Saturday, August 28, 2010

Choosing words poorly 

I have never seen Glenn Beck's show, and I have seen him on television under five times, so I have no direct opinion on whether he is an idiot, a genius, or an evil genius. I respectfully suggest, however, that when you have offended a huge proportion of African-Americans by scheduling a rally in the same spot and on the same date as Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech, you might not want to promote it as "[leading] America out of darkness." Unless, of course, you are trying to piss people off.


By Blogger Rick, at Sat Aug 28, 12:13:00 PM:

This probably your stupidest post. Martin Luther King's speech had to not judging people by the color of their skin. His political descendants only seem to judge by the color of one's skin. So yes, by any standard the US has been lead into darkness.  

By Blogger Kinuachdrach, at Sat Aug 28, 12:48:00 PM:

I have to agree with Rick. Your post here, Tigerhawk, is so imbecilic that it belongs only in the New York Times.

Not only did Martin Luther King have a dream about a society where the color of a person's skin did not matter, he won the support of people of all races. Ignored in revisionist PC history, of course, but indisputable. Look at the old footage of the Civil Rights marches -- black & white marching together.

And that is rather like the Tea Parties of today -- Americans of all backgrounds & ethnicities coming together to protest an out of control government.

Old line Lefties accuse Beck of racism, because that is one of their standard ways of shutting down discussion. Unfortunately for them, it does not work anymore. Except with idiots -- a group in which I would not have expected to find you, Tigerhawk.

Now, go stand in the corner and learn to think for yourself.  

By Blogger Ray, at Sat Aug 28, 12:52:00 PM:

You guys are engaging in defensive justification after the fact. TH is referring to atmospherics - the gut connections all of us make , regardless of whether they make sense or not.

I've been trying to explain to liberal friends that even if the Ground Zero Mosque is built by certified Islamic Friends of America (a doubtful prospect), you don't build a mosque on Ground Zero. And that two blocks away is not an excuse.

People react to these things. Pretending they don't matter is ostrich behavior. Join us in the real world, and recognize that Glenn Beck was, at the least, being an ass.  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Sat Aug 28, 12:58:00 PM:

Ray, thanks. I think that the Ground Zero Mosque fight is very similar, but the other way. Beck was either ignorant in aligning the date of his rally with King's speech, or deliberate. Either speaks volumes, frankly.

As for the point about the choice of words, the question is not whether Beck has the right to say what he said or whether his critics are way too sensitive (or at least claiming sensitivity for effect). Both are demonstrably true. The question is whether he is deliberately trying to piss people off. If not, again, he chose his words quite unwisely. A strange gaffe from such an experienced public figure. If he is, then that says something about Glenn Beck that is worth considering.  

By Blogger pam, at Sat Aug 28, 01:12:00 PM:

It's funny, in a non-funny sort of way that my left-leaning friends, who think of me as being left of left-leaning, are puzzled by my Islamic Center feelings. I abhor the "atmospherics." The language, the body language, and the implications, of much of the language. I know that the literal building of the Center is legal. But I feel, truly feel, that building it two blocks from Ground Zero is insensitive at best.

That said, I think Beck is "guilty" of insensitivity at best. Having forced myself to watch his show, I think he is acting intentionally. And, I find it appalling.  

By Blogger Fen, at Sat Aug 28, 01:35:00 PM:

Beck was ignorant of the date. I still am. Of course, I think the content of the speech is more important than what day it was given.

Any other dates we should avoid when we protest in DC?

you might not want to promote it as "[leading] America out of darkness." Unless, of course, you are trying to piss people off.

Sorry, not getting it. Please explain why this would piss people off? All those little kids afraid of the "dark" are racist?  

By Blogger Carolyn, at Sat Aug 28, 01:36:00 PM:

I've only seen Beck on TV a few times, but he strikes me as somewhat odd and fairly impulsive. He certainly does not come across as careful about details. He describes himself as a "rodeo clown", which suggests a certain rough-and-tumble approach,

Perhaps some of his appeal stems from his lack of "professionalism." Quite a contrast to liberals who know that they know everything. He does some really strange stuff on TV. Sometimes it's just fascinating because of its strangeness. You wonder if he's going to run completely off the tracks at any second. Then he gets serious and presents a cogent argument concerning something important.

I find his radio program less weird than the TV show. It's kind of snarky, though.

And if he can actually get people to READ about the Founding Fathers, maybe the "showbiz" feel of his programming can be partially forgiven.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Aug 28, 01:38:00 PM:

You sir, have choose your words poorly.
Dr King was working for a world were one is judged by the content of their character.
You admitted that you do not know Beck, but you judge him, without knowing his character.

