While it’s not exactly new news, that Martin Luther King Jr. had extramarital affairs, this week another critic of his personal life has joined the fray.
This time, the voice taking aim at MLK’s character is America’s beloved icon Jacqueline Kennedy. In a new book looking at the former First Lady’s life, JFK aide Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.’s interviews with Jackie O show she was less than impressed with MLK’s humor and handling of his personal life.
The New York Daily News reports:
Kennedy, in one of seven Q&A sessions with former JFK aide Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., said King had mocked her slain husband’s funeral Mass and its celebrant, Cardinal Richard Cushing.
“He made fun of Cardinal Cushing and said he was drunk at it,” Kennedy recounted. “And things about they almost dropped the coffin. I just can’t see a picture of Martin Luther King without thinking, you know, ‘That man’s terrible.'”
Kennedy’s negative impression of King was forged in part when she heard about FBI tapes that captured the married activist in a hotel room with another woman.
Her own philandering husband – whose extra-marital romps were yet unexposed – urged the First Lady not to judge King for his indiscretion, she recalled.
While many in the blogosphere have taken offense to Jackie O’s comments, they do not seem much unlike the criticism of MLK’s personal life voiced by many other historians and sisters in the past. Though we love to preserve our heroes, they too have flaws. In my opinion, criticism of an icon’s personal life does not talk away from the impact and reach of their work.
What do you think of Jackie O’s comments on MLK? Offensive or just the truth Clutchettes and gents?