On Sharpton and Beck, punchlines, and dreck.
0 comment Tuesday, August 19, 2014 |
Photo credit: Martin/AP
Greetings, fair maidens. This is a long post and I ask for your time and indulgence.
Now that the mainstream media is reporting Glenn Beck's rally a tad more neutrally, I thought I'd drink from the cup of temerity and discuss it, too.
Beck's rally, called "Restoring Honor," was held at the Lincoln Memorial on the anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech.

Despite Google Earth satellite images and what-not, no one in the mainstream media can give us a ball-park estimate of how many attended Beck's rally. Why? Because the National Parks Service long ago gave up* counting crowds. So that's that. Move along, folks. There's nothing more to see.
Oh, wait, except for Obama's inauguration. For him, they defied Congress (meh -- only experts waste their time reading statutes, anyway) and counted the folks in the crowd.**
Anyway, for some reason, Beck's free-speech, who-gives-a-rat's-a**-who's-assembling-anyway? assembly enraged many black activists and others (like Keith Olbermann, who rabidly deemed it "Beck's 'I have a scheme' rally").

Some went so far as to accuse Beck of co-opting the entire civil rights movement.
Damn. I guess no one will ever underestimate that man again.

In short, Beck was accused of "racial insensitivity" because he dared to stand where MLK stood, in front of an audience of, well, racists. Indeed, one "respected" commentator analogized Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally to a rally Al Queda might hold on September 11th at Ground Zero.
Of course, parallels to the "insensitivity" of the Ground Zero mosque supporters were never drawn, because even-handed logic rarely prevails.
And, naturally, carpy Al Sharpton had a counter-rally he called "Reclaim the Dream." Notice the strategic use of the word "reclaim." Because everyone's dream has been stolen or . . . wrongfully "claimed" by . . . I don't know . . . sinister day trippers?
While you're thinking, enjoy the music and this unifying quote from one SEIU ruler:
"Shame on them. We still have a dream. We are here to let those folks on the Mall know that they don't represent the dream," said Jaime Contreras, president of SEIU-32BJ. "They sure as hell don't represent me. They represent hate-mongering and angry white people. The happy white people are here today. We will not let them stand in the way of the change we voted for!" (emph. added)
Got that? Only blacks can "represent" the dream of racial equality. And God have mercy on the single white soul who is happy (wait, is it "angry"?) and also "dreams the dream," dreamily supposing that racial parity has been attained in any measure.****
An angry Al Sharpton drew his own thunderous applause (about 3,000 people showed for his rally, a smattering next to Beck's) when he proclaimed, "this is our day and we ain't giving it away," or something close.
Ah, but you have patiently waded waited through several paragraph for me to make my point. And so I shall try to make it now.
Before the rally, Education Secretary Arne Duncan emailed his 4000 employees in the Department of Education "inviting" them to attend Sharpton's "Reclaiming" rally.
Yes, I know. It's a bit anticlimactic. After all, it's just government coercion and what's so bad about that? I mean, haven't we all been strong-armed by our own employers to "give to the United Way"? You must be wondering if there's a punch line buried in here.
Well, yeah, there is. It just wouldn't have had as much punch without the preceding lines.
So be still for a moment and transport yourself back in time. Then imagine the brouhaha if a Bush cabinet member had officially emailed government employees, using government resources, to "encourage" them to attend a Glenn Beck rally.
Subpoenas would be flying. An investigation would have been launched before Beck's rally even began. But today? The Arne Duncan/Sharpton cattle prod draws but a yawn.
So I have to ask: how much more desensitized must we get, before we fail to notice there's a camel in our tent?***
* Historical note: Congress ordered the National Parks Service to stop counting bodies after the Nation of Islam got mad (i.e., accused the agency of racism and threatened to sue it) because the NPS failed to back up the Nation of Islam's claim that a million men marched at its 1995 "Million Man March."
** One crowd management strategist explained that the size of the crowd matters, that the body counts "mean power in a political situation, or they mean money in a commercial situation. So the numbers are very important to the people who put on an event." So it was convenient and meaningful that the National Parks Service suspended their no-count rule for Obama's inauguration.
*** If you think my reference to camel is "racist" or Islamophobic (the thought just occurred to me; one can never be too careful), I can hardly wait to hear what you think of this new Geico ad:

Because really, who's to say it's not anti-Bush? Oh, those clever Geico folks. They sure know how to twist the twit wit.
**** Bonus round: who was the first U.S. president to invite an African American to stay at the White House? Hint: you won't like the answer. It sucks when things don't fit the media's narrative, doesn't it?! Because then you can't trust 'em and then you have to really think about stuff, and stuff.

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