14
   

Beck, Palin, LaPierre and Nugent = MLK celebration?

 
 
snood
 
Reply Sun 1 Aug, 2010 07:00 am
I C&Ped this article in its entirety. The upcoming planned 'rally' by the NRA and its main proponents at the site, on the anniversary of MLK's march on Washington upsets me very deeply. I guess I'd like to hear some of your opinions on this matter.

Your Take: Guns and Divisive Rhetoric to Honor Lincoln and King?
By: Paul Helmke

The president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence notes the irony of the planned Aug. 28 rally at the Lincoln Memorial featuring Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and Wayne LaPierre of the NRA.

A disturbing magazine cover recently crossed my desk, announcing in big, bold print that Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and the NRA will be hosting a "Restoring Honor" rally in August. It's being held at the Lincoln Memorial, a place that honors America's most revered president -- the one who saved our union, freed African slaves and breathed the healing balm "of malice toward none" at the conclusion of our bitter Civil War ... and who was killed by a gun.

It's also being held on the 47th anniversary of the March on Washington -- the march where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke so eloquently of his dream that one day his children would live in a nation where "they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." Where this same civil rights giant and pacifist who won the Nobel Peace Prize was joined on the podium -- and in the 200,000-plus audience -- by Americans of all races, backgrounds and religions; and where the transformative power of nonviolent protest and forgiveness traveled deeply into the racially scarred American consciousness, and prodded political leaders to pass laws that struck down decades of discriminatory practices that had relegated a group of people to the desert of second-class citizenship.

Now picture the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, on the anniversary of "I Have a Dream," with Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and the NRA's Wayne LaPierre at the podium, and our National Mall teeming with their followers to, in Beck's words, "pick up Martin Luther King's dream."

The man calling the date of his rally "divine providence" (as noted ironically by The Colbert Report) is the same Glenn Beck who is a life member of the NRA; who has insulted the Anti-Defamation League; who challenged Keith Ellison, a Muslim who had just been elected to Congress, to "prove to me you are not working with our enemies"; and who repeatedly called President Barack Obama "a racist" and accused him of having "a deep-seated hatred for white people." This same Beck recently urged Christians to leave their churches if their ministers ever spoke about "social justice" -- the very foundation of King's leadership during the 1950s and 1960s -- because he considers the term code for "communism and Nazism."

On the podium will be the same Sarah Palin who has purposely stoked fears and resentment among gun owners by wrongly accusing President Obama of wanting to ban guns; who disregards the 70 percent of Americans who want restrictions on semi-automatic assault weapons; and who rejects the medical community's assertion that gun violence in America is a national health problem.

There, too, will be Wayne LaPierre, who insists that "it's the guys with the guns who make the rules." Not Thomas Jefferson's "We, the people," the American voters or their representatives -- no, "the guys with the guns," a statement that bears an eerie similarity to the one John Wilkes Booth authored in a letter on April 14, 1865, the morning before he assassinated Lincoln: that "might makes right."

It's the same LaPierre who just weeks ago debated me on PBS's News Hour and argued that laws such as those requiring criminal-background checks on all sales at gun shows are the equivalent of a "poll tax." Yes, you read that correctly: LaPierre equates laws restricting access to guns by dangerous people with a tax designed to keep African Americans from exercising their 15th Amendment right to vote, a tax that was ultimately consigned to the dustbin of history by the groundswell of support for the 24th Amendment, which became law on the heels of the 1963 March on Washington. Somehow, in LaPierre's mind, a proposal designed to slow the mind-numbing gun violence touching the lives of so many in this country equals the century-long disenfranchisement of former slaves and their descendants.

On that podium also will be guitarist Ted Nugent, an NRA board member, who has insulted women and gays and who once told the Detroit Free Press Magazine that, "Apartheid isn't that cut and dry. All men are not created equal. The preponderance of South Africa is a different breed."

