July 13, 2009 in Opinion

A memory fit for a king

 

About this column

Outside Voices is a weekly roundup of excerpts from recent editorials published in newspapers around the nation. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial board of The Spokesman-Review.

Chicago Tribune, July 8: Even in death, he made a spectacle of himself. Billions of mourners around the world watched Michael Jackson’s memorial service Tuesday, an unrestrained display of communal catharsis that played out on CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, E! and, of course, Twitter. It was hard not to be moved, even if you think the good stuff ended with “Thriller” and you still have doubts about Jacko’s behavior around young boys. Maybe someday we’ll sort it all out, but this was not that day.

“Obama’s inauguration is so six months ago,” wrote Joshua Alston, a blogger for Newsweek. “The where-were-you moment of 2009, if not the aughts, is the day the King of Pop lay in repose in a basketball arena.”…

San Jose Mercury News, July 7: Defense Secretary Robert Gates didn’t win any points by saying he wants to make the law prohibiting gays from serving openly in the armed forces “more humane” until Congress repeals it. Any time you admit a rule is inhumane, you lose moral justification for enforcing it at all.

The spotlight needs to be on Gates’ boss, however: President Barack Obama, who has the authority to get rid of the Clinton-era rule, pending action by Congress. …

The president apparently fears the political backlash of a confrontation with Congress and some push-back from military leaders. But this is a civil rights issue. Obama has to show the courage of his convictions.

President Harry Truman ended segregation in the military after World War II, and the armed forces proudly paved the way for civil rights advances throughout the nation. It’s Obama’s turn to stand up for what’s right.


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