Martin Luther King: And One Day We Must Ask The Question…

Martin Luther King, 1967:

Martin Luther King

“The movement must address itself to the question of restructuring the whole of American society. There are forty million poor people here. And one day we must ask the question, Why are there forty million poor people in America? And when you begin to ask that question, you are raising questions about the economic system, about a broader distribution of wealth. When you ask that question, you begin to question the capitalistic economy. And I’m simply saying that more and more, we’ve got to begin to ask questions about the whole society.

“We are called upon to help the discouraged beggars in life’s marketplace. But one day we must come to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. It means that questions must be raised. You see, my friends, when you deal with this, you begin to ask the question, Who owns the oil? You begin to ask the question, Who owns the iron ore? You begin to ask the question, Why is it that people have to pay water bills in a world that is two-thirds water? These are questions that must be asked.”

Dom Helder Camara, Archbishop of Recife:

“When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.”

Pope Francis:

“As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world’s problems or, for that matter, to any problems. Inequality is the root of social ills.”

President Barack Obama, 2013:

For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it […] Our journey is not complete…”

Fox News Guest Distorts Martin Luther King Quote To Attack ObamaCare

The naysayers at Fox News have been working overtime to cripple the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) by inventing controversies, spinning nightmares, and just outright lying. Then, when it seems that they have traversed a line that extinguishes all manner of decency, they manage to go a step further.

In yesterday’s episode of America’s Newsroom, host Bill Hemmer introduced a debate segment with a putrid old clip of Joe the Plumber (whose name is not Joe and is not a plumber) and the deliberately misrepresented remarks of then-candidate Obama talking about the benefits of growing the middle class. At the time, Fox News twisted his words into a socialist credo of redistribution of wealth when all he was saying was the same thing folks like Ronald Reagan said about a rising tide lifting all boats.

Fox News

The segment (video below) featured right-wing radio talker Mike Slater who took liberties with the words of Martin Luther King from his iconic essay, “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” In an effort to condemn the egalitarian aspirations of making health care accessible to all American citizens, Slater mangled King’s words saying…

“Here’s the bottom line. The ends do not justify the means. Martin Luther King, Jr. said ‘You cannot achieve a moral end — helping people — through an immoral means — taking from people.’ The left’s solution is always to take from people to help another group. That’s lazy.”

What anyone familiar with King’s famous essay will immediately recognize is that Slater’s butchered version of the quote where he references “helping people” and “taking from People” do not exist in the original. What King actually said was…

“I have consistently preached that nonviolence demands that the means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek. I have tried to make clear that it is wrong to use immoral means to attain moral ends.”

King was reiterating his long held belief in nonviolence and the need to maintain that in the face of increasing hostility from bigots and misguided southern law enforcement officials. It certainly had nothing to do with Slater’s skewed characterization that it is somehow wrong for government policies to help people. Taken literally, Slater’s view would eliminate Social Security, public schools, fire departments, child nutrition programs, and more.

Slater’s intentional distortion is even more ironic when you know that King’s next line was “But now I must affirm that it is just as wrong, or perhaps even more so, to use moral means to preserve immoral ends.” King might as well have been speaking directly to Slater who was using the moral ideas expressed by King for the immoral purpose of deception and advocacy of the sort of selfishness that King despised.

Unfortunately, Slater’s debate opponent, Leslie Marshall, was unprepared for Slater’s misquoting of King. She nevertheless responded earnestly saying “I think MLK would be rolling in his grave. If a child has cancer and they couldn’t get insurance, I don’t think that’s immoral, I think it’s quite the opposite to provide that.”

For the record, King was an advocate of health care access for all. In 1966 he told a conference in Chicago that “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.” Had Slater and Fox News made that quote available to their viewers they would have gone farther toward realizing the moral ends of which King spoke. But true to form, Fox was focused solely on advancing their own rightist agenda that only benefits the privileged.

Bill O’Reilly, Wrong Again: On Conservative Invitations To The MLK Event

Modern conservatives are obsessed with demonstrating their admiration for Martin Luther, Jr. now that he has been dead for 45 years and is universally regarded as a civil rights icon. While he was alive they despised him as a rabble-rousing commie and opposed his efforts to integrate schools, workplaces, and other social institutions.

