by Ed Ciaccio
– August 31, 2010
September 5, 2010
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.
Beyond Vietnam – A Time to Break Silence By Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1967)
Democracy Now! Roundtable Discussion on the Islamic Community Center
Separation of Church and Hate: The Kate Mosque Solution by Greg Palast
Republicans Attack the Peaceful Imam by Michael Carmichael
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What’s more interesting from our perspective about this Glenn Beck phenomenon is that “The Folks in Control,” however one might characterize them in terms of race, status, class, wealth, geographic location or whatever, allowed our current situation to develop over arguably the last 50 – 100 years, and now there are complaints by a vocal group of concerned citizens.
Is it possible, as postulated by some, that the liberal, conservative, progressive, corporate and banking interests, and libertarian POWER FORCES in our society are laughing all the way to the bank, and that we minions with little money and power (the members of the Institute for Applied Common Sense included) are the ones complaining? And that because of new technological advances in communication and the power of the Internet, the voice of the minions is now being disseminated with greater force, essentially saying, “Stop! Enough is enough!”?
Furthermore, is this a case of the minions fighting for limited scraps at the bottom of the heap, while the real riches are controlled by a few? Have we at the bottom been pitted against one another?
Is this arguably a populist movement somewhat similar to the one led by “the Great Commoner,” William Jennings Bryan at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th Centuries?
Is what we are experiencing simply the most vocal expression of the perhaps 80% of we citizens at the bottom of the heap?
Looks like Bryan was on the wrong side of history.
Tough as it may seem, we really don’t have it so bad, in the scope of things. The huge waste in the USA are these wars. Where were/are the teabirthers & beck on the wars? I don’t buy any of this planted white-nationalist faux-activism. People are responsible for their stupidity, the body does have a head. Thinking for onesself is not a matter of class nor money.
One does have to wonder…
Does Beck get away with this because the T-Party is stupid and ignorant of history, or because they really are just that bigoted?
If one actually listens to Beck, filtering out his ‘crazy board’, he’s a corporatist. Not quite as stupid as he looks, but very well paid apparently. The problem is not this toadstool millionaire, it’s the people who buy his supply. Seems there’s more than a few idiots infesting the heartland…