Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hey Glenn Beck, You Crack Me Up!

A month ago when I read that Glenn Beck planned to host his Restoring Honor rally on the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s historic I Have a Dream Speech, I was so ticked off that I could spit nails. Next I heard that the ubiquitous Sarah Palin was scheduled to speak at the rally and my left eye started to twitch uncontrollably. When I learned that Dr. King's niece, Alveda King, also planned to speak at Beck's rally, I feared that my Aunt Dorothy's prophesy was about to be fulfilled and my head was going to explode.

However, there was no spit and no nails, the twitch is nearly gone, and my head is still intact. I temporarily forgot the basic rule for surviving encounters with the madness of those who attempt to rewrite history and reshape truth--never forget to laugh.

Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and Dr. King's hapless niece as modern day purveyors of the dream is just laughable. I was eight-years-old when King spoke at the Lincoln Memorial; his speech moved a nation. I know for a fact that Glenn Beck is no Martin Luther King, Jr. He's not even a reasonable facsimile thereof.

Beck is a pompous twit whose hour has come round at last, much like the beast slouching so ominously towards Bethlehem in The Second Coming. History is filled with charismatic charlatans who give winning performances before clueless audiences.

And the audiences...they fervently worship their idols, and the more those of us who see that the emperor has no clothes try to share that revelation, the more firmly entrenched they become in defending their idols from those of us who would dethrone them. Attacking Beck and Palin only elevates them in the eyes of their followers. The rest of us are the enemy.

Look at the language that they use; it's as if we are at war. "Take back our country;" "Restoring Honor;" "I want my country back;" "Defend our Constitution."

So rather than spitting nails, or developing a permanent tic, or having my head explode, I'm going to engage in a bout of laughter at Palin, Beck, and Alveda King trying to assert that Dr. King would have been at their side on August 28. I'm going to recognize that Beckolytes will not be swayed no matter how many times the rest of us try to tell them that their demi-god has feet of clay. When I'm done laughing, I'm going to renew my efforts to work on my local get-out-the-vote campaign. The way I figure it, the only sensible course of action is for those of us who have not drunk the kool-aid to take back our country.

Beck and Palin focus on one line from King's I Have A Dream Speech, the part about being judged by the content of our character not the color of our skin. It's certainly a part of what was said that day, but Dr. King never made pretty speeches solely about pie in the sky dreams; he always grounded his dream in a call for action. The following is also from that speech:

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.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.


  1. Bravo and applause. I really couldn't stomach watching Beck's dog and pony show. What a travesty.

    I was in my early 20s when King gave this inspiring speech. All these years later I still weep with emotion when I hear or even read it.

    I wonder how Alveda is getting along with the rest of the family.

  2. Sheria, I too wondered what Ms. King was doing in GB's company.

    A pompous twit is just about right to describe this shameless gold peddler. Ugh.

  3. I did not watch the spectacle and it was a very conscious decision to make sure that no television would be turned on this weekend.

    Of course everyone is claiming that the event was "nonpolitical" but no one bothers to notice that there were no liberal speakers. Basically, I guess the conversatives believe they are the only honorable people and they are the only ones that believe in prayer.

    It was all a staged event to prove to the Republican party that Beck and Palin have political clout.

    Hope they all feel better about themselves nowadays...

  4. "I guess the conversatives believe they are the only honorable people and they are the only ones that believe in prayer."

    Their own very virulent strain of "political correctness."

    Yes, I'm told that King was a Republican as though that legitimizes their racism. (ohmagawd, I'm "playing the race card)

    What the hell, I have options. I don't have to sit here and watch these maggots feasting on my country's corpse.

    The civil rights movement wasn't the result of steady progress. It was the result of a war with a racist country. We don't have any real option of going to war with another Hitler, so we're back to our same old 1930's racism and fascism.

  5. "Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and Dr. King's hapless niece as modern day purveyors of the dream is just laughable."
    Agreed - if they were to be like the Rev King they would need to link arms and bravely walk a gauntlet of hatemongers and intolerant racists, spitting on them, throwing things at them, using vile language and then face heavily armed police bent on cracking open their skulls with clubs before throwing them into jail.
    These hapless clowns are clueless to their disservice and disrespect to this national treasure that was Martin Luther King Jr.

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  7. Alveda King is a GOP party hack.

    Happens in every family.

    Unfortunately she is also a political opportunist (duh) with a reactionary take on things cashing in on her Uncles good name.

    Abortion as genocide. Anti-Gay Marriage. etc.

  8. And if you do read Hitchens' piece (as you should ;), please watch the video inserted there, showing interviews with people at the Beck's rally.

    Amazing. Or not really. But *I* am still amazed -- at the hate and fear dripping from the lips of these people as they prattle on about honor, God, country, family, and all things decent and holy.

    One could of course argue that this clip is a result of some selective editing, but I'm certain one would be wrong (and I'm rarely certain about anything).

    These two feelings -- fear and hate -- are what really unite all of the rally's participants at their core, once you strip them of their superficial differences.

  9. Elizabeth, thanks for the link to the Hitchens piece.

  10. You're welcome, Sheria -- enjoy.

    The people in the clip crack me up (after I stop grinding me teeth). Particularly the woman who sez, so concernedly, that MLK fought for rights of ALL people, yeah, even (or especially!) those hardworking folks from whom the government takes away to give to others, those lazy bums.

    Holy Mother of Christ...

  11. I love your take on this! And, as you and I have discovered in the past, great minds run around in the same tight circles. I almost posted my own piece on this subject on the same date! Glad I checked first, 'cause they make grand companions, I think. I'll schedule mine for tomorrow.

  12. If ya'll wanna crack up some more, you should watch Jon Stewart's take on GB's rally,
    I Have a Scheme.

    Hilarious and pitch-perfect, as always.

  13. Great post, Sheria. I'll link to it on the post I did today on how quickly the messiah clown Beck went from "restoring honor" to America to besmirching Mr. Obama's Christianity the very next day.

    It is depressing to read how many people are suckered by this jackass.

  14. Enjoyed Sheria's post and the comments. Yes, MLK JR. wrote a great deal of fine material that no longer gets its due thanks to the general stripping of content required to turn him into a saintly figure whose words never rose to levels of specificity and judgment that might offend anybody. I used to teach one of his speeches entitled, "Declaration against the War in Vietnam." It's about as blunt as can be on the issue, but who ever mentions that piece now?

  15. I am starting a "Lets Find Honor" March...that way we can help Beck restore it...

    Can't restore something when you don't know what it is...

  16. A most excellent idea, Tao. Perhaps you could also add "my country" to the search. There are quite a few people who believe theirs to be misplaced.


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