Today they scramble to get invitations to an event commemorating King’s best remembered speech as if they were teenage girls trying to get into a Justin Beiber concert. Never mind that they continue to work furiously against the principles for which King fought, and they endeavor to roll back the clock on everything from voting rights to job opportunities.

Bill O'Reilly

On his program today, Bill O’Reilly joined the rush to pretend that King is a revered figure amongst those on the right. In a dialogue with James Carville, O’Reilly made what he must have thought was a profound observation: “Wasn’t it a little strange that they didn’t have one black conservative or one black Republican? Did their invitations get lost in the mail, or what?”

Carville began his response by noting the appearances by former presidents Carter and Clinton, but was interrupted by O’Reilly snidely remarking that “Isn’t George W. Bush a former president.” Carville replied that he didn’t know whether Bush was invited or not, to which O’Reilly matter-of-factly stated “He wasn’t. No Republicans and no conservatives were invited.”

Not surprisingly, given O’Reilly’s track record for accuracy and honesty, none of that was true. Bush was invited but declined because he is still recuperating from heart surgery. And even Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal reported that the claim that all conservatives were deliberately excluded was false. In fact, GOP House Speaker John Boehner was invited. The GOP majority leader of the House, Eric Cantor, was invited. Both declined. Former NAACP president Julian Bond appeared on MSNBC lamenting that organizers invited “a long roster of Republicans who all said no. They did, however, attend their own Republican-sponsored affair.

If this is evidence of the GOP’s re-dedication to expanding their base and reaching out to minority constituents, they are going to be sorely disappointed come election time. Conservatives didn’t like King fifty years ago, they don’t like his message today, and they snubbed efforts to participate in the tribute. No wonder they need O’Reilly to misrepresent the facts and invent a non-existent controversy, falsely blaming unnamed liberals for excluding them. I wonder what excuses these losers made up for not having been invited to their proms.

O’Reilly is famous for failing to take responsibility for his mistakes and untruths. He never admitted he was wrong when he said there weren’t any homeless veterans. He never “apologized for being an idiot,” as he promised, if ObamaCare was upheld by the Supreme Court. And you can safely expect that he will not take responsibility for these egregiously dishonest remarks either. [Credit where credit’s due: On his program tonight O’Reilly did acknowledge that he was wrong about conservatives not being invited to the MLK event. I guess there’s a first time for everything.]

[Update:] Right-wingers throughout the media have been blasting the MLK event for not inviting conservatives. However, numerous conservatives were invited, but turned it down. Amongst those was Tim Scott, the only current African-American senator (albeit an appointed one), who many pundits held up as an example of the bias shown by the event’s organizers. As it turns out, Scott was also invited and he, too, declined.

Fox News Commemorates MLK’s March On Washington By Promoting A Vulgar Racist

On this day fifty years ago, Rev. Martin Luther King led 250,000 Americans to Washington, D.C., and inspired the nation with his dream of freedom and equality. Commemorating that historical event, Fox News led their reporting with an obscure, three day old story about a thoroughly repulsive bigot who was discovered to be working for the Department of Homeland Security.

Fox Nation DHS

Ayo Kimathi was a mid-level office drone with no management authority or responsibility. His job was as a small business specialist in a unit that helps department clients procure items such as handcuffs, ammunition and guns. He was also the man behind an overtly racist web site that advocated violence and civil insurrection. When his supervisors found out what he was up to, they immediately put him on administrative leave pending further disciplinary action. On multiple occasions Fox has deceitfully said that the DHS approved of his web site, however, the approval was only granted because Kamathi misrepresented it’s content.

The web site was discovered by the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that studies and documents the activities of hate groups and works to expose the dangerous extremists amongst them. In the past, Fox News has disparagingly characterized the SPLC as a leftist operation that incites terrorist acts against conservatives. But on this occasion, Fox eagerly cites the SPLC’s reporting for one reason: The bigotry is that of a black man directed at whites.

