FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 5, 2010
Jess Levin (202) 772-8162
Coalition to Fox News host: "America is not a country that defines citizenship or patriotism based on color, or creed, or name"
Washington, DC - Today, Media Matters for America joined six civil rights organizations in decrying Glenn Beck's comments on President Obama's name. Beck said "You don't take the name Barack to identify with America," but to identify with "your heritage," "your father in Kenya, who is a radical."
The coalition of organizations, which includes America's Voice, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), Center for New Community, Color of Change, NCLR (National Council of La Raza), Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, and Media Matters, released the following statement:
Glenn Beck's comments reveal the depth of his failure to grasp the true nature of America and of the American people. Ours is a nation of immigrants. Ours is a nation of proud individuals who celebrate their heritage as surely as they love the country in which they live. Ours is a nation that draws strength from its diversity, rather than rejecting it. And America is not a country that defines citizenship or patriotism based on color, or creed, or name.
In 2004, Senator Barack Obama explained that when growing up, he possessed "the hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too." And he was right. It does. Mr. Beck's inability to accept this fundamental quality of our nation -- or at the very least his willingness to pander to those who reject it -- should trouble us all. He owes an apology to the people of this great country.
The coalition includes:
Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA)
Center for New Community
Color of Change
NCLR (National Council of La Raza)
Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition
Media Matters for America
As Media Matters noted, Beck said on his radio show yesterday:
BECK: He chose to use his name, Barack, for a reason. To identify, not with America -- you don't take the name Barack to identify with America. You take the name Barack to identify with what? Your heritage? The heritage, maybe, of your father in Kenya, who is a radical? Really? Searching for something to give him any kind of meaning, just as he was searching later in life for religion.
Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media. For more information, visit www.mediamatters.org.