On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King spoke to over 200,000 people from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. He gave what is regarded as one of the most inspiring speeches on behalf of brotherhood, liberty, and the peaceful struggle for equality. He said in part…
I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”
Later this year, on the very same steps, on the anniversary of that historic speech, Glenn Beck will lead his congregation of predominately white followers at a “Restoring Honor” rally to launch his next book, “The Plan,” a 100 year blueprint for undoing the progress made by people like Dr. King on behalf of equality, justice, and peace.
Subsequent to Beck’s original announcement of this event, he has latched onto a military charity to mask his profiteering with a facade of moral gravitas (and gain a tax write-off). But he has made no mention of the date’s prior association with Martin Luther King. And why would he be expected to? This is the man 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?
I don’t expect Beck to endure in his crusade. He has already launched numerous campaigns that he leaves to gather dust when his attention is drawn away by some new, shiny dementia. In just the past couple of years he has announced the following TV jihads:
- We Surround Them
- The Re-Founding
- In or Out 2010
- 9/12 Project
- The Plan
Beck’s conspiracy theories erupt quickly and fiercely and they burn out the same way. This is also true for his allegiances to principles. For several months the opening credits of his TV show included a picture of King or a reference to his words. Those are gone now. It was fine when Beck wanted to exploit the reverence for which most Americans hold King, but now Beck finds it more important to insult him and suppress his legacy.
This may be just one day in summer, but it is a day that should be reserved for uplifting recollections of our better nature – not the Apocalyptic negativity of racists and enemies of the poor and huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The anniversary of King’s “Dream” deserves better than to be desecrated by the detestable likes of Glenn Beck and his dark and divisive hordes. It would sure be nice to see King’s supporters show up in DC in greater numbers than Beck’s disciples.