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Politics, Firearms, and things that amuse me

Hatred from the Left: Thoughts on Glenn Beck’s 8/28 Rally

with 16 comments

When I finally decided to pull the trigger and find a “free” place I could blog, I had a vision of what I wanted to do. I wanted to express my opinion on topics of the day, news stories, gun news, funny stuff, and maybe do a little back-and-forth with MrsJamesLee, as she generally comes from the other side of the aisle.

Little did I expect to be drawn into the race relations debate. I’m probably one of the least “qualified” people to speak on that topic. But it seems that nearly every controversy in the news, particularly with politics, has some form of racial overtone.

First and foremost, I totally reject the notion that if someone criticizes or otherwise rejects President Obama, that it is based on racist notions. I suspect that 99.9% of that is totally false. Of course, there are racists left in this world. And absolutely it is possible to disagree with the Democrat Agenda without having race-based reasons for doing so.

The problem is that many, especially on the left side of our political spectrum, want to attribute any opposition to racism. Nothing could be further from the truth.

For example, I am totally opposed to government-funded bailouts for any private company. This includes General Motors and Chrysler, General Motors being my default “favorite” car company, and Chrysler being the one who made my current vehicle, the Dodge Dakota (unparalleled in the mid-sized truck market, for my money). If the company in question can not budget, predict the markets, and make enough sales to stay in business, then they should not be in business.

Anyway, before I sway too far off topic here, I am seeing a lot of coverage of Glenn Beck’s “8/28 Restoring Honor” Rally last weekend in Washington. And most of it is negative, condescending, and totally off base.

I was lucky enough to have a good internet connection, and listened to most, and watched nearly as much, on the Ustream/Facebook feed that went out live, as I don’t have CSPAN available on my TV at work. The interenet stream was fantastic, however, and the on-screen counter surpassed 130,000 people watching before it was over.

There was no political agenda at all during the entire time. There was scant criticism, if any, of President Obama, or anyone else for that matter. The focus was on honoring our fallen troops, honoring those (such as Albert Pujols) for their charitable work, and trying to wake people up to what is right and wrong.

Many criticized the event before it even took place; the date was the same date and the same location that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., gave his “I Have A Dream” speech. For that reason, many felt it was inappropriate to do it.

Alveda King, niece of the late Dr. King, was a headline speaker. She gave a wonderful speech, in many ways an update, or sequel if you will, to the original. Absolutely wonderful.

Sarah Palin introduced members of the Military, who had sacrificed friends, comrades, shipmates, and limbs, to point out those who put Honor above their own needs, or even their own survival.

All day, it was the same story; we are Americans, we are one Family, we should work together, trust in God (with no demand on whose God we should trust in), and help to bring us all up.

No hate, absolutely zero so-called “racism,” and no politics. And, by the way, absolutely no trash left laying on the National Mall when it was over.

As I was watching it, though, I kept an eye on some of the Twitter and Facebook comments left concerning it. Some of the most vile, hate-filled, disgusting things you would think of another person. One that stood out to me, to paraphrase, was that “you would think Alveda King would at least take today off from spitting on her Uncle’s grave.”

Through the last 24 hours, pundits have pundificated, columnists columnated, and talking heads talked. Most, without a clue as to what it was all about, fell back into the familiar theme of “Beck is a hateful racist.” One, CNN’s Bill Press, even pontificated that the Lincoln Memorial was not an appropriate place to speak of God and Religion. Wonder what he would say about Dr. King’s speech 47 years ago?

For the record, I am not really a “religious” person. I was raised in the Methodist Church, I have a strong belief in God, Jesus, and the idea of Christian Salvation, which I feel can be accomplished without constant attendance at a particular building. And, also for the record, I don’t care if you believe otherwise; you want to go every Sunday, Wednesday, and special occasion, kneel 5 times a day, observe Passover, or not ever; you follow what works for you, I will me, and we will all get along fine as long as we are not actually causing harm to anyone else.

The point is, that Mr. Beck, in my opinion, likely gave a better, more honest, and more uplifting tribute to Dr. King than could have been accomplished by nearly any one else. Reverends Jackson and Sharpton, I’m sorry; I don’t disparage the work you may have done in the past, but your ties to the Liberal Establishment completely negate anything you do today. Just because one is opposed to Leftist Ideology, it does not mean you are somehow “racist.” I feel that sort of thinking has completely betrayed the “Dream” of Dr. King.

