Marching on Washington to fight Glenn Beck

Let me state plainly for the record what I think of Glenn Beck.  Basically, it can be summed up in just two words—fool and idiot.  Let me also state plainly for the record how I personally deal with people who are fools or idiots or both—I don’t waste time on them if I don’t have to.  Spending time on someone like that merely lends credence where it’s neither warranted nor deserved.

Fortunately for Beck, everyone doesn’t operate with the Greg L philosophy, so he’s able to position himself to generate the sort of outrage among opponents that only winds up feeding his ratings and ultimately his pockets.   Unfortunately for African-Americans, we have leaders who lack the sophistication to see through the game and wind up unwittingly getting snared in traps that only benefit others to the expense of themselves and those who they purportedly represent.  I say “purportedly” as polling among African-Americans shows that certain folks who are bantered about in the press as “black leaders” actually have very little support in the black community.

So what gives here? Here’s the deal:  August 28th is the anniversary of MLK’s famed “I have a Dream” speech.  Some black civil rights leaders (NAACP, National Urban League and Al Sharpton) wanted to book the Lincoln memorial to commemorate the speech, but found out that Glenn Beck had already reserved it as he wanted to do his very own “commemoration”—clearly a move calibrated to generate maximum outrage (i.e. trap baited). The civil rights leaders gobble up the bait like its red meat and  are now ready to mobilize forces to march on Washington that day to protest Beck and to counter what they perceive to be an attack on the legacy of MLK.   In effect with all the likely media coverage, Beck is clearly going pull off a ratings coup and effectively  get paid while the civil rights leaders will really get not much of anything other than some time in the klieg lights.  For all they’re accomplishing, these so called “leaders” might as well just walk up and put some money in Beck’s pocket.  At least that would take less effort, but no that’s not good enough, they want you and me to show up and help them pay this fool.   I don’t know about you, but that’s a definitely “no can do” for yours truly.

I’m tired of seeing black folks getting played while others get paid.  What makes this particularly disturbing is these leaders don’t even see that they’re being gamed which means that they simply lead the few sheep that follow to the slaughter right along with them. 

I think I need to start the Greg L school for leadership and “game avoidance”.  The first reading assignment I’d give out would be on the Business of Discrimination

The first step to avoid being “gamed” is to stop being a victim needing someone to constantly provide a salve for the wound.  Heal thyself first and then deal like an equal.

Black Leaders annouce move against conservative attempt to distort King dream Aug. 28

