(AFP/Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla)
WASHINGTON (AFP) – Plans by the conservative Tea Party movement for a huge weekend rally at the site and on the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s historic “I Have a Dream” speech have drawn fire from the civil rights movement.
Called “Restoring Honor,” the rally organized by right-wing talk show host Glenn Beck is set to take place Saturday in front of the Lincoln Memorial, the same location where King delivered his most stirring and best remembered address exactly 47 years earlier.
Beck has billed the event as a faith-based show of thanks and support for America’s military families, honoring US “heroes, our heritage and our future.”
Speakers at the gathering were to include Sarah Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee and conservative America’s hottest ticket, ensuring a massive draw — perhaps even above the 100,000 estimated by organizers.
“There is profound change happening in America and there is a window of opportunity that comes in the lifespan of every republic, every civilization, a window of opportunity to reach for that brass ring or to miss it,” Beck said of the gathering on his website.
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“We’re not the people that we’ve allowed ourselves to become,” said the rightwing pundit, who has rallied rising conservative opposition to President Barack Obama and his administration.
But civil rights groups have decried the event as an effort to “hijack” the civil rights legacy, and left-leaning commentators have blasted Beck’s choice of time and date to hold its rally.
The liberal Huffington Post website wrote that rather than restoring the honor, as the name of the Tea Party event suggests, Beck and his fellow activists were trying to “dishonor” King, a civil rights icon and hero to millions of Americans, and who has a national holiday to honor his memory.
African-American and civil rights activists who see themselves as the heirs to King’s legacy said the timing and location of the gathering are not just inappropriate, but provocative.
“The Tea Party and allied conservatives are trying to break that national stance on justice and, in turn, break the crux of what the civil rights movement symbolized and what Dr King fought and literally died for,” said activist Al Sharpton said in a statement.
~JP mumbling off in a rant…
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King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech on August 28, 1963, drawing a quarter million people at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial, an event designed to pierce America’s national conscience over inequities in its laws that made blacks second-class citizens in the United States.
Leaders including Sharpton and his National Action Network, and other groups like the National Urban League and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), are planning their own march from a Washington high school to the site of a planned King memorial, a short distance from the Lincoln Memorial.
It is not the first time that the Tea Party, which emerged shortly after Obama was elected, has wrangled with America’s civil rights establishment.
The mostly white and staunchly conservative Tea Party movement has been accused of being hostile to that legacy. In mid-July the NAACP condemned Tea Party extremists, and calling on movement leaders to repudiate followers that use racist language in their signs and speeches.
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* WHO is this so-called journalist?! by Lucile Malandain This isn’t a left leaning liar is she? She is obviously French from her FB. Many of her friends are from Agence France-Presse, which tells me a lot. She even has one buddy from WaPo, which tells me a lot.
~ Liberal bias hard at work in this article. I debated posting it but JUST had to share her ignorance…
Oh yah-Lucile Malandain Reporter at Agence France-Presse, Washington, DC
* As if there wasn’t already enough proof of her instigating as opposed to investigating, I find THIS-She posts for Lucianne, enough said!
Well, I’ve had & seen enough, as I’m sure you have, so as Mdm. Lucile says “Peace Out”. Bah!
The Tea Party opposes virtually all policies — from health care reform to financial bailouts — promoted by Obama, the country’s first black president.
Controversy erupted last month over a blog post by a leading Tea Party activist who described “coloreds” as lazy, among other explosive remarks.
The movement also has been ridiculed come in for ridicule over its talking points for those from out of town and who may be unfamiliar with how to conduct themselves in the multi-racial, culturally diverse US capital.
Beck has said he believes Saturday’s event will be “the turning point in the American experiment.”
And the pundit whose popular show airs on the Fox broadcast network insists that the choice of the King anniversary was purely by chance.
But Beck said he came to see the date and location as fortuitous.
“I believe in divine providence. I believe this is a reason, because whites don’t own the founding fathers,” he said.
“Whites don’t own Abraham Lincoln. Blacks don’t own Martin Luther King.”