King's Day

There’s a lot of reverent (no pun intended) talk today about the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King. Bill Maxwell in his 2003 St. Pete Times column even went so far as to castigate those who don’t speak in appropriately respectful tone of the slain civil rights leader.

One of the people Maxwell was unhappy with is comedian Chris Rock, who has made a habit of invoking Dr. King in often less than respectful vein:


Now there’s alot of talk about the people of Arizona being racist. So I went to see for myself, I went to Arizona and I’m walking through the streets of Tucson pushing my little baby brother in a stroller when a white woman comes up to the baby, smiles and says ‘Boy what a pretty niglet.’ Now if you don’t like black people, that’s one thing, but what I can’t understand is why people in a hot-ass desert town like Tucson, Arizona wouldn’t want a day off work. It’s not like you have to do something black on that day. You don’t have to read Ebony magazine, you don’t have to watch Soul Train, all you have to do is not work. Now if this was an Elvis holiday, they’d take that off. It would be like another Christmas. With big fat white guys coming down chimneys with Elvis jumpsuits on, giving out preyludes. Now, everybody doesn’t get Martin Luther King’s birthday off, even the states that celebrate, some people still have to work. Now one group that never have to work are prisoners. Criminals. Every criminal in every jail get’s the day off work, which means even James Earl Rey, the man who killed Martin Luther King gets the day off. He’s so crazy, he’s probably walking around prison saying, “Everybody gets the day off today and nobody even bothered to thank me. ” Now what Arizona needs to do is give Dr. King somebody else’s holiday. There are so many holidays we celebrate every year that mean nothing.

Like Columbus Day. Nobody celebrates Columbus Day, nobody puts three ships in their front yard. First of all, Columbus discovered the West Indies. Second of all, the land he discovered had occupants on it. That’s like discovering someone’s back yard. All Columbus did was discover a West Indian back yard. He got his little flag and said “I claim this land for Spain.” And the West Indians are like, “Hey, Mon, get your darn flag off me lawn now. Move it now!”

So Arizona, get your act together and hail the King! Thank you very much.

And there was his infamous joke that if a friend called you and told you he was lost on Martin Luther King Blvd, you should tell him to run. Personally, I think Chris Rock honors Dr. King with his jokes. I said, I think.

Rudy Pooh-Poohs Dem Bigs’ Digs By MICHAEL O. ALLEN and LISA REIN Daily News Staff Writers

Sunday, October 26, 1997

With a comfortable lead in the polls, Mayor Giuliani yesterday refused to engage in a war of words with Democratic challenger Ruth Messinger — even allowing harsh comments from his predecessor, former Mayor David Dinkins, to go unchallenged.

Dinkins, who spent the better part of a rainy afternoon campaigning with Messinger in Brooklyn and Queens, accused Republican Giuliani of running an “out-of-control” campaign that would “self-destruct” before Election Day.

“I predict that Mayor Giuliani has a great capacity to self-destruct, and I think he’s going to do that in the next 10 days,” Dinkins said, at times stealing the spotlight from Messinger yesterday.

“He’s out of control right now,” Dinkins continued, recalling the mayor’s blistering attack on Messinger for not attending Mass on Columbus Day. “He seems to think that the whole world started on Jan. 1, 1994, when he became mayor.”

But Giuliani, crisscrossing the city with campaign stops in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, Harlem and Throgs Neck in the Bronx, refrained from attacking Dinkins, saying only, “The best thing for me to do with a question like that is to say, ‘I’m not going to respond.’ ”

When asked if he thought Dinkins could rescue Messinger’s flagging campaign, the mayor said he “couldn’t evaluate the other side.”

The mayor’s comments came at Sylvia’s Restaurant, a Harlem landmark where he capped a swing through clothing stores along W. 125th St., receiving warm greetings from proprietors.

Earlier, the mayor tasted meatball calzones and onion rings on his first-ever tour of a superstore, the Costco in Sunset Park. The visit came a day after he pledged to mount an aggressive campaign to revive his failed proposal to speed up the opening of more megastores if he wins reelection.

But as he marched in the small Parade of Flags along Fifth Ave. just a few miles away, some merchants told the mayor that superstores would decimate their mom-and-pop stores.

Messinger campaigned in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, getting thumbs-ups from shoppers and merchants along Broadway.

She then took the stage with Dinkins at the Panamanian Day parade in Brooklyn, where she accused Giuliani of positioning himself for a run for national office, a move she insisted would push him to the right politically and divert his concerns from the city’s schools.

Giuliani denied the charge, calling it an “irrelevant issue” and calling his “sole focus” his race for reelection.

Original Story Date: 102697