Saturday, August 28, 2010

Restoring Honor- Nice disguise

Today is the anniversary of MLK’s “I have a dream” speech in Washington DC at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. This was a pivotal speech in the civil rights history in the US. MLK had a dream that everyone in the US would treat everyone equally. 47 years after that speech was made, at the same location of this history, another speech took place. It was not about equality, but it was about “Restoring Honor”. Glenn Beck, a conservative radio and television personality created this rally. Beck’s mission was to restore our faith in our country and our god. On face value, this is a very noble cause.

To look forward, we must first look back. Our founding fathers fled Europe to fight oppression. They created this country because they wanted freedom: Freedom to practice religion, freedom to self-govern, and the freedom for all. This is the basis of our constitution. Any governmental discussion of the present always looks to this past, this document. I agree that, we the people, have a great document, but it is inherently flawed when it comes to today’s interpretation.

Let us look at the people that created this document. They were White Anglo-Saxon Protestant men. They wanted religious freedom, as long as it was their Christian God. They wanted everyone to be free, except those slaves they had, their wives, oh and anyone else who wasn’t a white male. Everyone that had power and created this country was these types of men.
As the constitution has journeyed through our court systems’ processes, each generation has added their interpretation and precedent to our constitutional meaning. Please don’t get interpret these statements as someone being cynical or against the constitution, I just think it needs to be looked at the whole context, not just our current interpretation as the be all, end all.

Now let’s go back to Glenn’s speech. Everything that was said was meaningful and heartfelt. However, what wasn’t said meant a lot more. Glenn has denied it, but make no mistake, he knew the meaning of this date. He knew by choosing this day, he would receive the publicity that he did. If it was another day, would tens of thousands of people have attended it and would have every media outlet picked this story up?

Beck furthermore denied that this rally was not political in nature. If it wasn’t, why was the tea party so entrenched in this rally? Beck wants us to go back and pray. He wants us to not just pray but to leave our doors open so that our kids can see us pray. I think by this rally today, all tea partiers saw Glenn Beck praying.

This event was a vast sea of white. Very few people of color were present.  Just like our early constitution writers, white America dominated this landscape. Beck appears to want us to get back to a bygone time. I just wonder how far back this conservative wants us to go. I am a White, Anglo-Saxon Protestant male, but I do not get this movement. A WASP, like me, is a dying majority. I get that. I think the rest WASPs do not. Statistically speaking, according to predictions, we are going to be a minority.

America is now a place where people can practice every religion. They can pray to any God. If we cannot understand that, we will be doomed. Wars have been started for less. I just think that it is a dangerous time that Beck and like conservatives are taking us into under the guise of religion. We just need to be careful with groupthink. I will paraphrase what Tommie Lee Jones said in a movie, a person is smart, and groups are dangerous and irrational. Please all conservatives get your news from other sources besides FOX News. They are far from Fair and Balanced. 

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