Glenn Beck's persecution complex never ceases to amaze us. Today he went after President Obama for making this seemingly innocuous statement:
Finally we got this car up on level ground, and yes it's a little beat up. It needs to go to the body shop. It's got some dents and it needs a tune-up, but it's pointing in the right direction. And now we've got the Republicans tapping us on the shoulder, saying, "We want the keys back." You can't have the keys back - you don't know how to drive. You can ride with us if you want, but you've got to sit in the back seat.
Inexplicably, Beck decided that this meant that Obama wanted to "treat Republicans like second class citizens," and make them "sit in the back of the bus," like "in the '50s." Beck also mused that Obama might be trying to "settle old scores." Take a listen:
On the other hand, maybe it's not so inexplicable when considered in light of some of Beck's prior comments. This is a guy so obsessed with shadowy oppressors that he implied George "Spooky Dude" Soros would try to have him assassinated.
The weird racial undercurrent isn't anything new, either. Nor is it new for Beck to twist the civil rights movement for his own ends.
In fact, compared to some of Beck's other statements, this almost counts as subtle. Below the fold are some of Beck's greatest hits:
Most famously, Beck accused Obama of having a "deep-seated hatred for white people." Less than two minutes later, Beck said, "I'm not saying he doesn't like white people," before adding, "He's a racist."
Beck is also obsessed with the idea that Obama wants to take revenge on white people for centuries of slavery and segregation. On the July 23, 2009 edition of his Fox News program he argued that Obama's entire agenda was motivated by "reparations" and a desire to "settle old racial scores." It wasn't the first time he brought up reparations, and it wouldn't be the last; on November 11 of that year he decided that Obama wanted to give reparations to Native Americans too, and brought it up on both his radio show and television program.
Other examples of his race-baiting include Beck's assertion on February 4 that "You don't take the name Barack to identify with America," and over the summer he started heavily promoting the theory that "liberation theology" was the source for Obama's anti-white hatred. As a companion piece, he brought Dinesh D'Souza onto his Fox show to make the case for his thoroughly discredited theory that Obama's entire policy platform is motivated by "Kenyan anti-colonialism."
In some ways, to compare Obama's treatment of Republicans to segregation is actually a step up for Beck. Here are some of the things our historically illiterate friend has compared not to segregation but to slavery:
Beck will frequently exhort his audience to avoid becoming slaves to Washington, but according his twisted worldview, we're all already slaves.
And that's not all. In Beck's world, The New Black Panthers are part of Obama's "army of thugs." The misleadingly edited audio clip of Shirley Sherrod distributed by Andrew Breitbart is proof that the United States has been "transported into 1956 except it's the other way around." But The Red Network, a book that calls "Un-Christianized" and "colored people" "savages" is "a handbook for radicalism for patriots." And finally, Beck and his allies are the true heirs of the civil rights movement.
That Beck has once again taken to race-baiting and equating his paranoid fantasies with centuries of oppression is no surprise. What's more shocking is that Fox News and prominent politicians continue to turn a blind eye to his rhetoric while reaping the benefits of his popularity. In fact, later on the same show in which Beck asserted that Obama wanted the GOP to "sit in the back of the bus," he hosted Michelle Bachmann -- and she explicitly agreed with him.