Black Leaders Announce Move Against Glenn Beck’s Attempt to Distort MLK’s Dream

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.”

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9 Responses to Black Leaders Announce Move Against Glenn Beck’s Attempt to Distort MLK’s Dream

  1. Vic says:

    This is a very big deal. People of all colors should be outraged that this man can blatantly be so divisive when it comes to non-white conservative US citizens culture and history. Fox News and all of his viewers are to blame for giving this man a platform to do what he does, which is hold our country back.

  2. Jeff says:

    wow..thats all i can say..

  3. Austin Weatherington says:

    Glenn Beck…. Propagandist

  4. Che Pizarro says:

    In my opinion, the commemorative march should be organized despite the insanely divisive Beck. Get a million people down to the Lincoln Memorial who truly honor the memory of Martin Luther King and see what happens. You don’t have a permit? So what! Stop bickering with Beck and his ditto heads and take a stand, act on what you know is right.

  5. Jeff says:

    I agree with Che..making a stand is what got us where we are today

  6. Steve says:

    It is wrong that Glenn Beck booked his rally on the day of Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have A Dream” speech. It shows how ridiculously petty he is because I’m sure he knew of the memorial, but this article is so anti-white and hateful it makes me sick! If you want to talk about advancing as a people then maybe you (the writer) should stop talking so ill about white people as if the entire race has done something to you personally. This article is not only completely biased, it is insulting to anyone other than the ignorant African American community. Any truly intelligent and politically up to date person, black, white, latino, asian, knows that very few people care what Rev. Al Sharpton has to say anymore because of his ridiculous views in the political community. And maybe you should also consider than it’s not only “your people” that are suffering from lack of access to jobs. Ten Percent of ALL Americans are unemployed (and that doesn’t count people not collecting unemployment.) If you want to get a point across, think of how Martin Luther King’s Dream helped other races and ethnicities as well. And Glenn Beck is an idiot because if it wasn’t for Martin Luther King he wouldn’t have a great President to devote his life to bashing. Thank you.

  7. Vic says:


    What exactly did Pharoh say that was racist? Reading, and then re-reading this article, I found many quotes from other people, but nothing with a racist tone. It’s obvious you and Pharoh agree regarding Glenn beck but I just don’t see where anything racist can be found in this article. If I missed it I would be happy to reconsider it if you point it out (human error). As a multi-cultured individual, I am not offended whatsoever by this article.

  8. austin says:

    @ Steve I am not quite sure what article you read, but I have to respectfully and wholeheartedly disagree. First and foremost this article is not about race or advancing as a people, those are your words, not Pharoh’s (the writer)– our people (African-Americans) are already advanced. This article is about the defacing of a historic moment in America’s history. By your comments I am assuming that our views toward Beck is shared. So in that vein this is a pretty cut and dry situation, and I think this article displays that. You have a off-the-cusp propagandist right winger who fully understands his actions and is doing what he does best– controversy. Pharoh gave you the story from black leaders perspective (Jealous,Morial, Sharpton) whose quotes were very inclusive and consistant in that they feel like Glenn Beck does not share the message of Dr. King and therefore he should not be allowed that space on such a prestigious and legendary day. Lastly I took severe exception to your “Ignorant African-American Community” comment. That was a misguided,unfounded,and ignorant statement. Not agreeing with the content of the article is one thing, implying that the article was written for the “Ignorant African-American Community” is another. Your out of line with that comment sir. As a “truly intelligent politically up to date person” you should know better than to use such verbage.

  9. Matthew says:

    Far too much time, energy, media news space and other limited resources have been expended on Glenn Beck and his agenda whatever his motives. In my opinion,the most logical way to blunt his motives is to totally ignore him and his cronies and pretend that they do not exist or matter. These limited resources would be much better utilized by applying them to activities that contribute to the success of the 47th Commemorative MLK Protest March. For example, such wasted resources could be better utilized to educate young African-American males and females about the reality of the decades of the 50s and 60s because most of them do not have a clue. Resources also could and should be used to transport en masse persons of any ethnic group from nearby jurisdictions for the purpose of participating in the MLK demonstration because in this instance, numbers matter.

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