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Posts Tagged ‘Martin Luther King’

Glenn Beck’s Messiah Complex

Rupert Murdoch’s community organizer says that God speaks through him. Does Beck think he’s the Second Coming? (His followers just may think so.)
August 28, 2010 |

The record for self-appointed messiahs isn’t good. (Kool-Aid anyone?) But that appears to be the path Glenn Beck is headed down — not that he’d ask his followers to die for him; he just wants them, for a handful of self-righteous feel-good, to sell their grandchildren’s future well-being into the coffers of billionaires David Koch and Rupert Murdoch.

In the months since his February appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, Beck has added a new element to his customary line of wild-eyed, secular political conspiracy theories: his implied anointment as God’s messenger, ordained to save the country and “restore honor” to its culture.

This month, he added a morning prayer segment to his daily radio program, and has described as “divine providence” his purportedly accidental selection of the date for the rally he will lead tomorrow on both the anniversary of and at the same site as Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. He has told his followers to expect a “miracle” on the day of the rally. And tonight, Beck’s production company, Mercury Radio Arts, will produce a pre-game event at the (cough) Kennedy Center, modestly titled “Glenn Beck’s Divine Destiny” (until it was apparently renamed “America’s Divine Destiny” this morning, per the flyers handed ticket-seekers who were turned away).

However tempting it may be to dismiss Beck’s faith-based grandiosity as delusional derangement, there’s likely more than a bit of strategy involved in the revamped Beck formula, which is ultimately designed to marshal resentful white people to the anti-regulatory agenda of Rupert Murdoch, CEO of the parent company of Beck’s employer, Fox News.

When the billionaire backers of the astroturf group, Americans for Prosperity Foundation (whose board is chaired by David Koch), first drew together the disparate pockets of discontent that formed the initial core of the Tea Party movement, they focused on the secular but personal issue of health care reform. This was a deliberate choice, a way of broadening the circle of those comprising the ranks of the right’s ground troops, of bringing in those who share with the religious right a disdain for government, if not the evangelicals’ intrusive agenda on issues of sexuality.

Now, it’s election time. The dons of the Tea Party movement need the ground organizing know-how and data mines of the Religious Right, just as they need to rouse in secular, libertarian-minded types a fervor of religious proportions in order to keep these self-defined rugged individualists engaged to do the foot-work of get-out-the-vote efforts and phone-banking — traditionally communitarian efforts, which is why church-based organizing was so effective in the 1980s. And so Beck has refashioned America’s civic religion of Constitution and Founding Fathers as one with him at the center, taking orders from a Christian-ish God who whispers in his ear.

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Glenn Beck Rally Will Be Like Moon Landing, Wright Brothers, & Rosa Parks All Rolled Into One Massive Orgasm Of American History

Huff Post- Jason Linkins Posted: 08-26-10 02:06 PM

Outside of joining the locals in a deep and contented chuckle over the whole “STAY OFF THE GREEN LINE” matter, I’m not sure what there is to say about this coming weekend’s “Glenn Beck Sings A Song Of Myself” rally on the steps of the Lincoln memorial. Weirdly, people only seemed to get terribly concerned about how it will be held on the same day of Martin Luther King’s historic March On Washington this week, despite the fact that this has been known from the get-go. I’d have never imagined this was necessary, but on the off-chance that you’re confused about whether Glenn Beck and Martin Luther King are the same person, here’s some exhaustive research from Media Matters demonstrating this is not the case.

As Dave Weigel points out, it might be more worthwhile to be upset about “the b.s. way [Beck]’s selling” the rally. Not that this breaks with any of Beck’s established traditions! But, as Politico‘s Ken Vogel reported, what’s noteworthy is that Beck’s fameball act is starting to irk some of his nominal allies, spurring some skepticism of his motives:

The rally and Beck’s increasing political forays have made him an object of suspicion among some conservatives, even as they acknowledge his influence and potential importance as a spokesman.
“The conservative movement is still split on Glenn and whether he’s doing it for himself or doing it for the movement,” said Erick Erickson, founder of the influential conservative blog Red State. Erickson said he’s offered his assistance to Team Beck in his political exploits, which in the past year have included a high-profile battle with the White House, the creation of a network of perhaps hundreds of political groups, and the keynote speech at a major conservative political conference. “Until that question is resolved, I think you’re going to see some groups hesitant to go all in with him.”

Some tea party leaders have rejected Beck’s requests to help with the rally because of concern over his inflammatory rhetoric and fear that he was seeking to leverage their organizational know-how and grass-roots credibility for his own financial benefit, providing little in return.

“They wouldn’t even give us a booth,” said a leader of a tea party-related group that rejected Beck’s entreaties. “I resented their presumption that a relatively small organization like ours would use our connections to promote an event where Glenn Beck and FreedomWorks are featured, and we get no recognition at all. No thanks.”

Well, Beck’s insanely melodramatic video promotion of the rally, replete with Goldline scamflackery and nutlog comparisons to Rosa Parks, the Wright Brothers, and the moon landing, isn’t going to do anything to tamp down that nascent skepticism:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Robert Greenwald

Filmmaker, Brave New Films
Posted: August 25, 2010 09:28 PM

Aug. 28 is an important day in American history. On that day, 47 years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous I Have a Dream speech at the Lincoln Memorial. His message gave voice to the voiceless and his vision promoted a just, equal, diverse and compassionate country.