Fox is only interested in racism when whites are the victims. On every other occasion Fox will portray the accuser as a race hustler who lacks any sense of personal responsibility. But the case of Kimathi is unique in that, while he is plainly prejudiced against whites, he is also fiercely opposed to President Obama whom he called a “faggot” and belittled as a “mulatto.” Setting aside his abhorrent contempt for Caucasians, Kimathi actually has much in common with the Tea Partying viewers of Fox News. In fact, many citizens of the Fox Nation have said the very same things about Obama. For instance…

Fox Nation Comment

By the way, if you haven’t read my ebook, Fox Nation vs. Reality you are missing out on an indispensable collection of documented dishonesty from the folks at Fox Nation.

Fox Nation Comment

So, in effect, Fox gets to whine about so-called reverse racism, while still disseminating a message of hate for President Obama. It’s a Tea Party Twofer. And in the comments attached to their story, the Fox Nationalists expressed themselves in particularly repugnant ways, including advocating mass murder:

Fox Nation DHS Comments

Despite this story having been published last Wednesday by the SPLC, Fox chose to feature it as their top headline today, the anniversary of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Could there possibly have been a worse time to hype up an incident involving a lone crackpot with the only purpose being to inflame racial division?

That’s just the way Fox News operates. Rather than celebrating the achievements of one of America’s greatest civil rights leaders, or acknowledging the positive progress that has occurred over the last fifty years, Fox went for stirring up animosity and pandering to their bigoted audience.

RELATED NEWS (sorta): Glenn Beck also had something to say about this twisted freak at DHS. And as usual, it was wrapped in a cryptically insane conspiracy theory. Beck has connected the imaginary dots between Kimathi and the debunked nonsense about the DHS buying up all of America’s bullets so as to leave the citizenry unarmed and vulnerable to the jack-booted thugs of the federal government who intend to kill us all.

Beck gets pretty much everything wrong (naturally), beginning with his assertion that Kimathi “just happens to be the guy in charge of buying all of the weapons and the bullets for the Department of Homeland Security.” Of course, that’s an outright lie, but it makes for a hilarious video clip. See for yourself:

Questions Martin Luther King Might Have Asked Obama On Inauguration Day

Martin Luther King, 1967:

Martin Luther King

“The movement must address itself to the question of restructuring the whole of American society. There are forty million poor people here. And one day we must ask the question, Why are there forty million poor people in America? And when you begin to ask that question, you are raising questions about the economic system, about a broader distribution of wealth. When you ask that question, you begin to question the capitalistic economy. And I’m simply saying that more and more, we’ve got to begin to ask questions about the whole society.

We are called upon to help the discouraged beggars in life’s marketplace. But one day we must come to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. It means that questions must be raised. You see, my friends, when you deal with this, you begin to ask the question, Who owns the oil? You begin to ask the question, Who owns the iron ore? You begin to ask the question, Why is it that people have to pay water bills in a world that is two-thirds water? These are questions that must be asked.”

President Barack Obama, 2013:

For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it […] Our journey is not complete…”

Will The Fox News/GOP Debate Remember Martin Luther King Today In South Carolina?

Today America is celebrating the birthday of Martin Luther King. It is a fitting tribute to one of the nation’s most revered advocates of freedom and justice for all.

Today is also the day that Fox News has chosen to broadcast a Republican presidential primary debate from the state of South Carolina. The obvious question arises as to whether either the Fox moderators or the candidates will take the opportunity to recognize what this day represents.

Will any of them note that South Carolina was the last state to recognize the day as a national holiday? Prior to May 2, 2000, state employees could choose between celebrating Martin Luther King Day or one of three Confederate holidays.

Will any of them note that the The U.S. Justice Department is currently challenging South Carolina’s voter ID law as being in violation of the 1965 voting rights act, which outlawed discriminatory practices that prevented blacks from voting?

Will any of them note that the Confederate flag still flies over the South Carolina state capital?

These are all matters that Dr. King would have considered significant. If Fox wants to schedule a GOP political event on a day of remembrance for a national hero, they ought to take steps to express respect for the meaning this day holds for all Americans. And that means addressing the still unresolved issues of race that plague our country, particularly in places like South Carolina. Failure to do so would be an egregious insult and an affirmation of the reputation for racial insensitivity for which both Fox News and the GOP are well known.

