September 2, 2010
Originally, I wasn’t going to write about radio talk show entertainer Glen Beck’s supposed “March on Washington;” but, because you, my readers, asked me to comment, I will.
The event was called, “Restoring Honor.” Its stated purpose was to be a “celebration of America’s heroes and heritage. So, I have a few questions that I wish Beck would have addressed. You can only restore that which was lost. So, what in Beck’s mind was lost and how is he going to restore it? If it was a “celebration of America’s heroes and heritage,” then why was there no soldier of color participating in any of the activities? All the soldiers were white men. It reminded me of watching the Flintstones and the Jetsons cartoons as a kid---not one Black was ever seen in either. The Flintstones were about the past and the Jetsons were about the future. So, according to Hollywood, Blacks had no past and we don’t have a future. Is that what Beck was trying to restore?
Beck claims he had no idea that August 28th was the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream Speech.” He claimed on his TV show that “conservatives needed to reclaim” the civil rights movement.
So, let me make sure I understand Beck. He claims that God told him to pick this date. So, this same God couldn’t have told him the significance of this date to the civil rights community? Beck was asked by many in the Black community to move the date of his event in deference to our feelings about this date. He refused. But, he wants the Muslims in New York to move the location of their future mosque in deference to him and others who think the location is too close to ground zero. Hmmm, how do you spell hypocrisy? I looked it up in the dictionary and found a picture of Glen Beck!
He wants conservatives to reclaim the civil rights movement. Well, I can’t find any history of Beck being involved in civil rights—either historically, or recently. This is the same person that called a sitting president “a racist…with a deep seated hatred of white people.” The day after his event, he gave a simi-apology for making that statement. But one would have thought if he really was regretful of what he said, he would have used the national stage he had during his event to make the apology. But maybe he didn’t want his white friends in attendance to see him apologize in front of a national audience. Afterall, we wouldn’t want people to call him an “apologist” for America like they say about President Obama.
Remember, you can’t have unity without “u & i.” But everything about Beck does just the opposite. Am I the only Black who felt somewhat uncomfortable during the “Black” portion of the program? This was near the end of the event; before Beck’s self indulgent, meandering, narcissistic, rambling, tortuous speech.
Beck trotted out about 12 Blacks to come on stage for window dressing. But, my good friend, Alveda King (M.L. King’s niece), gave the best speech of the day. I strongly encourage everyone to pull up her speech from the event. In about five minutes, she gave a great recitation of the civil rights movement. After she left the stage, I sent her a text message telling her how proud I was of her for not allowing herself to be used and pimped like a lot of the typical Black Republicans/conservatives!
During this “Black” portion of the program, there were two female gospel singers who were awesome! In watching this portion of the show, I couldn’t help but think about how Blacks seem to always be there to entertain white folks. Of the three awardees, one was Black. But, there were no Blacks from the military, no Black speakers during the white part of the program, nor many Blacks in the audience.
If this was about “reclaiming civil rights,” then why did Beck not say anything about civil rights nor have more meaningful participation from Blacks? I wonder does Beck even have any Black employees on his staff or in his production company? People like him and other conservatives talk a good game about equality, but their actions normally contradict their words.
Be very weary of people like Beck. They have become like the sounding brass or the tinkling cymbal, full of sound and fury, but signifying nothing.
Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a D.C.-public relations/government affairs firm. He is also a contributing editor for ExcellStyle Magazine (www.excellstyle.com).