Glenn Beck, What's the Point?
Monday 30 August 2010
by: Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III, t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed
Depending on the source that is used, tens of thousands to between 87,000 to 96,000 people attended conservative commentator Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial Saturday. Why were they there? What was the point?
I went to Beck's web site in an attempt to get a clear understanding of the message of the rally, the objective, the point. What I found was a poorly written collection of thoughts that spoke to understanding who we are and how we find heroes. "Tomorrow that's what this is about really, reflection of who we are, where we are, where we're going, what each of us have to do. How do we get our way out of this? ... It's time we find heroes again... .What is it we trust? Who is it we believe in?"
Beck claimed that this rally would pay tribute to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and "... reclaim the civil rights movement. It has been so distorted and so turned upside down. It is an abomination." These are interesting words from a man who continuously fans the flames of bigotry and hatred. He recently said that President Obama has a "... deep seated hatred for White people, or the White culture. I don't know what it is. This guy I believe is a raciest." Is Beck insinuating that President Obama hates his own mother and maternal grandparents? Beck's hypocrisy and bigoted diatribes are the abomination.
The "Restoring Honor" rally took place on the 47th anniversary and at the site of the 1963 March on Washington where Rev. Dr. King delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. Unlike the vague and ambiguous "Restoring Honor" rally, the complete name of the 1963 march was the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. It is estimated that close to 200,000 Americans of various ethnicities and backgrounds came to Washington to demand that the Kennedy administration pass civil rights legislation, integrate schools, provide unemployment assistance and pass the Fair Employment Act. As a result of this historic march, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed as well. The 1963 march was based in the principles of the American Dream and made America a better place.
Sarah Palin spoke at Beck's event stating, "We must not fundamentally transform America, as some would want. We must restore America and restore her honor." Restore America to what and how? Has America's honor been damaged more by the election of its first African-American president or by former President Bush 43 misleading America into war with false claims of weapons of mass destruction, former Vice President Cheney's "yellow cake uranium" hoax and the illegal release of the name of former CIA operative Valerie Plame as an attempt to silence critics of the Bush administration?
These words of restoring honor are spoken by the same woman who recently came to the defense of Dr. Laura Schlessinger, the talk radio host who used the N-word on the air 11 times in five minutes. According to The Huffington Post, Palin Tweeted, "Dr. Laura: don't retreat ... reload! (Steps aside bc her 1st Amend.rights ceased 2exist thx 2activists trying 2silence "isn't American, not fair") ... Dr. Laura=even more powerful & effective w/out the shackles, so watch out Constitutional obstructionists. And b thankful 4 her voice, America!"
Be thankful for her voice America? I think the N-word on air 11 times in five minutes is a bit much by almost any standard except the Klan's. Also, some one should let Palin know that hate speech is not constitutionally protected by the First Amendment.
In promoting this rally, Beck stated, "Great achievements in history start with one great idea, one great person." What was the great idea? Gather a group of people together to play upon their fears; continue to disseminate lies and misinformation, and drive a larger political wedge between individuals based upon contrived ideological foolishness? That does not a great person make.
On the 47th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and the Rev. Dr. King's famous speech, we should pay him tribute. He was a true American hero. Beck, Palin and those such as Representative Boehner (R-Ohio), Senator McConnell (R-Kentucky), and other Republicans who support them with their silence should be judged not "by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."
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