Martin Luther King On Restoring Honor

The real meaning of this day historically will always be the profound and transformative address delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to a quarter of a million Americans who had been denied the American dream. But Dr. King had a dream of his own [The full text of King’s speech follows]:

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation. [Applause]

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity.

But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition.

In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.” But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God’s children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.

Contine reading

Glenn Beck Drops Veterans From 8/28 Rally

Glenn Beck Deploring HonorIn a notice posted today at Congress.org, Glenn Beck finally got the permit for his 8/28 rally approved. It was also noted that he changed the purpose of the rally from a “demonstration to honor veterans” to simply a “restoring honor rally.”

Why would Beck alter the purpose to something so generic it that it doesn’t have any real meaning? Could it be that his little scam was revealed and he could no longer pretend that this event was for charity? It was previously revealed that the Special Operations Warrior Foundation would not receive any money until after all of Beck’s expenses had been covered. So the possibility exists that there will no donation at all.

With this more vague description of purpose, Beck can turn the affair into the evangelical revival meeting that he always wanted it to be. It can be the celebration of his “Divine Destiny” which, by the way, is the name of his event to be held the night before where he promises to “heal your soul.” We already know that he believes this event will be a turning point in history, and he said today that it will be this generation’s Woodstock (?). And don’t forget that he was told by “someone” in the Vatican that what he is doing is “wildly important.”

This isn’t the first time that Beck has changed the purpose of the event. At one time the purpose was to launch the publication of his next book, “The Plan,” a 100 year blueprint for the restoration of America. Here is how he described it in his original announcement:

“On August 28, 2010, I ask you, your family and neighbors to join me at the feet of Abraham Lincoln on the National Mall for the unveiling of The Plan and the birthday of a new national movement to restore our great country.”

After that he claimed that God had chosen the date:

I believe in divine providence. It was not my intention to select 8-28 because of the Martin Luther King tie. It is the day he made that speech. I had no idea until I announced it and I walked off stage and my researchers said, New York Times has already just published that this is Martin Luther — and I said, oh, geez. We were going to use 9-12 but 9-12 is a Sunday. I’m not going to ask anyone to work on the Sabbath. I’m not going to ask anybody to honor God on a Sunday.

I have no idea what he means by not honoring God on a Sunday. And apparently he isn’t expecting any Jews to attend his rally because for them (and many Christians for that matter), Saturday is the Sabbath.

Beck’s next explanation for the event was that he was doing it all on behalf of our brave fighting men and women and their families. That didn’t last long. Now he has dropped the reference to the veterans from his permit application, though I’m sure he will continue to exploit them.

One other amendment to the permit application concerns the attendance. He raised the projected figure from 150,000 to 300,000. He must be feeling pretty confident. Which is funny because he said on his radio program today that he was discussing the event with Bill O’Reilly who guessed that between 10 and 15 thousand people show up. Beck was obviously surprised by O’Reilly’s estimate so O’Reilly asked him how many people he thought would be there. Beck said modestly, “I don’t know. Over a hundred thousand I hope.” This seems like false modesty from someone who just doubled his official projection to 300,000.

Apparently O’Reilly is not as optimistic as Beck. According to Beck, O’Reilly told him that if that many people showed up that Beck could take over the O’Reilly Factor. Now that would be fun. I bet Beck would hold O’Reilly to this. I would love to see the two of them go at it for the primetime slot. We’ll see how that unfolds in a couple of weeks.

Tales From The Crippled Brain Of Glenn Beck

It’s hard to tell whether Glenn Beck has completely given up trying to make sense of anything he says, or if he is actually working harder than ever to spin new mythologies and horror stories. The result is that his ravings have become more fantastical and less rooted to reality than ever before. Brace yourself for the fright of your life as Beck weaves his sinister tale of terror and treachery.

This nightmare begins in the spine-chilling days of the 1960’s, when children were flowered and tangles of hair-covered hippies choked the landscape. It was in those harrowing times that a pack of wild youths known as “students,” sought to build a democratic society. [insert ominous music here] These SDS demons infiltrated the hearths of our sacred homesteads and replaced our sons and daughters with rebels and peaceniks.