Relatives of Dr King there with Beck, supporting his efforts to Restore Honor to this nation.

You should have taken Mr Lincoln's advice, and stayed quiet. "Better to be thought a fool, than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt."  

By Blogger pam, at Sat Aug 28, 01:43:00 PM:

Color me stupid, but it may well be the date combined with Beck's statement: "This is a moment, quite honestly, that I think we reclaim the civil rights movement." that has me thinking he's insensitive at best.

As for his assertions today that the country has to go back to God, I kind of figured that I was guaranteed both the freedom of religion and from religion.  

By Blogger Diogenes, at Sat Aug 28, 01:46:00 PM:

Martin Luther King sought to lead all people out of darkness -- to judge people by their character and not the color of their skin.

TH needs to watch Glenn Beck more often.  

By Blogger MTF, at Sat Aug 28, 01:54:00 PM:

Wow; I am truly surprised at this post. Did you watch the rally?

I'm no Beck fan and, like you, I've probably watched his show less than five times. Even then I probably only watched a few minutes at a stretch, because I'm not one for medicine show theatrics. Nevertheless I did just watch the rally on CSPAN and was struck by the celebratory nature of the program, with most of the celebration directed at the idea of virtue, of the old fashioned kind (faith, hope and charity), and of virtuous people. He gave out awards to living Americans who exemplify those virtues. There was essentially no politics. Except for Sarah Palin's presence at the rally, Beck was trying to be apolitical in his comments right straight through to the end. As I said, he was there to celebrate virute and virtuous people.

Specifically, in addition to the living Americans he had on the program, he celebrated Washington, Lincoln and King. He celebrated their ideas, as well as their lives. He read aloud the Gettysburg address, parts of Washington's first inaugural and large portions of King's "I have a Dream" speech. The program was perhaps overly dramatic, and some of it was too Christian for my taste, but certainly at no point that I saw did it seem to me to deserve the narrow invective in your post. I hope you'll rethink it.  

By Blogger dr kill, at Sat Aug 28, 01:55:00 PM:

1. I'd need a citation on that offended huge proportion.
2. A GoogleSearch for Out Of Darkness shows, on the first page--
a suicide prevention group,
a made-for-TV movie starring Diana Ross and about a hundred other black Americans,
a biography of Louis Braille,
a rock band,
a spiritual confession written by Anne Rice,
and some musical ministry.
3. Not having ever seen you on TV, I have no direct opinion on whether you are an idiot, genius, or evil genius.
4. But I could hazard an educated guess. Respectfully, of course.  

By Blogger Carolyn, at Sat Aug 28, 01:55:00 PM:

Concerning Beck's self-identification as a "rodeo clown", he does seem quite good at attracting the attention of angry people. Now we just have to figure out the identity of the cowboy he's protecting.  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Sat Aug 28, 02:02:00 PM:

Contrary to the various assertions on this post, I am only judging Beck by his own words, in the context in which they were uttered. I repeat, he either knew that they would upset a lot of his fellow Americans, or he did not. Both scenarios say something about Beck, and neither is entirely flattering. Neither is entirely offensive, either, and he might have felt that he was speaking truth regardless of the cost. Fine, definitely his choice. But we should all understand and appreciate the choice he made.

As for the others, I was not judging the rally. But, having scheduled the rally and having provoked the response that he provoked (whether intentional or accidental), what was he trying to accomplish with these words?

As for not watching Beck, it is nothing personal. I have pretty much given up on all political television. Few if any television personalities, including the various "contributors," are intellectually honest enough to admit the merits in the arguments of the other side. Political television has really become a waste of time.  

By Blogger Lilac Sunday, at Sat Aug 28, 02:03:00 PM:

Tiger Hawk, I completely disagree. If people are inclined to be offended by inconsequential things (e.g., a cartoon of Mohammed in a newspaper, someone scheduling a peaceful rally in the same place and on the same date as MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech), reasonable people don't need to accommodate that hyperactive tendency to offense.

I don't disagree with the idea that promoting the event as "leading people out of darkness" is somehow extra offensive under the circumstances, because I simply don't understand it. What on earth is the connection or the trigger for offense? I hope the whole darkness-light metaphor hasn't become racist now.

