On his radio show today, Glenn Beck continued to warp the legacy of the civil rights movement in the United States by claiming that his 9/12 Project and the angry white Tea Party are the next phase of the civil rights movement. Beck read the civil rights movement commitment card to audience, then said, “It looks to me like the next phase of the 9/12 Project.”
Here is the audio courtesy of Media Matters:
Beck said, “This is what they had every marcher sign, and I want to put this up on the website and I want you to sign it. This is the commitment card that they had you sign,” then he read the civil rights movement commitment card authored by Martin Luther King which states:
I hereby pledge myself—my person and body—to the nonviolent movement. Therefore I will keep the following ten commandments:
1. Meditate daily on the teachings and life of Jesus.
2. Remember always that the non—violent movement seeks justice and reconciliation — not victory.
3. Walk and talk in the manner of love, for God is love.
4. Pray daily to be used by God in order that all men might be free.
5. Sacrifice personal wishes in order that all men might be free.
6. Observe with both friend and foe the ordinary rules of courtesy.
7. Seek to perform regular service for others and for the world.
8. Refrain from the violence of fist, tongue, or heart.
9. Strive to be in good spiritual and bodily health.
10.Follow the directions of the movement and of the captain on a demonstration.
I sign this pledge, having seriously considered what I do and with the determination and will to persevere.
Besides demonstrations, I could also help the movement by: (Circle the proper items)
Run errands, Drive my car, Fix food for volunteers, Clerical work, Make phone calls, Answer phones, Mimeograph, Type, Print Signs, Distribute leaflets.
After reading the card, Beck added, “It looks to me like the next phase of the 9/12 Project.” This is yet more evidence that Beck is transitioning from media figure to full blown right wing activist. In Beck’s mind he is the white Martin Luther King liberating the repressed white conservatives from an oppressive regime that is taking away their rights and liberties. However, if you ask Beck or one of his followers exactly what rights they are defending, they will scream something about socialism.
If you follow up by asking what Obama has done that is socialistic, they will then get agitated and bellow something about health care reform. If you happen to have some free time and are feeling logical, you can point out that health care reform can’t be socialistic because there is no public option. (This is a good time to ask if they consider food safety inspections to also be socialism, because this is a reform of regulation just like health care reform). Eventually the Beck supporter will get confused by your interjection of reality and call you a socialist, all the while clutching a copy of Beck’s latest book.
My point is that Beck is mobilizing a group of angry white people who refuse to admit the real reason why they are so irate. They aren’t worried about their rights. If they were, they should have been protesting during reign of George W. Bush. The truth is that they hate Barack Obama and they are still mad that they lost the election. It makes it even worse for them that a black man has taken an office that they had developed a sense of entitlement to.
Beck’s twisting of the language of the civil rights movement is a way for the right to justify their racism. Glenn Beck is more Col. Sanders than Martin Luther King. His movement has nothing but personal anger behind it. These people have nothing in common the crusaders of the civil rights movement. Beck’s white angry mob has a level of privilege that those who participated in the civil rights movement can only dream of. Beck and company are not being persecuted. They are the angry white mob that wants their power back.