This Aug. 28, a very different sort of voice will ring out across those famous steps.

Beck is not Martin Luther King Jr., and Brave New Foundation has launched a site for people to speak up and stand with Dr. King’s vision, and to share what his vision means to you today.

This Aug. 28, Beck and Sarah Palin’s presence at the Lincoln Memorial reminds us of how much work still needs to be done. The racist, raging and hate-filled tenor of Beck, Palin and the Tea Party movement is in direct contrast to the noble vision spoken by Dr. King. Their outrageous attempts to divide America and to turn us against each other could not stand in starker contrast to King’s vision of a shared humanity.

The Reverend King once declared that, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”But we will not be silent on this matter. We will not let Beck and Palin hijack history and continue in their attempts to further harm and disrupt our collective future.

During the Civil Rights Movement, the SNCC Freedom Singers adapted an old Labor protest song — “Which Side Are You On?” Forty-seven years ago, when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous I Have A Dream speech, he asked the country which side of history they would be on. This Aug. 28, we’re reminded that the question still needs to be answered.

Which side are you on?

Come join us in standing with Martin Luther King Jr’s vision of this country. Click here to declare your continued commitment to Dr. King’s legacy, and that you will not let Beck trash and tarnish the meaning of King’s dream. Signatures will be delivered to the Celebrate The Dream gathering on the National Mall in D.C. on Aug. 28 so that those who sign are virtually present at the unveiling of a Dr. King art exhibit, to be hosted down the mall from where the Tea Party is to gather.

Come stand by King’s side that day. Uphold and continue to work for his vision, no matter how much Beck aims to stop us all from doing so.

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Glenn Beck’s Racism Is an Affront to MLK’s “I Have a Dream” Vision

Despite his lame efforts to try to capitalize on the MLK legacy at an upcoming DC rally, Glenn Beck can not hide his deep seated racism.

August 24, 2010 |

America, the first step in your spiritual and political redemption is finally at hand.

Or so Glenn Beck would have us believe. After an eight-month build-up that began at an Orlando retirement community last November, Beck is now making the final preparations for his “Restoring Honor” rally on the National Mall, scheduled to begin early on Saturday morning with a salute and a prayer in front of tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of the Fox News host’s loyal fans.

On a stage at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial, Beck will headline a bevy of conservative guest speakers familiar to his radio and television audiences. Most notable among them will be Sarah Palin, whose political career received early and enthusiastic support from Beck. Despite the event’s sponsorship by the NRA, the host maintains the rally will be a “non-political” event, meant to honor American troops overseas and grounded in the nonpartisan themes of “faith, hope, and charity.”

Since Beck first announced the event, much critical attention has been paid to the date. This Saturday is the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream Speech,” a landmark event in the history of the civil rights movement that is also enshrined in the national mythology as one of the finest expressions of American ideals. Beck claims that the scheduling is mere coincidence. But he has eagerly claimed King’s legacy, and the meaning of Aug. 28, as his own. On the May 24 edition of his radio program, he described himself and his conservative-activist legions as “the inheritors and the protectors of the civil rights movement”; liberals, he claimed, “are perverting it.” He said he “wouldn’t be surprised if in our lifetime dogs and fire hoses are released or opened on us. I wouldn’t be surprised if a few of us get a billy club to the head. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of us go to jail — just like Martin Luther King did — on trumped-up charges. Tough times are coming.” Two days later, he reiterated his intent to “reclaim the civil rights movement,” since “we were the people that did it in the first place.” More recently, he has described the alleged scheduling coincidence as “divine providence”—as God’s way of telling Beck he walks in King’s footsteps.

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Martin Luther King Jr.: I Have a Dream (1 of 2)


I Have A Dream (2 of 2)

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Countdown to Obama presidency as King remembered

Reuters

Mon Jan 19, 2009 5:45pm EST

By Matt Spetalnick and Caren Bohan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – On the eve of his historic inauguration, Barack Obama joined on Monday in honoring slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King, underscoring racial barriers the Illinois Democrat overcame to be elected the first black U.S. president.

Taking time away from preparing for an address he will deliver when he is sworn in on Tuesday, Obama visited wounded troops at a military hospital and issued a call to Americans to remember King by recommitting themselves to public service.

Hundreds of thousands of visitors streamed into Washington for inaugural festivities but the celebration was tempered by the daunting challenges Obama will face — unfinished wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

Obama’s inauguration, coming back-to-back with Monday’s federal holiday honoring King, has added to the deep symbolism of an African-American receiving the keys to the White House, which was built partly with the labor of black slaves.

“Today, we celebrate the life of a preacher who, more than 45 years ago, stood on our national mall in the shadow of Lincoln and shared his dream for our nation,” Obama said in a statement.

“Tomorrow, we will come together as one people on the same mall where Dr. King’s dream echoes still. As we do, we recognize that here in America, our destinies are inextricably linked. We resolve that as we walk, we must walk together.”

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