by Pharoh Martin

June 23, 2010

NEW YORK (NNPA) – Black Civil Rights leaders are furious that they will not be able to organize a march to commemorate the 47th anniversary of the historic March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King’s famed “I Have A Dream” speech at the location where it happened this year because infamous right wing Fox News personality and radio host Glenn Beck already booked the Lincoln Memorial on Aug. 28th to hold his own rally.
“We’re going to get together because we are not going to let Glenn Beck own the symbolism of Aug. 28th, 2010,” National Urban League President and CEO Marc Morial said during a National Newspaper Publishers Association breakfast at NNPA’s 70th Anniversary Celebration at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers on Friday. “Someone said to me, ‘Maybe we shouldn’t challenge him. Maybe we should just let him have it. “I was like,’ Brother, where have you been? Where is your courage? Where is your sense of outrage?” We need to collaborate and bring together all people of good will, not just Black people, on Aug. 28 to send a message that Glenn Beck’s vision of America is not our vision of America.
As both a solution and response to what the leaders perceive as an attack on the legacy of King, NAACP President Ben Jealous announced at the conference that a national march for jobs and justice will be held on October 2 instead.
“A group of White males wealthier than their peers called the Tea Party has risen up in the land," said Jealous. "They say that they want to take the country back. And take it back they surely will. They will take it back to 1963 if we let them.”
Last week, the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, or AFL-CIO, the country’s largest federation of labor unions, announced that they were going to endorse a march for jobs that Jealous will be co-leading in Washington on Oct. 2. Other national civil rights leaders and organizations are also endorsing the Oct. jobs march as a follow up to an Aug. 28 protest of Beck.
"We will be fighting Glenn Beck on Aug. 28th and we will be using that to leverage the second march,” Jealous said. “That march has to happen. Our people are dying right now, literally, from lack of access to jobs.”
The Rev. Al Sharpton of the National Action Network, who also spoke at the NNPA Conference, said Beck will distort King’s Legacy and his message.
“On the anniversary of the March on Washington, Glenn Beck is going to talk about the dream of Martin Luther King and how he was with them – not us. So, we’ve been traveling all over this country because there is no way in the world that I am going to allow him to have more people there than us. I hope every Black person in the country will help us to challenge this. Everybody’s got to be in Washington. We can’t let them high jack Dr. King’s dream.”
Morial called Beck’s right wing conservative vision “intolerant”.
“His vision is of an America of the past,” Morial said. “Our vision is of an America that understands its past but is of the future. Too many times we have become spectators. Some people thought that since Mr. Obama became president that they could go back to their couch to sit down and watch. Look at what have we witnessed – the resurgent voice of extremism. The 14th amendment has been incorrectly interpreted. They are talking in code talking about that we have to save our country. This is our country too.”
Morial added, "One of the things that is so curious to me is the way that groups on the right have been very, very observant and have begun to utilize the tactics of the civil rights movement- marching, organizing in churches, things that we’re the backbone of civil rights advocacy in the 1950s and 1960s. Others have begun to use those techniques and use those tactics. It would be a mistake if we would treat it and didn’t recognize that the people in our communities and people across the nation who believe as we do that the future of this nation has to be inclusive  in a multi-racial fashion so that African-Americans are involved in the major things that take place in this country."
Upon the 70th anniversary of NNPA and the upcoming 100th anniversary of the NUL, Morial also spoke about the need to craft a new Black agenda in a “time of great contradictions”, referencing the 2000 presidential election that was decided by a 5-4 Supreme Court vote in favor of George W. Bush, the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Hurricane Katrina, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the recent economic recession that was one of the worst in U.S. history and very recently, the unprecedented oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. But he then countered with the historicity of this decade with the ascension of Black men as the president of the United States, as the head of the Department of Justice, and as Black chief executives of some the country’s most powerful corporations such as Merrill Lynch, Xerox and American Express.
"Along the continuum of history, no one would have suggested or predicted that any of the above would occur in just a ten year period," Morial said. "These are times when the history books are being written and re-written. In 1999, Black America had a 7.2 percent unemployment rate, the lowest rate in the 50 years since kind of data have been recorded. And now, ten years plus later, our unemployment rate is twice as high and the real rate is even higher. Against this backdrop of difficult and tough times, that we have also witnessed, African-Americans achieve the highest places in American life. These are the times that you and I, as community and civic leaders, are bound to address the challenges."
He rallied for a new period of Black activism. He coined it “intelligent activism”, which he described as changing the conversation by “not raising hollow, holy” hell but, rather, making a pointed case with common sense facts and arguments.
“We have to be driven by our objective,” Morial said. “Dr. King, Thurmond Marshall and all of the great leaders of the 1960s had an objective, which was to end segregation in American life. And they achieved that objective as a matter of law. Our objective needs to be to end disparities in American life to achieve economic parity in the 21st century.”
Morial said that African-Americans, because of their size, are a force to be reckoned with. There are an estimated 40 million Black people that account for $800 billion dollars in spending in the U.S, according to Morial. There are also ten thousand Black elected officials in various local, state and national offices.
“We are a community that has assets and power as much as we want to organize it and use it,” Morial said. “I want us to think of ourselves as a community of assets that brings something to the economic table of America, not as a community of deficits and problems, so that we are not coming looking with a handout. We are looking as an investor in the American dream.”

11 Responses to “Marching on Washington to fight Glenn Beck”
  1. Greg, I agree with you to a point. I much prefer that blacks be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to the likes of Glenn Beck.

    It may be a ratings bonanza for him, as it often is for Rush Limbaugh when he says something outrageous about blacks, and the president, to his army of “ditto heads.”

    Here’s my concern: If we do nothing, it’s as though we’ve capitulated to anything these stupid whites wish to do. We will appear impotent. We have appeared impotent for too long. We have to be seen as fighting back, or others like Beck will be emboldened to put us blacks in our place.