From this cursed crucible came a fearsome force. Beck told you about them last week when he revealed the left’s playbook, the manifesto from the Weather Underground. Of course, the Weathermen were a tiny band of misfits that most of the left, including SDS, renounced. They had zero influence on anyone then, and even less now. That didn’t stop Beck from elevating them to becoming the driving force of liberalism and the authors of its future. Beck dearly loves to unearth ancient irrelevancies and pretend that they are omniscient. But the most frightening part of this tale is that these harbingers of doom, this ragtag crew of rebels, grew up to assume positions of power in government under the hypnotic control of the ultimate puppetmaster, Barack Obama.

At this point in the tale, Beck asserts that these ageless SDS monsters have regrouped and are now poisoning the minds of today’s youth in a “new” SDS. The proof of this association is that they all appear on the same blackboard in Beck’s television studio. Other than that, Beck provides no evidence whatsoever that the new SDS is in any way affiliated with the old ghost of SDS. But I suppose that just makes it even more frightening.

In Beck’s telling of this story he finds it curious that the new SDS was formed two years before Obama was elected president. In the richness of Beck’s delusions, that means that it was a conspiracy whose purpose was to install the radical revolutionary Obama in the White House and implement a communist dictatorship. What a brilliant plan. After all, what could be easier than getting a black man elected to the presidency for the first time ever? I’m surprised nobody ever thought of it before. Although I’m just a little confused about Beck’s aversion to radical revolutionaries considering he said this just a couple of weeks ago:

“They don’t have any idea who I am. So let me announce who I am beginning today. I am a revolutionary. Yes I am. I’m a man that believes radical change must come.”

It isn’t unusual to hear Beck castigate others for things he does himself. In this episode he complained that the media isn’t telling you the truth. He reached back to the sixties again to play a clip from the Perry Mason Show as a witness was being sworn in. Then he asked if there is anyone in the media who is telling “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” Well, certainly not if you regard Beck and Fox News as being the media.

Comrade Homer SimpsonI must commend Beck for the angle he’s taking here. The assault on hippie generation; the use of iconic figures from the popular culture of a half century ago like Perry Mason; on a recent program he reached backed to Father Knows Best and Leave It To Beaver in order to frame Homer Simpson as a Weatherman operative (no, seriously). This is all part of his appeal to an aging audience that is still fighting the anti-war, free love, peaceniks that they were all so jealous of when they were uptight teenagers.

The truly frightening part of this is that Beck is fomenting a hatred of his fellow Americans so intense that it is spurring them to violence. He is assembling a Zombie army that takes their orders from him through the airwaves. Media Matters has documented some of the more overt incidents where Beck has delivered his haunted sermons. Beck’s rhetoric today continued that trend, even as he complained about this characterization of him:

“Most people in America don’t realize what they are up against. This is not just a movement with big government tendencies. It’s radical revolutionaries who believe so strongly that America is evil, that capitalism and the free market are evil, that they will stop at nothing to end the perceived oppression.”

It’s hard to see how Beck could be so blind to the possibility that this sort of fear-mongering could incite an unstable pseudo-patriot to star in his own slasher film. Yet Beck defends himself in the most peculiar terms.

“No one on TV has preached more that violence is not the answer than me. But when I do, the leftists say, ‘Hmm, why would you have to say that unless your crazy listeners weren’t one push away from a shooting spree?” I say it for the same reason Martin Luther King said it.”

See? He’s just like Martin Luther King. Except for the fact that Dr. King never whipped up a paranoid hysteria of white devils determined to reinstate slavery and destroy everything you hold dear. To the contrary, King spoke of loving your enemy and the importance of everyone coming together harmoniously. When Beck starts preaching that progressives are his brothers and his intention is to inspire camaraderie and affection, I’ll take his claims of anti-violence more seriously. But to date he has maintained that progressives are a cancer on America and he literally said that they are “taking you to a place to be slaughtered.” I don’t recall that speech from Dr. King.

There is, however, something that Beck has in common with Dr. King. They both profess to be men of God. Of course King proved it with a doctorate from Boston University where he studied theology and philosophy, after which he devoted his life (literally) to his faith and his work on behalf of civil rights. Beck, on the other hand, is a dropout who became an alcohol and drug abuser as he pursued a career as a radio shock jock and a wealthy political televangelist. Other than that they were exactly the same. It’s funny that, given these similarities, Beck went out of his way to quote Pope Benedict as saying…

“Wherever politics tries to be redemptive, it is promising too much. Where it wishes to do the work of God, it becomes not divine but demonic.”

