Al Sharpton is not happy with Glenn Beck. On The O’Reilly Factor yesterday he took umbrage with Beck’s desire to “take back the Civil Rights movement.” Now, as I see it there are several reasons a so-called Black Community leader like Sharpton could find that language offensive.
It could be that be Al believes that the Civil Rights movement – one in which Americans of all races, creeds and backgrounds came together to forge a new national character that elevated previously down-put groups to equal legal and social footing with the majority population as a whole – is the exclusive property of African-Americans. He said so much during his counter-rally when he commented on the date being the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King‘s “I Have A Dream” speech on the mall. “This is our day!” Sharpton bloviated. “And we ain’t giving it away!”
I guess the idea that those on the mall this Saturday had no right to that day came as a surprise to Dr. Alveda King who is the niece of Dr. King and was a featured speaker at Beck’s rally. It may have even come as surprise to the late MLK himself were he alive. He was, after all, the man who referred in his
speech to “All God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics…” coming together. And isn’t that what made King’s speech so special? That his was a message of inclusion. Not an “us versus them” but a gigantic national “we.” King understood that the cancer of racism destroys the entire body (America), not just the organ (minorities) it specifically targets. In comparison, Sharpton’s comments seemed so beneath the memory of King. So petty. So small as to make one shake his/her head and ask what happened to this most noble of movements that began when a woman on a bus refused to give up her seat to a white man so many years ago?
And this really gets to the heart of Sharpton’s problem with Beck’s incredibly successful gathering.
When Mr. Beck speaks of “taking back” the Civil Rights movement, he is not using code language for returning to the days of Jim Crow and “separate but equal.” Sharpton knows this of course. And for so-called religious leaders like Al Barnum to imply as such is nothing more than a cynical act rooted in self-preservation. What Beck means by this is that the Civil Rights movement that arose from the mist of exclusion and bigotry came to champion the ideals of racial harmony, equality, and overcoming our divisions (“we shall overcome”). But somewhere along the way to the promised land it was effectively hijacked by a band of self-promoting charlatans, self-righteous statists, and shake-down artists, urged on by their enablers in the left wing literati, for whom agitation and protest has become a lucrative cottage industry.
The movement has also become synonymous with a certain political agenda that stresses affirmative action, cradle-to-grave government hand-outs, and patronizing attitudes towards personal responsibility. In other words, a litmus test somehow came into being whereby one’s commitment to racial equality is measured by one’s level of assent to the Democratic Party‘s social platform.
I argue that the policies that so many left-leaning self-proclaimed minority advocates have implemented (which have imprisoned great numbers as permanent wards of the welfare state while financially rewarding socially destructive behavior) have done more damage to the very fabric of minority communities since that great speech on August 28, 1963 than any klansman would have ever dared
hope for. 70% Black babies born out-of-wedlock. Inner-cities racked in poverty, despair, gang-banging and drug violence. Homicide now the leading cause of death among young Black males. Millions imprisoned. And looming over it all, a haze of political correctness that stifles honest and productive
dialogue about the true causes of the plight so many African-Americans still endure despite an ocean of entitlements courtesy of stubborn adherence to defunct leftist dogma and funded by the American taxpayer.
This state of disharmony suits P.T. Sharpton just fine. So long as he has a fight to fight, real or fabricated, so long as so many of his people remain in a state of second-class citizenship (despite the root cause) his career will be secure and his income steady. Indeed, for men like Sharpton, a truly
color-blind society, ie. getting to the real promised land for which Dr. King dared to pine on the very grounds of the Beck rally, would be the worst thing that could possibly happen. It would make him and his professional protest machine irrelevant and thus would he be a has-been on the political
scene as well as drain his coffers. Worst of all, he would be a nobody. Just another city preacher in a tailor-made suit. No wonder the Reverend Al is all tied in knots over of the hundreds of thousands of Americans who rallied in peace under a clear blue sky to reaffirm the dream that King so eloquently
relayed to another just as peaceful group 47 years before. Sunlight is the best disinfectant, and without the ever diminishing shade of the MSM’s loosening hammer-lock on information framing the discussion on race, it is becoming quite apparent that Dr. King’s dream realized, the one that Glenn Beck wishes to
re-claim for all Americans, would put Al Sharpton out of a job.
In any other business but the grievance industry that is called a conflict of interest. I think it’s time for the Reverend Al to recuse himself from this discussion once and for all.