    I can’t see Jews allowing neo-Nazis to desecrate the memories of their fallen heroes, or to use holocaust sites to reinforce their hatred of Jews.

    This march doesn’t have that level of gravity, but we blacks have to stand up and let certain white Americans know–we’re tired of the crap, and we ain’t gonna take it anymore.

    We’re in a era where racial and racist animus is once again prevalent, and on the rise. Daily we hear talk about either secession, civil war, death threats against the president (Facebook, just days ago, featured such a threat.), and chants, “We want our country back.”

    This is the time for us to show a strong, unified front, and not be seen as capitulating to the likes of Glenn Beck. If he succeeds, a greater than he will come.

    • Greg L says:

      I can’t see Jews allowing neo-Nazis to desecrate the memories of their fallen heroes, or to use holocaust sites to reinforce their hatred of Jews.

      This is a valid point BD. The Jews wouldn’t allow neo-Nazis to desecrate their heros. More tellingly, Beck wouldn’t even entertain pulling this sort of stunt with the Jewish people as he knows he’d be out of a job overnight. The difference between the Jews and us is that they have power and they’ve acquired that power by carefully studying which strategic areas of the economy and social spheres to control to protect and promote themselves. They wield power far in excess of their actual numbers and they use it with compelling effect.

      IMO, the key to counter Beck and anyone else is our acquisition of power. We don’t control Wall Street or vast portions of the media, but we can begin to exert control in our own back yard; that’s to say we need to do as Malcolm suggested and control the politics and economics of our own communities. This isn’t the case now. IMO, every initiative, every thought and every step we make has to be about that as having power will create accountabilities within and without. So, to my way of thinking, if whatever being proposed is not about that, then I question what it may accomplish for us in the long haul.

      I just think that we’re often positioned to be someone else’s meal ticket. That began with slavery and continues today. The only difference today is that sleight of hand rather than chains are used to generate this economic benefit. So discrimination lawsuits wind up benefiting the very people who discriminated to begin with in the case of auto finance. This idiot Beck does something deliberately to drive more dollars in his pocket by positioning us to be outraged at his antics. I don’t see how protesting against him is going to help us in the long term. Sure, yelling and hollering at him will let off some steam (black folks have every right to be pissed), but the best catharsis we can have is to reduce him down to being the meaningless fool he is by ignoring him and channeling our anger along the path of power acquisition.

      The very groups who are protesting against Beck are not economically controlled by our people. The NAACP, the Urban League and Al Sharpton are funded by some of the same sources likely advertising on Beck’s show. Not a one of these groups can claim that they’re really funded entirely by black folks, so as a consequence, they’re really not controlled by us economically. So it’s like the entire stage that they play on–this time with Beck–has been bought and paid for by someone else. I consider them to be a much as a diversion as Beck is sometimes.

      We need to do as brother Malcolm suggested–control our own economic and politics. I believe that would be a far more effective and permanent way of countering Beck or any of these other fools that pop up periodically. Since we don’t do that currently, anyone can come along and push us in one direction or the other since we lack an anchor.

  2. Brother Greg L:

    Are you saying that you have evidence that Glenn Beck had the intent of securing the Lincoln Memorial – a public venue SPECIFICALLY on August 28th – the last Saturday in the month of August for the expressed purpose of tweaking the noses of the Union and the Black Progressives who gather there? Please provide.

    I have noted my intention to go to DC (actually I am going to visit my folks in Philly on that weekend and drive down) in order to wage a COUNTER-COUNTER-PROTEST.

    The Civil Rights Pharisees are concerned about executing the RITUAL of the “March On Washington For Jobs & Justice” that was held on August 28th 1963 – whoever, like so many other Black churches with large edifices they fail to see the need to take their message on to the STREETS where the people who need to hear it the most reside.

    You analyzed this event as “Why did the Black Progressive Establishment leadership allow themselves to get drawn into this publicity stunt?”.

    I take the view of “WHY are these organizations so focused on Glenn Beck, Fox News and continuing empty rituals as ROME IS BURNING IN BLACK AMERICA?”