Recently, I put up a post on this blog about the King speech, and included a video. The course of that involved me looking through several versions posted on YouTube to find a good copy of the particular section I wanted, without it being too long, or in another language. I got to see several sections of that groundbreaking speech, several times, and believe me, the “I Have A Dream” section would send chills up my spine, and in some instances, I will admit to beginning to well up. Because it’s a truth that transcends time, that all would eventually be judged on the “content of their character, not the color of their skin.”

Those who would attempt to put a political backdrop to that in order to disparage Mr. Beck, who likely more than anyone active in today’s media, is actually living by Dr. Kings words, should be ashamed. You are taking the ideal, and twisting it suit your own prejudices.

Martin Luther King would not approve.

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Written by James Lee

August 30, 2010 at 21:28

Posted in Uncategorized

16 Responses

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Desert Gardens, JamesLee. JamesLee said: Racism, Beck, and King http://wp.me/pP3dN-8G […]

  2. James Lee: First and foremost, I totally reject the notion that if someone criticizes or otherwise rejects President Obama, that it is based on racist notions.

    Agreed. However, it is notable that a majority of Republicans believe the ridiculous notion that President Barack Obama “sympathizes with the goals of Islamic fundamentalists who want to impose Islamic law around the world.”

    In any case, you can’t suddenly separate Glenn Beck from his rhetoric.

    The only [Katrina victims] we’re seeing on television are the scumbags.

    About the first African-American president: “This president, I think, has exposed himself as a guy, over and over and over again, who has a deep-seated hatred for white people or white culture.

    Voicing Malia to Obama: “Daddy, why do you hate black people?

    Even though King strongly advocated social justice and affirmative action, and was often accused of being a communist and a deviant, Beck says: “I beg you, look for the words ‘social justice’ or ‘economic justice’ on your church Web site. If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words {for Communism}.”

    And many statements equating progressives with fascists.

    When you see the effects of what they’re doing to the economy, remember these words: We will survive. No — we’ll do better than survive, we will thrive. As long as these people are not in control. They are taking you to a place to be slaughtered!

    You can’t be responsible for all the silly things that emanate from Glenn Beck’s mouth. But you are responsible for your own blindness.

    James Lee: The point is, that Mr. Beck, in my opinion, likely gave a better, more honest, and more uplifting tribute to Dr. King than could have been accomplished by nearly any one else.

    No! Not in the light of his consistent hateful and divisive rhetoric. By turning a blind-eye to the hate-filled rhetoric that pervades the Tea Party Movement, you contribute to its spread.

    zachriel2

    August 31, 2010 at 06:52

    • He has been anything but hateful and divisive. Yes, he criticizes the President almost daily. For valid reasons, even if one does not agree.

      Obviously, you do not follow Beck’s program, else you would understand what is meant by “social justice” in this day and age. I will stipulate that perhaps King did use the wording, but it was different then that it is now.

      And I can not turn a blind eye to something that does not exist. There is no “Hate filled rhetoric” that pervades the Tea Party Movement. Open your eyes, and stop blindly believing everything MSNBC happens to be saying.

      James Lee

      August 31, 2010 at 08:27

  3. […] AShotAndaBeer’s Blog: Hatred from the Left: Thoughts on Glenn Beck’s 8/28 Rally […]

  4. James Lee: Yes, he criticizes the President almost daily. For valid reasons, even if one does not agree.

    Implying that “they” are actively preparing a fascist takeover of the government is not “valid reasons.”

    James Lee: I will stipulate that perhaps King did use the wording, but it was different then that it is now.

    King advocated an activist approach that included direct government involvement in ending discrimination, affirmative action, providing decent jobs to the poor, and ending the Vietnam War.

    James Lee: Open your eyes, and stop blindly believing everything MSNBC happens to be saying.

    Huh? We quoted directly from Glenn Beck.

    Zachriel

    August 31, 2010 at 09:00

    • “We quoted directly from Glenn Beck”

      Not when openly accusing the Tea Party Movement of spreading hate-filled rhetoric.

      James Lee

      August 31, 2010 at 09:13

  5. James Lee: Open your eyes, and stop blindly believing everything MSNBC happens to be saying.

    We quoted Glenn Beck, not MSNBC.

    James Lee: Not when openly accusing the Tea Party Movement of spreading hate-filled rhetoric.

