Thursday, August 26, 2010

Glenn Beck, MLK, and The "Ground Zero Mosque": Where's Beck's "sensitivity"?

Glenn Beck, who has called the first black President of the United States a racist, is now mounting a rally and gathering, of all places, on the anniversary and at the site of MLK, Jr.'s famous "I Have a Dream" speech. Let me take a page from his own playbook, and that of other anti-Islamic "Ground Zero Mosque" demagogues like Sarah Palin (who is also planning to attend the event): "You have the right to hold your rally, but that doesn't make it right." Why can't a guy who calls his own President a racist, just because he looks at Obama's skin color and thinks it must be so, hold his rally at another location out of sensitivity to all those black Americans who find Beck and everything he stands for to be repulsive and offensive. The Beckolite, Palinite, fundamendalist, demagoguic wing of the Tea Party is downright disturbing. The seething, irrational anger and bigotry and hate that this wing has a knack for stirring up -- and then runs away from -- really, really bothers me. And I find their unwillingness to acknowledge what their demagoguery does (and, I believe, is consciously intended to do) to be cowardly and pathetic. I get sickened by the state of rightwing fundamentalism these days. It's divisive, ugly, full of hate and rancor, and seething with contempt and animosity for anything that differs from an arcane, traditionalist, cultural/racial/social orthodoxy that just simply doesn't describe our country any more. How do rational, economic, small-government, low-tax conservatives look at this wing of the movement and still find themselves attracted enough to them to find common cause with them? This wing of conservatism is not interested in liberty, small government, individual initiative, etc. They are all about culture wars and will gladly use the big stick of government and the irresponsible practice of frenzy-inducing, fear-based, "mob"-inciting demagoguery, to promote their repressive and viciously intolerant agenda.

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