A large part of the audience likely will be those who identify themselves as members of the Tea Party, some of whom have, at past public events, openly carried guns and used tactics of intimidation; brandished racially offensive posters depicting President Obama; and shouted racial and anti-gay slurs at congressional leaders outside a rally allegedly held to protest health care legislation. One of the spokespersons for the Tea Partiers even wrote a facetious letter "from the Colored people" to Abraham Lincoln praising slavery, to challenge the NAACP's claims that the party harbors racist elements.

Most jarring is the sad irony of all these people at the podium, with their supporters spread across our National Mall, celebrating, in part, their worship of guns while invoking, quite blatantly, the legacies of two great Americans whose magnificent lives were cruelly cut short by bullets.
And as you hold that image in your mind, consider the words of Dr. King, who, while mourning with all Americans the loss of President John F. Kennedy to gun violence, suggested, "While the question 'Who killed President Kennedy?' is important, the question 'What killed him?' is more important. Our late President was assassinated by a morally inclement climate. It is a climate filled with heavy torrents of false accusation, jostling winds of hatred, and raging storms of violence. It is climate where men cannot disagree without being disagreeable, and where they express dissent through violence and murder."

Are Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Wayne LaPierre and Ted Nugent the new keepers of King's dream and of Lincoln's legacy? Or do they, with this event at this place and time, in one of the boldest and most public ways imaginable, mock and, indeed, slander everything for which these men so nobly stood, and for which they died?

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Type: Discussion • Score: 14 • Views: 4,353 • Replies: 53

 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sun 1 Aug, 2010 07:29 am
Nut jobs, all. Don't be surprised that apologists pour out of the woodwork to support them.
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Aug, 2010 07:30 am
What? MLK, Jr advocated gun rights? I don't think so.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  6  
Reply Sun 1 Aug, 2010 10:06 am
@snood,
The first thing that came to my mind after reading your article was a question: How might Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and the other usual suspects react if a bunch of gun-slinging people marched on Washington with the same inflammatory rhetoric---and if those people were Black?

I'm having a hunch their comments might be less friendly.
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Aug, 2010 10:17 am
perhaps in honour of lincoln and mlk, somebody will see to it that beck and palin meet the same fate those two did, now that would be ironic (and some damn fine television)
0 Replies
 
snood
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Aug, 2010 06:41 pm
Of all the commentary I've seen - this one by Eugene Robinson captured what I think is the correct attitude (for me) to have toward this whole Beck mess.



The majestic grounds of the Lincoln Memorial belong to all Americans -- even to egomaniacal talk-show hosts who profit handsomely from stoking fear, resentment and anger. So let me state clearly that Glenn Beck has every right to hold his absurdly titled "Restoring Honor" rally on Saturday.

But the rest of us have every right to call the event what it is: an exercise in self-aggrandizement on a Napoleonic scale. I half-expect Beck to appear before the crowd in a bicorn hat, with one hand tucked into the front of his jacket.

That Beck is staging his all-about-me event at the very spot where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his immortal "I Have a Dream" speech -- and on the 47th anniversary of that historic address -- is obviously intended to be a provocation. There's no need to feel provoked, however; the appropriate response is to ignore him. No puffed-up blabbermouth could ever diminish the importance of the 1963 March on Washington or the impact of King's unforgettable words.

Lincoln and King will always have their places in American history. Beck's 15 minutes of fame and influence are ticking by.

The most offensive thing about the rally is Beck's in-your-face boast that the event will "reclaim the civil rights movement." But this is just a bunch of nonsense -- too incoherent to really offend. Beck makes the false assertion that the struggle for civil rights was about winning "equal justice," not "social justice" -- in other words, that there was no economic component to the movement. He claims that today's liberals, through such initiatives as health-care reform, are somehow "perverting" King's dream.

But Beck's version of history is flat-out wrong. The full name of the event at which King spoke 47 years ago was the "March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom." Among its organizers was labor leader A. Philip Randolph, the founder of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and a vice president of the AFL-CIO, who gave a speech describing the injustice of "a society in which 6 million black and white people are unemployed and millions more live in poverty."

Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), then an official of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, was the youngest speaker at the march. "We march today for jobs and freedom, but we have nothing to be proud of, for hundreds and thousands of our brothers are not here -- for they have no money for their transportation, for they are receiving starvation wages," he told the crowd. Referring to proposed civil rights legislation, Lewis said: "We need a bill that will provide for the homeless and starving people of this nation. We need a bill that will ensure the equality of a maid who earns five dollars a week in the home of a family whose total income is $100,000 a year."

From the beginning, King's activism and leadership were aimed at securing not just equal justice but equal opportunity as well. When he was assassinated in 1968, King was in the midst of a Poor People's Campaign aimed at bettering the economic condition of all underprivileged Americans, regardless of race.

But why am I wasting my breath? Glenn Beck isn't interested in history, and he certainly isn't interested in the truth. He just likes to set off little rhetorical firebombs that grab attention -- and boost the ratings for his television and radio shows.

Since Beck has called President Obama a "racist" and accused him of having a "deep-seated hatred for white people," it's safe to assume that some people will attend Saturday's rally because of a sense of racial grievance and an urge for some kind of payback. But many will attend for other reasons, and they're the ones I feel sorry for. As the growth of the Tea Party movement clearly demonstrates, millions of Americans feel alienated from their government, distressed about the economy and frightened of the future. Their concerns deserve to be heard. Instead, their anxieties are exploited by hucksters who see fear and anger as marketing tools.

Saturday night, when the event is done, the Lincoln Memorial will still be the place where King gave one of the most memorable speeches of the 20th century. People who came to the rally in search of answers will still be looking. And Glenn Beck will still be a legend in his own mind.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/26/AR2010082605519.html
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Aug, 2010 06:47 pm
@snood,
Quote:
A disturbing magazine cover recently crossed my desk, announcing in big, bold print that Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and the NRA will be hosting a "Restoring Honor" rally in August. It's being held at the Lincoln Memorial, a place that honors America's most revered president -- the one who saved our union, freed African slaves and breathed the healing balm "of malice toward none" at the conclusion of our bitter Civil War ... and who was killed by a gun.


The gun just walked up and shot the guy, right??

The three presidents who have ever acted like they understood money and banking and were entertaining thoughts about doing something intelligent about the problem were Lincoln, McKinley, and JFK. That's right, those are the three who were assasinated.

Otto Von Bismarck said that he knew for a certain fact that British banking interests had basically set the wheels for an American civil war in motion and were responsible for killing Lincoln.

Best book on the subject, or at least best book which covers the topic:

http://www.webofdebt.com




0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Aug, 2010 06:52 pm
@snood,
Did you see Charles Blow's take? I thought his observation linking this to the whole "mosque" issue was interesting... talk about disrespecting a memory.

Charles Blow wrote:
(I find it curious that many of the same people who object so strenuously to the Islamic cultural center proposed for Lower Manhattan, many on the grounds that it is inappropriate and disrespectful, are virtually silent on the impropriety and disrespect inherent in Beck’s giving a speech on the anniversary of King’s address.)


also

Charles Blow wrote:
In fact, to even insinuate that the president’s policies are in any way equivalent to the brutality of the Jim Crow South at the time of the civil rights movement is the highest order of insult, particularly to those who lived and suffered through it, as well as to those who live with its legacy. If Beck truly thinks these movements are comparable, I have some pictures of “strange fruit” I’d like for him to see.


http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/28/opinion/28blow.html
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Aug, 2010 06:55 pm
@sozobe,
Yeh, check my sig.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Aug, 2010 06:59 pm
@ossobuco,
Hadn't seen that...

Blow is usually so analytical and statistic-y, this was unusually powerful and personal from him.

