Yesterday I wrote a post noting that Alveda King is claiming that her anti-gay, anti-choice activism is the true legacy of her uncle Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” legacy … but I didn’t realize the true extent to which King believes that she alone represents MLK’s legacy.
That is something I discovered, along with lots of other interesting things, from this Daniel Denvir profile King in Salon today:
King’s academic credentials have also raised eyebrows. She is regularly referred to as “Dr. Alveda King” in promotional material, although her doctorate is an honorary one, bestowed by St. Anselm College, a Catholic school in Manchester, N.H. And she could not recall why she was awarded the honorary degree.
“I guess for my stand on the support of marriage, and family, and education, and life.”
In the late 1970s, King was elected to the Georgia state Legislature, where she served two terms as a Democrat — a period she is not eager to recount.
“I’m not involved in politics anymore,” she insisted. “Make sure you note that.”
By the mid-1980s, King left office and began work on a romance novel, “Arab Heart.” A few years later, she filed a lawsuit against Paramount Pictures, charging that Eddie Murphy stole her plot for his 1988 comedy “Coming to America.”
“I gave the manuscript to be read by Eddie Murphy, and he decided to take that and cut me out,” she said. “But that’s what happens in the industry.”
In 1994, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against King, finding that her self-described “historical tale of romance and adventure” did not have “substantial similarity” to the film, noting that the former was a “serious work with few lighter overtones, whereas ‘Coming to America’ is a quintessential light romantic comedy.”
King, who until recently went by Alveda Beal King, has political commitments born of a difficult personal life. She frequently describes the formative role played by her divorces and two abortions, holding tight to her family name even as she became estranged from family.
In 1994, she released a letter condemning Coretta Scott King’s support for abortion and gay rights, saying it would bring “curses on your house and your people…cursing, vexation, rebuke in all that you put your hand to, sickness will come to you and your house, your bloodline will be cut off.”
Alveda is dismissive of her aunt, who died in 2006, saying, “I’ve got his DNA. She doesn’t, she didn’t…Therefore I know something about him. I’m made out of the same stuff.”
On a related note, CNSNews.com ran an article today looking at King’s claims that her uncle was anti-choice, noting that he had once accepted an award from Planned Parenthood. Of course, King dismisses this fact entirely:
He pointed out that Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion provider, awarded the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. its Margaret Sanger Award in 1966, and it highlights King’s acceptance of that award on the organization’s Web site.
But Alveda King told CNSNews.com that the award does not prove her uncle supported abortion, and pointed out that Dr. King did not even attend the award ceremony.
“Mrs. Coretta Scott King knew that her husband, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was pro-life,” she said. “Mrs. Coretta King, who was pro-abortion, took and did read the (acceptance) speech, and accepted on behalf of her husband.”
In her analysis of the acceptance speech, Alveda King concluded — based on the words spoken by Dr. King in his lifetime — that the speech, and a subsequent letter thanking Planned Parenthood for the award, were not written by Dr. King.
“He did not write the speech. He did not deliver the speech,” she said. “There was a thank-you letter with what appears to be his signature on it, but he had other people who signed his letters in his office, so you can’t even really say he signed it.”
Basically, Alveda King has been cut off from the King family because she has made a career out of trading on the King name while peddling views that are diametrically opposed to those held by Martin Luther King Jr … and so it only makes sense that Glenn Beck has tapped her to speak at his rally being held on the anniversary of MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech as Beck tries to claim King’s mantle for himself.