    Brother Greg L:


    Now that this establishment has their economic, social and academic theories in place in every single Black community they seek to PROTEST for JOBS? Protest…….against WHOM?

    They want JUSTICE yet they can’t see that the biggest civil rights violation for Black people in 2010 comes from the “Street Pirate who is Black”. They are the main ones running a protection racket for them, hoping that they can tap into their frustrations and make them into voters for the Democrats.

    Get real with this one Greg L.
    Glenn Beck’s crime was that he summited a piece of paper to the US Parks Service before the Civil Rights Pharisees and Trade Union Actor-vists did. Now they are pissed.

    • Greg L says:

      You analyzed this event as “Why did the Black Progressive Establishment leadership allow themselves to get drawn into this publicity stunt?”.

      I take the view of “WHY are these organizations so focused on Glenn Beck, Fox News and continuing empty rituals as ROME IS BURNING IN BLACK AMERICA?”


      These views are related and to some extent are the two sides of the same coin. These organizations remain unfocused on the problems mainly because that’s really not what they’re paid to do and they themselves don’t see that as their charge. IMO. they’re drawn into Beck’s publicity stunt because that’s all that’s really available to them as their infrastructure will not allow much else. Basically, what I’m saying is that they’re not built to address street pirates or anything else that’s more relevant and pressing as far as black community goes.

      As I mentioned, this is so because they are not really controlled by us. We think we control them and occasionally they’ll hit an issue that’s relevant, but for the most part they see their charge as “civil rights” and that’s basically what they’re largely funded to do by their donors. Hence, they’re not paid to address any of this stuff. Marching for jobs and justice is just a variation of the civil rights agenda and yes, it’s a waste of time. Again, that’s what they’re left with as they’ve not developed anything other than that. But the problem is not THEM–any review of recent history tells us that they’ll continue to marching and etc–the problem is US. Because the rest of US haven’t done what we need to do, we have effectively ceded the debate and response to groups that aren’t set up to do anything other than what they’re doing.

      I believe one gets what he pays for and if you didn’t put up your money or effort, then there are few mechanisms to hold them to account as there are few sanctions or punishment that can be meted out. The same applies to many black politicans as well. IMO, this means that any effort to reform them or hold them to account by any other means is doomed to failure. More fruitful efforts need to be spent on developing initiatives that are financed and controlled by our people. This is where you and I differ. I don’t see Progressive Fundamentalists as the problem per se. The evidence is abound that much of the African-American political leadership has been bought and paid for just like those in the majority community—the same can be said for those in the conservative camp as well. Name me ONE national organization that is totally funded and controlled by black folks. Name me one politician whose campaign was funded entirely by black folks. If WE aren’t doing that, then we really shouldn’t be wondering why we have a bunch of representatives to us, rather than for us.

      • Greg L:

        I will take your statements at their face value and accept them.

        However – the real indictment comes as we make note of OTHER entities who are “askew from the sentiments of Black America”. Whereas you say that the (my label) Civil Rights Pharisees are not structured to address anything beyond their scope – I choose to look at other groups or individuals who dare take the stage that have the fatal combination of being perceived to be askew from the popular interests AND having an ideological mismatch. With these groups (Project 21, CORE, National Black Republican Association – all of them just happen to be Conservative and receive this angst) are aggressively made to understand that their type of “help” is not wanted.

        Thus my point, as I have always argued, is that the NAACP has free speech rights. I will march with them to defend their right to speak and congregate freely.

        HOWEVER, it is clear that there must be some Black-Centric overlay that makes measure of where we stand as a community, makes note of the efficacy of these Civil Rights Pharisees and regulates them to their proper position JUST AS this force does with those that they have a more fundamental ideological disagreement with.

        The fact remains that the ideology of the NAACP is identical to the ideology of the Black Political Establishment. In fact there is a faster swinging revolving door between these two domains than with the Pentagon and Military contractors.

        In fact my model of the “10 P’s In The Pod of the Black Progressive Establishment” exposes clearly that all of these tentacles work together to enforce the ideological and political agenda for the Black community.

        THERE IS NO transparency where the efficacy of this movement is vetted. The “regulators” are in on the scheme.

