Glenn Beck‘s Restoring Honor rally was viewed by non-conservatives with skepticism and anger. Rightfully so. The same public figure who said social justice was code for communism organized an event allegedly honoring one of the world’s greatest social justice icons – Martin Luther King — on the anniversary of his “I Have a Dream” speech. Adding insult to injury, Beck said Blacks did not “own” King’s dream (not the point) and that they should essentially “step off.”
During the August 28 rally it wasn’t clear what was more insulting listening to speakers invoke God’s name (knowing that Jesus was indeed pro-social justice) or watching the crowd ooze with self-righteousness over “reclaiming” civil rights (that they do not generally support). Let’s keep it real. Beck and his flock are not even Sunday morning Christians when it comes to civil rights, and you can not help but wonder if the media and the public are buying into their recent status as born-again MLK admirers. This isn’t about who owns the dream but who’s working towards it. Here are the facts: (1) Beck’s event had a political/Tea Party undertone. (2) The rally was not unifying or racism-free. (4) Saturday’s event was bankrolled with right-wing, corporate money. (3) Beck does not support MLK’s agenda – at all.
Interesting? Yes. Surprising? No. Context matters. Agendas matter. Facts Matter. As you consider the event, please read further either for your personal knowledge or to set the record straight with conservative friends.
Media Matters for America captures Glenn Beck’s interview on Fox where he talks about the context of MLK’s speech and admits he’s not down with that dreamy, rightsy thing, after all.
Here are a few points from Media Matters’ blog the entire report is available here.
Media Matters – Reclaiming the civil rights movement, not believing in it.
After weeks of repeatedly invoking King while promoting the 8-28 rally, and all of his talk about “reclaiming the civil rights movement,” Beck now says he doesn’t agree with a key portion of King’s vision for civil rights — going so far as to suggest that the civil rights movement’s economic agenda was “racial politics.”
Media Matters – Beck’s Fox interview discussing the civil rights agenda.
Wallace again pressed Beck on the economic dimension to the civil rights movement, noting that King was assassinated while leading the Poor People’s Campaign and that King “advocated what he called an economic bill of rights, guaranteeing everyone a job.” Wallace then said to Beck: “I mean, you may say, well, that’s not your civil rights movement, but it was Martin Luther King’s.”
Media Matters – Attacking on those who tie social issues to civil rights:
Beck attacked Democrats and progressives for tying economic issues to the civil rights movement. But today Beck admitted that an economic agenda was indeed “a part” of the civil rights movement — a part of the movement with which Beck disagrees.
Again, the entire report, which includes transcript excerpts and video of Beck’s interview, is available online here.