‘The Queen of Soul,’ Aretha Franklin, and Arizona Sen. John McCain were laid to rest this weekend. Both funerals demonstrated anger and disappointment toward President Trump.
In Detroit, angry fingers were clearly pointed at the president due to an insulting comment he made on the passing of Franklin.
As reported by CBS News, Trump offered his condolences to Franklin’s family at a cabinet meeting, saying: “I want to begin today by expressing my condolences to the family of a person I knew well,” the president said. “She worked for me on numerous occasions. She was terrific, Aretha Franklin, on her passing.”
Many noted that Franklin’s “long involvement in the Black civil rights struggle should not have left her to be obituarized as entertainment for wealthy White men—especially a man who once took out ads in New York City’s newspapers to demand the death penalty for the Central Park 5, five young Black men later exonerated of rape, in the wake of their arrest.”
“You know, the other Sunday on my show, I misspelled ‘Respect,’“ said Sharpton, referencing the hit song by Aretha Franklin. “And a lot of y’all corrected me. Now I want y’all to help me correct President Trump to teach him what it means.
“And I say that because when word had went out that Miss Franklin passed, Trump said she used to work for me. She used to perform for you, she worked for us.”
Georgetown Professor Michael Eric Dyson echoed Sharpton’s sentiment saying, “She ain’t worked for you. She worked above you. She worked beyond you. Get your preposition right.”
Sen. John McCain was commemorated on Saturday at the Washington National Cathedral in a ceremony that was full of references of political resistance to Trump.
President Barack Obama eulogized McCain, beginning with an acknowledgement of each of the other former presidents and vice presidents present in the room: Bush, Clinton, Gore, and Cheney-making the absence of Trump starker.
Obama also made references to Trump and his policies stating: “So much of our politics, our public life, our public discourse can seem small and mean and petty, trafficking in bombast and insult and phony controversies and manufactured outrage.”
President George W. Bush subtly criticized Trump, praising McCain’s lifelong opposition to “bigots and swaggering despots.” John McCain’s daughter, Meghan McCain, confronted Trump directly in a eulogy her father had requested she deliver.
“The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again, because America was always great,” she said.
Meghan McCain also took aim at Trump’s failure to serve in Vietnam saying, “We gather here to mourn the passing of American greatness—the real thing, not cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice he gave so willingly, nor the opportunistic appropriation of those who lived lives of comfort and privilege while he suffered and served.”
Sen. McCain was held for five and a half years as a prisoner of war in Hanoi, after he declined early release, refusing to leave behind those whose release should have preceded his own.
Trump had mocked McCain’s heroism during the 2016 election camping saying, “He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured,” despite seemingly dodging the draft by presenting what many call dubious medical paperwork of bone spurs.