In the midst of people (many people, but especially Right Wing) railing against the building of a Muslim mosque near Ground Zero, a very painful irony is rising out of the ashes of outrage that nobody is really talking about.
That irony is that Glenn Beck is planning a rally on the Washington Mall on the anniversary of the date that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963.
The speech was given because in this country there was no equality afforded to African Americans, in spite of the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. In that year, many African Americans had still not been allowed to register to vote. A fierce fight was going on between the federal and state governments, as the federal government intervened to get blacks the right to vote.
Black people had been systemically discriminated against with government sanction. Even though the federal government had intervened by the time King gave his speech, it had been reluctant to do so. Clergy urged Dr. King to wait, to be patient, and that change would come, prompting Dr. King to write “Why We Can’t Wait.”
Violence had been perpetrated against African Americans for crimes real and imagined; all white juries regularly convicted black people while all white juries would acquit whites accused of the same crimes. It had been made a crime for African Americans to learn to read or to write; lynching was common and participants often included prominent members of the white community.
The March on Washington was the voice of a people who had been maligned, mistreated and manipulated for selfish and greedy reasons, rising up to say, “no more.”
Now, Glenn Beck, who is, by the way, teaching revisionist history to tip the scales on the side of white people whom he feels have been maligned, is going to hold HIS march on the same day that Dr. King brought hope to millions of American citizens who had been denied the right of citizenship while having to pay taxes and follow the laws of this country.
Can he dare talk about what an insult it is for a mosque to be built near Ground Zero? Can Sarah Palin or Newt Gingrich (who said something to the effect that building the mosque near Ground Zero was like putting a swastika on the Jewish Holocaust Museum) see the irony of their protests?
Ever since Barack Obama became president, there has been an undercurrent of dissent. I have come to understand that “democracy” does not mean, nor was it ever intended to mean, that ALL citizens have the same rights. Democracy means there is free enterprise, and those who have money, or who can make money get rights; what happens to the “least of these” is not an issue. When “the least of these” are spoken and advocated for, those who support democracy yell out “socialism” or “Nazism.” It is money/profit based, I mean, our “democracy” is money and profit based. It does not seek to take care of those who are less fortunate. The system is not designed to do that.
So, naturally, in addition to Mr. Obama being African American, the fact that his policies seek to touch and help “the least of these” has people up in an uproar. These people, many of them, believe that “the least of these” are hard on their luck because they choose to be, and any government that helps them is simply becoming a welfare state.
Protest, then, is required. “The America that we knew” seems to have disappeared under the policies of this non-American, secret Muslim president and the Right Wing will do anything it can to recoup the power and restore America to its previous state where, frankly, the poor can eat cake.
But I digress. The fact the Glenn Beck is holding his “reclaim America” whatever on such an important day to African Americans and others who fought to help bring justice and equal rights to African Americans is the height of hyprocrisy, as he at the same time squeals about the “wrongness” of the Muslim mosque being built near Ground Zero. American Muslims have done nothing to quell the rights of white Americans or any other Americans. There are some Muslims who have an issue with America, but the vast numbers of Muslims have been good American citizens and have helped grow the “free enterprise” system of America.
African American labor helped build this economic democracy as well, since we’re talking.
Beck says he (they) will “reclaim the civil rights movement … because it was us who began it anyway.”
Mr. Beck, you have lost the platform on which to protest the building of the mosque, since you and others have said that the decision to build it near Ground Zero demonstrates total insensivity.
Nothing could be more insensitive, arrogant, ironic, hypocritical and … democratic, I guess, than this march you are holding on August 28 on the anniversary of the great March on Washington, and somebody needs to say so.
I just did.
And that is a candid observation.