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.


Big Mark 243 said...

Well said! Yet we both know that Beck and Palin are not done... fools like that always continue on to their bitterest end... and live as martyrs.

mrs. miss alaineus said...

in order to restore honor you had to have had some in the first place.


Ms. Moon said...

It's like we live in Bizarro World. Up is down and down is up and honor is being restored by those who dishonored to begin with.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Dr. King's speech was beautiful.

Sending love,


Sybil said...

As Big Mark said "well said"...thank you for reminding us of that wonderful speech.
Love Sybil x

Anonymous said...

I can't say I was surprised that Beck and Palin would do something like this. Truly, I put nothing past them.

What made me really sad was that people attended. For a long time I couldn't understand how his followers could really believe that stuff, but now think that it doesn't even matter whether they believe it or not. They think the end justifies the means.

"Take back our country?" From whom, exactly? The President is in office because a majority of Americans voted for him.

Restore honor? Start with truth and respect, Glen.

You probably know that MLKJr. gave a version of that speech in Rocky Mount a year earlier. Have you ever met anyone who heard it there?

Nance said...

I'm laughing right beside you, Sheria. We must laugh...and then get very, very busy!

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

They are having their moment, but like you said, we need to get out the vote in November so that we do not stall or go backwards. There has been a lot accomplished, it just needs time to come to fruition.

Yasmin said...

I have heard of Glen Beck didn't Whoopi goldberg call him a lying sack of dog doo, The View being a daytime show stopped her from being more explicit.

Dr King walks with the angels how dare they even think they are equal to him in intellect and spirit.

Take care


Mark said...

The "Fearful Fifth" has found their God and Goddess of Douchedom, Beck and Palin.
Learning not to make let their idiocy define my emotional state is a veru spiritual task with which I struggle daily.
Thank God for Rachel Maddow.
And you!

Beth said...

He is indeed laughable. On a bad day, he'll infuriate me, but most of the time, I find him ridiculous.