What's in Store at Glenn Beck's Restoring Honor Rally?
The right-wing commentator is planning a rally near the Lincoln Memorial on the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, with Sarah Palin in tow. What he's up to is anyone's guess, but there have been clues.
With Glenn Beck's Restoring Honor rally set to take place near the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday, the Internet is buzzing with speculation about what Fox News' seemingly unstoppable juggernaut has up his sleeve this time. Though Beck pulls stunts -- both grand and small -- as a matter of course, this weekend's event is of particular interest to civil rights leaders: it happens to fall on the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" address.
Progressive pundits are assuming that Beck is out to pervert the memory of King, a supposition not outside the realm of possibility, considering that the controversial TV and radio host once flippantly accused President Barack Obama of a being a racist with "a deep-seated hatred for white people." Beck has also called Obama "very white," a comment he's never explained further or contextualized. In other words, his credentials for hosting a rally on the anniversary and location of one of history's most memorable civil rights events are shoddy at best, nonexistent at worst.
Stoking even more suspicions is how secretive Beck is being. Little is known about the event except that there will be speeches by Beck and Sarah Palin, and attendees are prohibited from bringing signs. The fear, of course, is that it will turn into a pit of hatred à la the health-care town halls. But there may be a glimmer of hope.
On May 28, Beck devoted more than half an hour of his Fox program to celebrating the overlooked historical contributions of forgotten African-American heroes. With the assistance of David Barton, a Christian historian, and Lucas Morel, a politics professor and author of Lincoln's Sacred Effort: Defining Religion's Role in American Self-Government, Beck highlighted the accomplishments of black men like Prince Whipple and James Armistead, former slaves who went on to fight alongside General Lafayette and George Washington in the American Revolution.
"I'm so tired of people saying it was just white people [who founded America]," said Beck to a small, mixed audience. "No! Why are we intentionally leaving others out?"
If one could get past the host and co-hosts' final points -- liberals try to keep black founders out of history books in order to better play the "victim card" -- the segment was actually quite touching, and certainly not what we've come to expect from a Glenn Beck show.