    Glenn Beck is a significant leader within the Tea Party Movement, and he has engaged, repeatedly, in race-baiting and extremist language. When you ignore such rhetoric, indeed, appear blind to it; it allows it to fester and spread.

    Zachriel

    August 31, 2010 at 09:42

    • I’m not here to promote or defend Glenn Beck, but I will say this: Yes, he’s said some things that seem, at least on the surface, to be as you describe.

      However, he constantly insists on learning the truth, debating and disagreeing honestly, and above all promoting NON VIOLENCE. There is NOT an overarching hate to what he discusses or promotes in the least. And absolutely no generalizing of “race relations” like is seen from the Leftists.

      If what you say is true about the Tea Party and Beck, how would you care to explain the fact that Alveda King, and many other black people, have embraced the Tea Party in general and Beck specifically?

      James Lee

      August 31, 2010 at 09:55

  6. Let’s review:

    James Lee: First and foremost, I totally reject the notion that if someone criticizes or otherwise rejects President Obama, that it is based on racist notions.

    Agreed.

    James Lee: I suspect that 99.9% of that is totally false.

    That is incorrect. There are strong racist and xenophobic currents within the Tea Party Movement, and the Right Wing generally.

    James Lee: And absolutely it is possible to disagree with the Democrat Agenda without having race-based reasons for doing so.

    Agreed.

    James Lee: Most, without a clue as to what it was all about, fell back into the familiar theme of “Beck is a hateful racist.”

    It is not without substantial support. Nearly every day Glenn Beck either directly provokes xenophobia, or uses hackneyed code equating “progressive” with “fascist” with “communist”. This is the very same type of rhetoric used against King and the Civil Rights Movement.

    Glenn Beck is a significant figure within the Tea Party Movement, but he is certainly not the only one who has engaged in such rhetoric.

    James Lee: The point is, that Mr. Beck, in my opinion, likely gave a better, more honest, and more uplifting tribute to Dr. King than could have been accomplished by nearly any one else.

    Then it’s doubtful you understand Beck or King. King advocated for boycotts of businesses to force them to hire blacks, and direct federal intervention in the affairs of private businesses. He believed in relief for the poor and many other progressive causes, and spoke out against the Vietnam War.

    Nevertheless, it’s quite reasonable that people adopt some aspects of King’s belief, while rejecting others. That’s fine. However, it is not reasonable to engage in misleading extremist rhetoric, then make anti-historical claims in an attempt to coopt King’s message.

    This does not imply that everyone, or even most of the people in the Tea Party Movement are racists or xenophobes. However, ignoring this current, especially among the leadership within the Movement, gives it cover. This allows it to fester, while coloring the entire Tea Party Movement.

    Zachriel

    August 31, 2010 at 10:44

    • “There are strong racist and xenophobic currents within the Tea Party Movement, and the Right Wing generally. ”

      No, there are not. Maybe a few here and there, but most definitely not “strong currents.” And when those that do feel that way make themselves known, we try to do all we can to get rid of them.

      Xenophobic? No way. What we are concerned with is ILLEGAL immigration. We welcome people who want to come in, follow the law, and become productive citizens. That is how we all got here. Again, probably a few fit your mold, but that thought is NOT welcome in any version of MY party.

      It is the LEFT side of the aisle that insists on dividing everyone into groups based on skin color, ethnicity, sex, whatever. And trying to “buy” their way into that crowd with some form of “outreach.” That is contrary to the Right that generally believes in the individual, not a group. Content of character, you know.

      As far as Liberalism, Progressive, whatever. They are all based on the big government “taking care” of people. That sort of idealism is incompatible with individual freedom. I don’t have a problem with a reasonable ‘safety net’ in the event someone actually needs help, but when it continues on and on for generations, then I have a problem. That sort of nanny-state mentality IS a version of communism, socialism, even if it’s not full-blown.

      And, maybe you are right; I may not understand the full body of Dr. King’s work. But the ideals laid out in the Dream speech are something that should be held up as an ideal for all of us to work towards. And it IS what he is best known for.

      There is nothing in that speech that says the dream was to have all blacks vote one way. I don’t want that, even if it was “my” side that got the votes. I want everyone to know themselves, what they believe, and why they vote the way they do, from honesty and integrity, and what is best for the country in general.

