On the January 4 broadcast of his radio show, days before the federal holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr., Glenn Beck introduced a new promotion for his show that includes a clip of King saying, “Now is the time,” lifted from King's “I have a dream” speech. Beck -- who has a history of making racially charged remarks -- has repeatedly appropriated King's message to promote himself and his shows or defend against criticism.
Beck has made a habit of appropriating King and the “I have a dream” speech
Beck's new radio promo includes clip of King saying, “Now is the time.” The new promotion for Beck's radio show includes King saying, “Now is the time,” from King's August 1963 "I have a dream" speech.
From the January 4 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program: [emphasis added]
UNIDENTIFIED MALE 1: Today, the resistance stands strong. ... Radio USA.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE 2: Today, our country trembles.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE 3: What you're about to hear --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE 4: -- it's a revolution --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE 2: -- the likes of which we have never seen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE 6: Infusion --
FEMALE ANNOUNCER: -- is the fusion --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE 7: -- communication --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE 8: -- a medium of entertainment --
FEMALE ANNOUNCER: -- of entertainment.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE 2: Yes, ladies and gentleman --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE 8: -- and --
FEMALE ANNOUNCER: -- and --
KING: -- now is the time --
FEMALE ANNOUNCER: -- enlightenment. This is The Glenn Beck Program.
Beck previously compared himself to King. On November 25, Beck defended himself against accusations that he's “anti-government” by asking if King was “anti-government.”
From the November 25 broadcast of The Glenn Beck Program [emphasis added]:
BECK: Now, you know, they say that I'm anti-government. No, I'm not. I'm anti-corrupt government. I'm anti out-of-control government. I'm anti -- would you call me anti-government because of what I said about the government of Iran? You know what? You're damn right I'm anti-government if it's the government of Iran. You're damn right I am.
I'm anti-government like that. I'm anti-government in -- with Saddam Hussein. You darn right I am. And while, we can't compare our government to those governments, I am anti-government if the government starts to take the rights of the people away, and that is what has been happening in this country for quite some time, under George W. Bush and now under Barack Obama. I -- excuse me?
It is only people that stand up against the government and do what our Founding Fathers told us to do, to be vigilant on our rights. Those are the people -- these are the times when you stand up -- when you can stand up peacefully, because if you don't stand up as you are losing those rights, as the government is growing in power, then, unfortunately, it becomes too late to stand up peacefully. How many times do I have to say “peaceful” ?
Martin Luther King did -- was Martin Luther King -- was he anti-government? Well, he sure took the government and turned it upside down, now didn't he? He totally transformed the parties in this system -- in this government. If you remember right, it was Robert Byrd that was filibustering against the civil rights movement. Yeah, nobody really remembers that. If the government is going against the rights of the people, if the government in this country is violating the Constitution or reinterpreting the Constitution, it is not our right, it is our responsibility to speak out against it.
Beck planning rally at Lincoln Memorial on anniversary of King's “I have a dream” speech. On November 23, 2009, Beck announced on his website that he has planned a rally at “the feet of Abraham Lincoln” for August 28, 2010. As The Washington Examiner reported:
In addition to “the plan” Beck also said he would be holding a rally on the day of he unveils [sic]. The rally will be held at the Lincoln Memorial on August 28th of next year. The date is significant for two reasons. First, as Beck points the government will soon place more restrictions on the site which means Beck may have the last significant rally there. Secondly the date and location just happen to match up perfectly with the date and location of Martin Luther King's “I Have a Dream” speech made in 1963.
At the very least Beck's choice of time and place will strike many as ironic. After all Beck famously (or infamously depending on one's viewpoint) called the first African-American President a “racist” just six months into office. The comment drew criticism and a boycott from various groups and Beck ended up losing over sixty sponsors because of the reference.
Beck's spotty record on race issues
Beck claimed Obama is a “racist.” Discussing Obama's response to the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Beck asserted that Obama has “a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture.” After being reminded that Obama has numerous white staffers, Beck contradicted himself, saying, “I'm not saying that he doesn't like white people. I'm saying he has a problem,” before going on to state, “This guy is, I believe, a racist.” [Fox News' Fox & Friends, 7/28/09]
Beck: Obama satisfying his “desire for racial justice” though “intimidation, vilification, bullying.” On July 27, 2009, Beck said: “We have demonstrated President Obama's desire for racial justice, but how is he setting out to achieve it? Exactly the way a community organizer would: through intimidation, vilification, bullying, a system, an underground shell game.” Beck continued: “Look how he has handled different things. Gates -- he calls the cops stupid and racist before he admits, he says, 'I don't know all of the facts.' But he jumps to the conclusion that the cops are racist.”
Beck asked: “Do you believe Tiger Woods may actually be O.J. Simpson?” On December 8, Beck asked: “May I ask you this Christmas question? Do you believe Tiger Woods may actually be O.J. Simpson?” He continued: “Is this guy turning into O.J. Simpson?” Referring to the hospitalization of Woods' mother-in-law, Beck stated: “Well, there was a woman taken to the hospital last night at O.J.'s -- I mean, I'm sorry, Tiger Woods' house. I'm not saying that it was an assault or anything else, I'm just -- you know, Tiger, it's -- we are starting to lose control here.”
Beck wondered why blacks identify as black since he doesn't identify as white. During a panel discussion on his Fox News show on November 13, 2009, Beck asked the studio audience: “How many people here identify themselves as African-Americans? Why?” He added: “Why not identify yourself as Americans?” After a panelist said, “But people can look at you and tell you're black, you can't escape that,” Beck said, “Yeah, but I don't identify myself as white or a white American.”
Beck attacked India, saying he wants the “American lifestyle” with “flush toilets.” On December 9, Beck claimed that American health care is superior because we have “high-tech hospitals and doctors who studied at Harvard rather than Gajra Raja medical school.” He also said that American homes have “something that we in America like to call flush toilets” and said the Ganges River “sounds like a disease.” Beck apologized for his comments several days later.
Beck frequently declares that things are “slavery” or will lead to slavery. Beck has claimed that debt is “a path to slavery” ; stated that recipients of federal aid have been “taught to be slaves” ; said that “illegal immigration is modern-day slavery” ; asserted that progressive policies cause “slavery to government, welfare, affirmative action, regulation, control” ; repeatedly said that that the stimulus bill “is slavery” ; ranted that Obama is “addicting this country to heroin -- the heroin that is government slavery” and that “the government's irresponsible spending is turning us into slaves” ; claimed that an Obama-proposed change to itemized tax deductions “involves enslaving people” ; and alleged that a “modern-day slave state” is being constructed from ACORN, SEIU, and federal student loan, census, and service initiatives.