When you hear the name "Glenn Beck," the phrases that most often come to mind are likely to be "rodeo clown," "conspiracy theorist," demagogue, and most recently, "bad writer." But one description that probably never pops up is "civil rights activist." And yet, that is what Beck has been attempting lately, propping up his conspiracy theories and right-wing politics on the legacy of civil rights activist and American hero, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Last week, Roland Martin, CNN contributor and TV One commentator, discussed Beck's hijack attempt on the Tom Joyner Morning Show, explaining that Beck and conservatives are "trying to now grab the moral standing of the civil rights movement, and now claim it as their own" while ignoring the progressive elements of King's activism:
Beck claimed today that he was "not hijacking" Dr. King's legacy. On the very same show he invoked King by telling the oil companies to "stand peacefully" against President Obama (does anyone really think that the architect of "The Poor People's Campaign" would be an apologist for offshore drilling?). Beck claimed he was going to "back up" King's dream at the rally he has planned for 8/28 at the Lincoln Memorial (the site and anniversary of the "I Have A Dream" speech). Why would anybody think Beck is hijacking Dr. King? You could only think that if you listen to what Beck says.
Any way you look at it the scheme is ludicrous, and of course it has provoked a backlash against Beck in the form of a counter-rally to his 8/28 event (featured guest: Ted Nugent, who reportedly wore a confederate flag t-shirt to the inaugural ball for the governor of Texas) by the NAACP and other civil rights groups.