        My bottom line is that until the Rank and File Black people realize that we are not getting our permanent interests satisfied off of this hamster wheel that we are asked to run upon in the name of racial loyalty and learn how to MANAGE these forces, purging them and the failed ideas – we should be content that we have done everything necessary to remain as we are as a community.

      • [quote]they’re drawn into Beck’s publicity stunt because that’s all that’s really available to them as their infrastructure will not allow much else. Basically, what I’m saying is that they’re not built to address street pirates or anything else that’s more relevant and pressing as far as black community goes.[/quote]

        You are, in essence, defining them as a FUNCTION of what some external White Right-wing threat does.

        Does the Black community have an ORGANIC/INTERNAL compass bearings that would allow us the opportunity to make note of how NAACP, Sharpton, et al are not equipped to address the most pressing problems within our community?

        It seems clear to me that when the Black community REPUDIATES a “square peg attempting to fit into our round hole” we/they make it clear.

        * Protests
        * Attack articles in newspapers
        * Blog sites in uniform contempt
        * Roland Martin, Eugine Robinson and other television voices echoing the effort
        * Elijah Cummings, and other Black elected officials making the rounds on MSNBC, CNN and Democracy Now – complementing the message.

        WHY THEN when it comes to the ultimate irrelevancy of these groups to our key interests is there NOT this same organized attack or repudiation?

        I watched as Al Sharpton indicate his plans on “The Ed Show” to go down to Arizona if the courts rule their new law legal. WHO will be manning the battle stations within the Black community during this “Bloody Summer Of 2010” once they depart?

        Can our community really afford to keep doing things this way Greg L?

      • Greg L says:

        Can our community really afford to keep doing things this way Greg L?

        A resounding “No” is the answer here CF. We can not afford to continue on the same path.

        The problem, IMO, is the failure to actually “own” the problems. When you don’t “own” somerthing, there’s always someone else who’s responsible for your condition. Now, I don’t discount that there are exogenous factors that have contributed to the malaise in the African-American community, but it’s one thing to note them, but quite another to assert control over that which you can directly influence.

        Here’s what I think. The very best way to displace those who prefer to look outward is simply to just do something. We know that many of these groups don’t have the managemen infrastructure to put some stuff on the board, so rather than waste time fighting them and calling them out, we need a group of people who can create that structure, put some stuff on the board and solve actual problems. In other words, whatever our ideology or beliefs are, the best way to convince people to come around to one’s particular view is to deploy it solving or addresssing some issues.

        In my experience, because there’s little occuring along these lines in the African-American community, this presents a “low hurdle” for leadership assumption. If I were to flip this around and talk about the ganges of street pirates for the moment, the reason why they exist is that they’re more organized than most other organizations in the community and organization basically means the projection of power. (I’m referring to gangs here mainly). In reality, they’ve “solved” a problem by giving fatherless and aimless youth a family and a purpose, even if it nefarious. They really have no competition organizatiionally because everyone else who claims to “represent” the community is out protesting, marching and raising hell outside of the community.

        If you were to look at Gallup polls on who black folks believe who are black leaders over time, you’ll find that Condi Rice, Colin Powell and other folks who you really wouldn’t perceive to the black leaders in the traditional sense have actually led the polls at various times. The “traditional” black leaders actually lag very badly in most of the polling. The main reason that Rice and Powell were seen as leaders likely owes to their high visibility versus anything they’ve actually done for the black community. In other words, their visibilty made them poll high by default more than anything else. It’s a certainty that any current poll would list Obama at the top for the same reason. I interpret this to mean that the role of leadership within the African-American community is wide open and it can be assumed only if a group is prepared to execute on some real issues that most blacks see as vexing. I’d guess if you were poll African-Americans on the issue of Beck and the importance of him, most would likely rank it very low owing mainly to the fact that most are unaware of him or just don’t give a damn due to other stuff being more of an issue.

        I just think that any group of folks looking to lead have to make sure that whatever they’re addressing is aligned to the real problems. If that group did that, the current crop of leaders would be an afterthought. The best way to put them on trial is to put some stuff on the board.

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