TV personality/self-assumed “messiah”/and seller of gold Glenn Beck held his D.C. rally to “Take Back America” last Saturday on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, where, in 1963 on that same date, August 28, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous “I Have A Dream” speech about the dire need for racial integration and tolerance.
The Beck crowd, in the tens of thousands, drew families from all over the U.S. They were “preached” to by Beck and Sarah Palin, among others. Palin said she spoke “not as a politician. No, as something more — something much more. I’ve been asked to speak as the mother of a soldier…Say what you want to say about me, but I raised a combat vet, and you can’t take that away from me.”
Beck urge the crowd to “pray on your knees, but with your door open for your children to see.” (For an eye-opening analysis of Beck’s rally, see “Spengler for Dummies” by Linh Dinh).
Beck, Palin, and the Tea Party crowd, like too many other USans who may even disagree with them on most other issues, still conflate militarism and ultra-nationalism with patriotism, and still believe that “The American Dream” of ultra-material luxury is still desirable, not to mention compatible with a sustainable way of human living on this planet now besieged by accelerating, human-caused climate catastrophe.
But Dr. King was assassinated PRECISELY because he spoke out against militarism, racism, and extreme materialism, the very values which gold-seller Beck and so many other USans now REALLY worship, despite their pious intoning of alleged “Christian” values and prayer.
At a recent demonstration against the planned Islamic Center near Ground Zero in lower Manhattan, for instance, the anti-Muslim crowd there mistook an African-American construction worker who works at the nearby Ground Zero construction site for a Muslim and verbally harassed him (See “Man Mistaken for Muslim Draws Confrontation at Mosque Protest” as well as “Tomgram: Stephan Salisbury, Extremism at Ground Zero (Again)“).
Dr. King’s most important speech, usually ignored by the Corporate Ruling Class and their propagandist flunkies in the Corpstream Media, was Beyond Vietnam — A Time to Break Silence. Delivered 4 April 1967, at a meeting of Clergy and Laity Concerned at Riverside Church in NY City, exactly a year, to the day, before his assassination. One of the famous lines from this speech is still chillingly relevant, and should have been put on huge posters with King’s name in D.C. to confront Beck’s demagoguery: “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”
For the full text of this still very relevant speech (substitute “War on Terror” for “Vietnam War”), see: https://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2008/04/04/a-time-to-break-silence-by-rev-martin-luther-king-jr-1967/
But don’t expect the Beck hypocrites, the Corpstream Media, or the Ruling Class to remind you of Dr. King’s still-timely, most important speech. Read it yourself, and contrast it not only to what demagogues such as Beck, Palin, and Rush Limbaugh usually bloviate, but also to the lies and hypocrisy nearly every U.S. politician – Democrat or Republican, including Obama – constantly pour over us, as they “support our troops” by sending them on endless wars for resources, empire, and corporate profit (all the while lying about “defending our freedom”), while cutting social spending here and increasing disastrous climate change by continuing ruinous, polluting, fossil fuel energy-wasting economic and military practices both at home and abroad.