      James Lee

      August 31, 2010 at 11:21

  7. Zachriel: There are strong racist and xenophobic currents within the Tea Party Movement, and the Right Wing generally.

    James Lee: No, there are not. Maybe a few here and there, but most definitely not “strong currents.” And when those that do feel that way make themselves known, we try to do all we can to get rid of them.

    Beck, the central figure of the latest Tea Party Rally, made the ridiculous assertion that the first African American U.S. President hated white people. He also constantly suggests that the current administration is about to stage a fascist coup.

    This occurs because no one in the Tea Party Movement will call it what it is. Consider that Mark Williams called Obama “an Indonesian Muslim turned welfare thug and a racist in chief,” yet remained the chairman of the Tea Party Express. It wasn’t even an issue within the Tea Party!

    Zachriel

    August 31, 2010 at 12:38

  8. Now, consider that a majority of Republicans believe the ridiculous notion that President Barack Obama “sympathizes with the goals of Islamic fundamentalists who want to impose Islamic law around the world.” This is clearly not meant by most of these people to be a good neutral thing. Obama represents the “Other.” It’s a stand-in for all the paranoia and xenophobia about a changing world. This is standard code language with a long history in America.

    Zachriel

    August 31, 2010 at 12:42

    • Zachriel, you keep using this quote:

      Now, consider that a majority of Republicans believe the ridiculous notion that President Barack Obama “sympathizes with the goals of Islamic fundamentalists who want to impose Islamic law around the world.”

      I cannot find that statistic or quote anywhere in the Newsweek article you are linking. Here’s something from the piece that might be close: “More than half of self-identified Republicans believe Obama favors the interests of Muslims over other religions, compared with just 9 percent of Democrats.”

      Is that the statistic to which you’re referring? If so, I’d say you’re stretching quite a bit to equate favoring the interests of Muslims over other religions (as was stated in the article) to sympathizing with the goals of Islamic fundamentalists (which is not mentioned in the article at all). Are YOU implying that these two viewpoints are one in the same?

      In the often-used words of our President, “Let me be clear,” there’s absolutely NO data supporting your claim that Republicans think Obama sympathizes with Islamic fundamentalists in either the Newsweek article OR the Pew Research poll referenced in the Newsweek article.

      If you aren’t trying to deliberately misrepresent the facts, please provide the link that supports your quote.

      desertgardens

      September 1, 2010 at 02:51

  9. desertgardens: I cannot find that statistic or quote anywhere in the Newsweek article you are linking.

    The poll is linked in the first paragraph of the article. You will find the question near the bottom of the report: Some people have alleged that Barack Obama sympathizes with the goals of Islamic fundamentalists who want to impose Islamic law around the world. From what you know about Obama, what is your opinion of these allegations? Among Republicans, the response was Definitely True 14%, Probably True 38%.

    zachriel2

    September 1, 2010 at 06:40

    • Thanks for the direct link to the poll, I stand corrected. When I followed the link in your first post, I did not see it anywhere in the Newsweek article. The only reference I saw linked was a Pew Research poll. And now when I try to go back to the article, I only get a Newsweek subscription page (no thanks).

      I have to admit, I’m a bit surprised by this result given it seems such a radical position. I’m also surprised that even 17% of Democrats answered either “definitely true” or “probably true” as well to the same question.

      But, given this poll question comes right after a question about President Obama favoring Muslim’s interest over other “American groups” as it relates to the mosque near Ground Zero, it may shed a little light on people’s views. That has become a heated issue and emotions have run high on both sides.

      So, when the question about whether Pres. Obama sympathizes with the goals of Islamic fundamentalists comes next, respondents have already had an example planted in their minds. I don’t think if you asked Republicans straight out if they think President Obama wants to impose Islamic law in the United States you’d have many people at all agreeing with that statement.

      What’s also interesting to note about that question is that respondents are not given “don’t know” as a possible choice to answer the question. The only choices are definitely true, probably true, probably not true and definitely not true which I would argue pushes people into making a choice they might not have made in the first place.

      That’s my take of it anyway.

      desertgardens

      September 1, 2010 at 13:21

  10. desertgardens: I have to admit, I’m a bit surprised by this result given it seems such a radical position.

    Quite surprising. There may be some methodological nuances involved, but it still shows how deep the mistrust and misunderstanding is in American society at this point.

    Zachriel

    September 1, 2010 at 14:41


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