I do take Robinson's point re: ignoring Beck the buffoon tho.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 28 Aug, 2010 08:14 pm
Quote:
Beck's rally ends just as he said it would—without incident, political or otherwise. He's just taken the world's most derided TV audience, put them in the National Mall, and presided over the world's largest megachurch. "Bring out the bagpipes," he says. Bagpipe players then walk onto his stage, and the sound of "Amazing Grace" fills the mall.
http://www.slate.com/id/2265216/pagenum/2

Wow, he is tapping into a very powerful current, the one I thought Palin might get. He got something like a half million people, the traditional civil rights people got a few thousand....that says it all.
Gargamel
 
  8  
Reply Sun 29 Aug, 2010 11:52 am
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:
that says it all.


No it doesn't.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  3  
Reply Sun 29 Aug, 2010 12:55 pm
@hawkeye10,
He got at most 100,000 people (if that). Far less then "half million". As being reported by ABC news and CBS news.

The half million people figure came from Fox News. In this case they are doubly biased, wouldn't you think?
hawkeye10
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 29 Aug, 2010 01:24 pm
@maxdancona,
Quote:
The half million people figure came from Fox News. In this case they are doubly biased, wouldn't you think
my information is that Fox did not give any number at all. Estimates range from 87K to 500K. We dont have an official number because the Park Service stopped doing it after the organizers of the Million Man March gave them all kinds of **** for not using the number they desired. It became a political mess, so now no official numbers are given.

However, everyone seems to agree that Rev Al and is ilk got a couple of thousand.
Gargamel
 
  5  
Reply Sun 29 Aug, 2010 02:28 pm
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:
However, everyone seems to agree that Rev Al and is ilk got a couple of thousand.


What is your point? He didn't hold a rally. Beck did. Sharpton held a protest. He didn't organize and publicize well in advance. He doesn't represent a profoundly vague (the rhetoric I've seen quoted is hilarious; what the hell was the rally actually about?) ethos a very specific group of hundreds of thousands of annoying Americans seem really excited about.

It's ******* Al Sharpton. Everyone knows he's not that interesting. The hopes of a desperate and limited percentage of people pissed that Obama won the last election do not rest on him. He is not running for President in 2012. Or at least not seriously.
hawkeye10
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 29 Aug, 2010 02:43 pm
@Gargamel,
Quote:
what the hell was the rally actually about
stop sniveling, get to work, don't bother looking to government for solutions because government is broken, and let's massively shrink government now and get its interference in our lives stopped now. We are the solution, working together, not government and a lot of rules which are imposed upon us. Look inside yourself, you know what is right, then do what is right.
Rockhead
 
  2  
Reply Sun 29 Aug, 2010 02:47 pm
and let's do it on the anniversary, because we're racist assholes...
hawkeye10
 
  -2  
Reply Sun 29 Aug, 2010 02:53 pm
@Rockhead,
Quote:
and let's do it on the anniversary, because we're racist assholes...
MLK transcended race, he was about an idea, race problems were to him nothing more than a roadblock to what he cared about.

Beck is completely right that MLK's message has been hijacked by the racial pressure groups. Just as we need to take government back we need to take America's legacy back, MLK does not belong to the blacks and the race centric dividers of America.

No more can we stand by and let the opportunists divide us for their own profit. America belongs to all of us, equally, those who refuse to acknowledge this will be opposed from this point forwards.
Rockhead
 
  3  
Reply Sun 29 Aug, 2010 02:54 pm
@hawkeye10,
perverts and all.

I'm certain doctor King would appreciate y'all helping to separate him from the black cause...
0 Replies
 
Gargamel
 
  3  
Reply Sun 29 Aug, 2010 02:58 pm
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:

Quote:
what the hell was the rally actually about
stop sniveling, get to work, don't bother looking to government for solutions because government is broken, and let's massively shrink government now and get its interference in our lives stopped now. We are the solution, working together, not government and a lot of rules which are imposed upon us. Look inside yourself, you know what is right, then do what is right.


I do appreciate your attempt to clarify here, and I'm sure in your case this is translatable into specific daily actions. But I am highly skeptical that the majority of people at the rally are now inspired to actually do something besides express outrage online, or into a megaphone at some park now and then. What I'm saying is your summary, which appears to be in line with what I've read in the news about the "movement," seems to be conspicuously lacking any specific call to action. Besides voting. Every political movement votes. What makes y'all so special? How exhausting it must be to belong to the Tea Party.
 

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