And finally, I object to the idea (expressed in the comments) that there is any similarity between the Glenn Beck rally and the proposed Ground Zero Debris Field Mosque. The latter is: a structure advocated by adherents of the same religion in whose name the WTC was destroyed; planned for a site which was damaged when part of one of the airplane-missiles crashed through its roof; named after the seat (Cordoba) of the 700 year Islamic political domination of a European nation; and defended by its proponents with reckless knee-jerk charges of racism and Islamophobia, which gives the lie to the idea that the Ground Zero Debris Field Mosque was *ever* intended as a place interfaith/intercultural of healing and understanding, because if you're upsetting the people you claim to want to heal and bring together, you reasonably look elsewhere. Like Pope JPII did with the proposed convent at Auschwitz. The former is: a gathering of people who love their country, and who think it has lost its way, gathered on the same site as a speech given by someone else who loved his country and thought it had lost its way.  

By Blogger Stephen, at Sat Aug 28, 02:09:00 PM:

The idea that Beck's rally is similar to muslims planning to build a mosque at a site of muslim mass murder is ridiculous. Beck was pretty sensitive by including a member of the King family and referring to the MLK speech and its importance as an American event. Maybe he should have promoted the event by quoting MLK directly: Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Sat Aug 28, 02:13:00 PM:

What I can't figure out is whether you guys are intentionally not responding to the points in the post or my comments, or just reacting emotionally. If the latter, then you can surely understand why a lot of people would look at the use of Dr. King's legacy for a political purpose and react emotionally to it.  

By Blogger MTF, at Sat Aug 28, 02:15:00 PM:

So you condemn Beck for organizing a rally at the Lincoln Memorial, a traditional site for rallies of all sorts, and on the anniversary of the"I Have a Dream" speech in which he celebrated MLK and the speech itself. But you aren't judging the rally. What the heck are you judging then? Did you watch it?  

By Blogger MTF, at Sat Aug 28, 02:27:00 PM:

By the way, I (for one) did indeed purposely not respond to your complaint about the use of the word "darkness", since Beck was obviously not intending the word as some sort of subtle racist taunt. That interpretation is either just silly or a deliberate misreading of the statement designed to provoke. None of the presenters seemed to think the comment was about anything other than promoting the restoration of American ideals and virtues. I think it's beneath you to say these things without having seen the program (or the hour and a half that I saw anyway- if there was a racist portion of the rally I missed I'm ready to be corrected!).  

By Anonymous Sally, at Sat Aug 28, 02:29:00 PM:

Just exactly who are all these African-Americans who are so horribly offended? Certainly not the President who's vacationing in Martha's Vineyard and not praying in the Birmingham jail in commemoration of this supposedly sacred day in the history of the American civil rights movement, a history which apparently only belongs to the President and his "community". Because we White folk, we didn't have nothing to do with none of that.

Anyway, I've seen at least 10 Black people today and none of them looked offended about anything. But they were probably seething inside I guess.  

By Blogger Lilac Sunday, at Sat Aug 28, 02:49:00 PM:

From TigerHawk: ""What I can't figure out is whether you guys are intentionally not responding to the points in the post or my comments, or just reacting emotionally.""

Maybe there is a third option: we are objecting to your threshold premise that there is something about Glenn Beck's conduct that reasonable people should find offensive or ill-advised.

Still waiting for an explanation on how the phrase "lead people out of darkness" is uniquely offensive in this context.  

By Anonymous feeblemind, at Sat Aug 28, 02:57:00 PM:

A huge proportion of black Americans are offended? Really TH?

I would speculate that an overwhelming majority of black Africans were ignorant of the significance of the date.

If Beck was trying to be insensitive, so what? The Left doesn't seem to mind offending me. We need to get past the fear of offending politically privileged groups.  

By Blogger Foxfier, formerly Sailorette, at Sat Aug 28, 03:03:00 PM:

*If* a huge portion of A-A's are offended by having a speech in the major place to HAVE national speeches, on a Sat before a big three-day weekend, in conjunction with a very standard metaphor... then those who are offended deserve to have lying, slanderous race-mongers like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton as their representatives.

I refuse to bow to a group of morons just because they can be grouped as the majority of some demographic.

Sharpton wants to make hay about Beck getting the spot? Guess it wasn't important enough for Sharpton to bother to book it, was it?
I'm shocked Jesse Jackson wasn't there to symbolically rub his shirt with MLK's blood.  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Sat Aug 28, 03:26:00 PM:

Off buying school supplies. I shall return with retrenchments, rebuttals, rejoinders, and a few concessions later in the afternoon.  

