Fox TV host Glenn Beck has announced that he will go to the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday, Aug. 28th to "reclaim the civil rights movement" -- since, as he put it, "we were the people that did it in the first place."
"We?" Who is that "we" for Glenn Beck? As far as I can tell, he and his "people" had absolutely nothing to do with civil rights. In fact, many right-wing leaders in the 1960’s opposed that movement -- vehemently.
It was courageous African Americans and their progressive allies in other racial groups, led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who created this movement as a magnificent quest for justice in the 20th century.
Yet on the May 24 edition of his radio program, Beck described himself and his conservative-activist legions as "the inheritors and the protectors of the civil rights movement." Choke.
The disconnect is so obvious, so blatant, so distorted as to be laughable. But some people evidently believe him, and the event will take place. Presumably thousands of gullible people will show up on the Washington Mall to hear Beck and Sarah Palin, and others speak -- thanks in part to the sponsorship of the National Rifle Association. (Yes, that’s right; the NRA is a sponsor!)
Beck claimed recently that the scheduling of this rally was a "coincidence" thanks to "divine providence." He said on TV that he was not writing out his speech word for word so that the "spirit" could speak through him more freely. He often talks about being an instrument of God. But he doesn’t seem to mean that in the way ordinary people do. Rather, he shows signs of a "messianic complex" that can be truly alarming. Those of us who care about justice need to monitor the messages of Beck and his minions -- and answer them.