Glenn Beck has been working hard to claim the mantle of Martin Luther King for conservatives like himself. He's even planning a big Tea Party event for the anniversary of King's march on Washington "I Have a Dream" speech. (Wait, let me guess: Glenn Beck, too, has a dream. Yegh.)
Thursday on his Fox News show, he tried to deny that progressives had any right to the mantle of civil rights:
Beck: Who were the Civil Rights marchers? They were people with a profound belief in God. They were trying to set things right. They weren't crying for social justice! They were crying out for equal justice!
Well, actually, Glenn ...
"Social justice" was a common rallying cry for the Civil Rights movement. Indeed, your newly adopted hero, Martin Luther King, gave a famous speech in Michigan titled "Social Justice and the Emerging New Age", on December 18, 1963, at the Herman W. Read Fieldhouse at Western Michigan University.
I think with all of these challenges being met and with all of the work, and determination going on, we will be able to go this additional distance and achieve the ideal, the goal of the new age, the age of social justice.
The speech may best be remembered for its stirring conclusion:
In spite of the difficulties of this hour, I am convinced that we have the resources to make the American Dream a reality. I am convinced of this because I believe Carlyle is right. "No lie can live forever." I am convinced of this because I believe William Cullen Bryant is right. "Truth pressed to earth will rise again." I am convinced of this because I think James Russell Lowell is right. "Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne; Yet that scaffold sways the future, And behind the dim unknown, Standeth God within the shadow, Keeping watch above His own." Somehow with this faith, we will be able to adjourn the councils of despair and bring new life into the dark chambers of pessimism. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation to a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. This will be a great day. This will be the day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God, Almighty, we are free at last!"
Of course, this all kinda raises the point we've made previously with Beck: If progressives really are a cancer destroying America, what about the cause of civil rights they championed?
It's a joke and an outrage that Beck is trying to claim MLK's mantle for conservatives -- the people who were MLK's lifelong enemy. I hope folks in the civil rights community start making a stink about this nonsense.
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