibly paranoid schizophrenic and known cross dresser J. Edgar Hoover. (Most of the general public is also aware of the sexual predilections, indiscretions and marriage issues of Thomas Jefferson, Horace Harding, FDR, JFK, LBJ, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan [Nancy was his second wife], Bob Dole, Lee Atwater, Newt Gingrich and, of course, William Jefferson Clinton-not to mention Lot, Kings David and Solomon, and Judge Samson of the Old Testament, et. al.) Perhaps a more fitting reminder during this Black History month of both a) MLK's actual philosophy, and b) the inner strength it took to embrace the generative paradox of its construction, will nonetheless come from looking at what can be considered its the three pillars: the teachings of his Lord, Jesus Christ as written in the New Testament, the "self-evident" truths of the Constitution, and the Satyagraha principles of non-violent protest of the Mahatma, Mohandas Gandhi.

Considering the moral hypocrisy and historical inaccuracies one would have to cling to like a B&D slave in order to invalidate MLK's contribution to American life with "putang pie" gossip, ignoring his true political beliefs and his spiritual motivations call into question not what Haltom thinks of this preeminent symbol of the Civil Rights movement, but what he thinks of the Civil Rights movement itself. That, however, is a question anyone getting off on trying to tear down its icons with the impotent iconoclasm of far right revisionist political mythology may not wish to answer in print. After all, taking into consideration a) his public speeches against a war in Southeast Asia far more controversial than the oncoming Iraqi conflict, b) that he knew everyone from the KKK to the CIA had a price on his head, but he continued marching through the segregated South anyway, and c) being gunned down as he thought he would be before giving a speech proclaiming the rights of Union workers of all races, you gotta remember that we all have our faultsbut not everyone has the wisdom or courage of a Martin Luther King.

Earl Hazell


Prejudiced, i.e., an opinion formed without full
knowledge, best describes Darryl Weaver's rebuttal to my Martin Luther King letter.

Weaver says I'm dishonest for equating King's spreading of social disorder with his accomplishments on racial equality. Had he used that erudition Weaver says I lack, he'd have seen the observation referred to MLK's "harness[ing] the violence of northern criminal gangs." Such claims are solidly backed by research (see E. Michael Jones, "Rev. King Comes to Chicago: The End of the Dream, Culture Wars, Nov. 2001), which Weaver tries dismissing by attacking me and by denials devoid of substance.

Mention of the well-documented destruction desegregation wreaked on Catholic ethnic political power-on large families nurturing traditional morals-was a "laughable" and "bizarre muddle." Mention of immorality eroding Negro families, but not applying that critique to other races or noting other factors waylaying black families, meant I'm a "transmitter of propaganda." Whatever.

Because they girded their loins with sexual "liberation," civil rights leaders rejected the Johnson administration's plan to curtail the moral disintegration of Negro families (see Jones, Libido Dominandi: Sexual Liberation and Political Control, p.418-432). Like King fomenting social disorder in Chicago, this invalidates some of his legacy because he wasn't always the man of truth the hero-starved think him to be.

Matt Haltom


Ace has printed a representative sampling of letters received on the Martin Luther King cover story, Jan 16. The letters page forum on that cover is now concluded.

Letters Policy: Ace LOVES to publish our mail (250 words or less please); please include name and daytime phone. No photocopies. No bulk mail. First come, first served. We may edit for space and grammar; we will limit frequency; and, on popular issues, we may print one or two letters to represent a segment of public opinion. Private correspondence should be labeled “NOT FOR PUBLICATION.”

Mail: 486 West Second St , Lexington, Ky 40507


A game of chicken

By a 2-1 published decision, the Kentucky Court of Appeals upheld the power of the Cumberland County Fiscal Court to enact an ordinance under its "home rule" powers to control and operation of poultry facilities.

In light of the action by the 2002 Kentucky General Assembly in which Division of Water regulations had imposed setbacks and other controls on concentrated animal feeding operations, the Court of Appeals' affirmation of the authority of counties to impose such setbacks as a matter of "home rule" authority is particularly important. Residents of counties in which uncontrolled development of intensive poultry and livestock operations is a concern, and their local governments, can look to this decision for support in local efforts to enact ordinances to fill the gap in landowner and natural resource protection left by the General Assembly's summary rejection of the Cabinet's modest Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation regulation.

I propose

Programs benefiting youth in Lexington are able to apply for funding from Partners in Youth. The coalition was formed to help out grassroots youth programs in Lexington. Proposals must be submitted by way Request for Proposal Forms, which can be downloaded at www.lfucg.com, or by calling 258-3135. Applications must be returned to the Partners in Youth office by 5 pm on Monday, February 10th. The office is located at 166 N. Martin Luther King Boulevard, Suite 200. Recipient announcements will be made in April.

Ban this

On Monday, February 10th, the Board of Health and the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department will hold a meeting to discuss the public health implications of second-hand smoke in public places. Local debate continues on an ordinance that would ban smoking in public places. The issue will be revisited at a Feb 20 council meeting.

Animal advocates

On Thursday, February 13, at 12:30 p.m., a rally will be held in the Capitol Rotunda in support of pending legislation in the Kentucky General Assembly. A statewide coalition of veterinarians, animal control officers, humane organizations, law enforcement professionals, and protective services advocates will be present at a press conference and rally to support Senate Bill 24, House Bill 243 and House Bill 214-bills which elevate intentional and severe cases of animal abuse from a misdemeanor to a felony. Scheduled speakers will range from Senator Tom Buford (R -Jessamine) to Representative Joni Jenkins (D-Jefferson), to Dr. Jim Webber, president of the Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association and other dignitaries.

Enactment of this legislation will add Kentucky to the list of 37 states in the nation who have already passed felony cruelty legislation.

Prior to the rally, four kentucky pets coalition members will also be hosting a hospitality room for the legislators in Room 111 in the Capitol Annex from 8 - 11 a.m.

Ace's Bluegrass Bachelor Auction later that evening will benefit an organization, Woodstock Animal Foundation, dedicated to animal welfare and advocacy.

Quit it

Kentuckians who want to quit smoking, chewing, or dipping can seek the help they need plus a chance to win a grand prize of $2,500 by entering Kentucky Quit and Win 2003.

Visit the Quit and Win website (www.quitandwin.org) or call 859/288-7515 for a registration form. Any Kentucky adult (age 18 or older) in the state who would like to become a nonsmoker or former user can participate in the 2003 program. To be eligible for the cash prizes ($2,500 first prize & five $500 runner-up prizes) participants must remain tobacco-free from February 14, 2003 to March 15, 2003 (30 days).

To submit an advocacy/activism activity or event for Quickies, email rkirkland@aceweekly.com, or editor@aceweekly.com.