That was actually from Truth and Tolerance by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, years before he was promoted to Pope. The funny part is that Beck cited that passage to criticize Rev. Jim Wallis, an advocate of social justice, for injecting religion into politics. Yet Beck constantly preaches that religion must play a bigger role in public life. He advocates posting the Ten Commandments in government buildings and imposing prayer in public schools.

All of that, along with the rest of the right-wing theo-con movement, is directly contrary to the Pope’s opinion. But as with all things conservatives concern themselves with, there is a different standard for them and for everyone else. Judgment Day to them is the day when they get to be the judges. And God help you if you haven’t made your peace with Glenn Beck.

Finally! Black Leaders Unite To Challenge Glenn Beck

For several months Glenn Beck has been promoting an event in Washington, D.C., that he pretends has something to do with Restoring Honor for American soldiers. In fact, the event was originally announced as a launch party for his next book, “The Plan,” a 100 year blueprint for taking the country back a hundred years, to a time when civil rights were only meant for wealthy, white, male citizens. Beck later transformed the affair into a phony military charity that won’t pass on any benefits until the costs of the rally are covered. This way he gets to have his book launch paid for by dupes who think they are supporting the troops.

Glenn beck Restoring HonorBeck scheduled his Tea Bag rally for the same date (August 28), and location (the Lincoln Memorial) as Martin Luther King’s historic “I Have A Dream” speech. By exploiting this profound anniversary, Beck is desecrating a cherished memory of an inspiring American leader. Last March I wrote about this project and wondered, where is the opposition?

“This is the man [Beck] who recently called King a ‘radical socialist’ and questioned whether there should be a holiday in his name. This is the man who called President Obama a ‘racist with a deep-seated hatred for white people.’ This is the man who calls progressives (like King) “the cancer in America.’ The thought of Beck usurping this cherished occasion to further the goals of his Tea Bagging 9/12ers is insulting and unacceptable.

So where is the outrage? Where are the guardians of Dr. King’s legacy? Who will organize an event in our nation’s capital on that day to honor the real meaning that it represents? Will Beck be permitted to tarnish this anniversary with his exclusionary fear mongering and conspiracy brigades?”

Apparently not. At a meeting of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, several prominent African America leaders have taken up the cause to preserve the memory of Dr. King and the meaning of this anniversary. Here are some of the comments from the meeting:

Marc Morial, President, National Urban League: “We’re going to get together because we are not going to let Glenn Beck own the symbolism of Aug. 28th, 2010. Someone said to me, ‘Maybe we shouldn’t challenge him. Maybe we should just let him have it.’ I was like, ‘Brother, where have you been? Where is your courage? Where is your sense of outrage?’ We need to collaborate and bring together all people of good will, not just Black people, on Aug. 28 to send a message that Glenn Beck’s vision of America is not our vision of America.”

Ben Jealous, President, NAACP: “A group of White males wealthier than their peers called the Tea Party has risen up in the land. They say that they want to take the country back. And take it back they surely will. They will take it back to 1963 if we let them.” […] “We will be fighting Glenn Beck on Aug. 28th and we will be using that to leverage the second march [on October 2nd, for jobs and justice].”

Rev. Al Sharpton, President, National Action Network: “…there is no way in the world that I am going to allow [Beck] to have more people there than us. I hope every Black person in the country will help us to challenge this. Everybody’s got to be in Washington. We can’t let them hijack Dr. King’s dream.”

This is precisely the kind of push-back that is needed. It’s great to hear that these leaders are committed to challenging Beck. I haven’t yet seen any manifestation of their efforts outside of these remarks at the newspaper publisher’s event, but if they follow through with this level of intensity, they could turn this August 28th from a farce populated by Beck, Sarah Palin, and a throng of paranoid conspiratorialists, into a remarkable and inspirational day.

Feel free to contact these organizations and let them know that you support their efforts to challenge Beck. Then work to help produce a large turnout in Washington of people who want a true restoration of honor and justice, and the principles advocated by Dr. King.

National Urban League
NAACP
National Action Network