Glenn Beck sidekick Stu Burguiere today accused Rev. Al Sharpton of "desecrating the dream" of Martin Luther King, pushing back on criticism that Beck has distorted King's message. Burguiere promoted video -- posted at Beck's new "The Blaze" website -- that he claims shows Sharpton devoting "a good portion" of his 2000 speech honoring King to "praising the New Black Panther Party" and its "shocking racism."
But this attack is nothing more than a hypocritical smear, given the fact that Beck himself honored a minister at his 8-28 rally this weekend who has worked with and hosted a leader of the New Black Panther Party.
His self-aggrandizement on full display, Beck asked Burguiere, "What's on the front page of The Blaze?" Burguiere went on to describe the "unbelievable" video that was posted under the headline, "Glenn's Disgrace? Shocking Racism at Al Sharpton's MLK Anniversary." He explained:
They have video of what happened at the march 10 years ago, and it's -- well, a good portion of it is Al Sharpton praising the New Black Panther Party, and then having Malik Zulu Shabazz of the New Black Panther Party go up and say all sorts of incendiary things that you absolutely have to see to believe.
The video juxtaposes clips from the 2000 Redeem the Dream rally with video from Beck's 8-28 rally and asks, in Burguiere's words -- "Which one's the disgrace? Which one's desecrating the dream?" He concluded, "I think it's fairly clear which one is which."
In the video, Sharpton is shown addressing a crowd and saying, "Get one of everything. Get one NAACP, one Urban League, one SCLC, one Nation of Islam, one Black Panther Party, one New Black Panther Party. Get one of everything, and tell them, 'Let's build this monument.'"
The claim of Beck's defenders -- that with these words Sharpton was "desecrating the dream" -- reeks of hypocrisy: During the 8-28 rally, Beck granted a "faith" medal to Rev. C.L. Jackson. Jackson, in fact, partners with New Black Panther member Quannel X in the Houston Crime Coalition.
In February 2009, Quannel X and Jackson were slated to participate in a town hall meeting to discuss violence in Houston. The event was held in Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church, where Jackson serves as pastor. A March 9 post at The Defender Network noted:
Quanell X was recently joined by Pastor C.L. Jackson and the Houston Crime Coalition to launch The Stop The Killing Summit, which opened up with a conference at the Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church. About 200 young men from local schools were on hand for The Stop The Killing Summit, which focuses on the importance of visualizing goals and manifesting success despite difficulties as well as non-violent conflict resolution strategies. The speakers touched on a variety of subjects including working on a better relationship between the Houston Police and community members, creating more jobs in impoverished areas in Houston, improving family life, getting children to do better in school and making people realize the impact of violence.
This is not to say that Jackson's work with Quannel X is necessarily problematic -- unless you share the selectively applied worldview of Glenn Beck and his defenders.
It's also worth noting that Beck's employers and colleagues at Fox News have a long-standing relationship with the New Black Panther Party, having hosted the group more than 50 times over the years.