By Anonymous davod, at Sat Aug 28, 03:28:00 PM:

I have never seen Glenn Beck's show, and I have seen him on television under five times, so I have no direct opinion on whether he is an idiot, a genius, or an evil genius [Seriously though, wink, wink, nudge nudge]. I respectfully [not really] suggest, however, that when you have offended a huge proportion of African-Americans [poll please] by scheduling a rally in the same spot and on the same date [Cmon, it is only the 47th anniversary. The local MLK Celebration people did not not bother with the Lincoln Memorial] Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech, you might not want to promote it as "[leading] America out of darkness." Unless, of course, you are trying to piss [Closed minded African-Americans, Liberals, Progressives, MSM, race baiter type, and Milquetoast and economic Republican] people off.

Maybe this is what the Attorney General meant when he described Americans as cowards.

I wonder if the Project 21 people -The National Leadership Network of Black Conservatives will be marching against Beck.

And the lady who spoke who was a related to MLK has probably been rushed off to rehab to recover from the association.

I wonder if Beck's organizers had to pay tribute (Royalties) to the MLK Foundation.

The offense caused, if any, is a result of the comments of a few who take offense, which the MSM then use to try to whip a firestorm of protest.  

By Anonymous Mr. Ed, at Sat Aug 28, 03:36:00 PM:

To respond to your query, TH, I don't think in the first place that "leading us out of darkness" or something to that effect would have been intended or felt by many to be insensitive. In fact, I think the concern is a bit too sensitive, which is fine and no disgrace.

I will bet dollars for donuts, however, that Beck damn well knew about King's speech and that his event fell on the anniversary. I too have only seen him less than 5 times, and only in youtube clips, but I would say that he and his crew work tirelessly on staging and presentation. They are not just wandering around and hoping for the best.

But the convincing evidence for me is that the comparison with MLK's speech serves his purposes. It gets a lot of attention for his presentation and, therefore, his ideas. It also helps him achieve his aim of being a popular leader and not just any popular leader, but an IMPORTANT popular leader. Would that he could inherit the mantle of MLK he would.

I believe he wants to be at the front of a movement that changes the direction of the country, like MLK did. He is a bit nuts and a bit of a genius at his game.

Totally intentional.


By Anonymous davod, at Sat Aug 28, 03:55:00 PM:


"By the way, I (for one) did indeed purposely not respond to your complaint about the use of the word "darkness", since Beck was obviously not intending the word as some sort of subtle racist taunt."

The District of Columbia is where a white aid to the mayor resigned after complaints that he used "niggardly" when referring to the budget. Goto the link for the interesting "Rest of the Story."  

By Blogger Kinuachdrach, at Sat Aug 28, 04:28:00 PM:

Tigerhawk refused to feel contrition for causing offence with his race-baiting comments, and responded:
"What I can't figure out is whether you guys are intentionally not responding to the points in the post or my comments, or just reacting emotionally."

The most charitable explanation of your mystification, Tigerhawk, is that you failed to express your point of view clearly and cogently.

It sounded like you were slyly trying to imply that Beck was a racist pig for using the word "darkness". (Nudge! Nudge! Darkness. Black skin). Which implication was not even good enough to be sophomoric, Tigerhawk.

We all make mistakes on occasion, Tigerhawk. This is one of yours -- one which suggests either (1) you failed to make yourself clear, or (2) that you pay a lot more attention to the color of a person's skin than the content of his character. And then you wonder why we find your comment distasteful?

But mistakes are an opportunity to cleanse our characters and improve ourselves -- if we can just find the humility to acknowledge that we screwed up.

In the interests of full disclosure, I have never consciously heard or seen Glenn Beck, ever! But I have seen & heard enough hypocrites to wonder what you were telling us about yourself with this comment, Tigerhawk.  

By Blogger Ed Rasimus, at Sat Aug 28, 04:35:00 PM:

You might want to recall that the venue is the LINCOLN Memorial, not the MLK Memorial which will be built a couple of blocks down the mall. Just because MLK gave a moving speech on the site does not confer eternal possession. It's a Saturday, the Park Service permitted the Beck event. Get over it!  

By Blogger Elijah, at Sat Aug 28, 04:57:00 PM:

"...you might not want to promote it as "[leading] America out of darkness." Unless, of course, you are trying to piss people off."

Krauthammer -

Promiscuous charges of bigotry (or insensitivity) are precisely how our current rulers and their vast media auxiliary react to an obstreperous citizenry that insists on incorrect thinking.

-- Resistance to the vast expansion of government power, intrusiveness and debt, as represented by the Tea Party movement? Why, racist resentment toward a black president.

-- Disgust and alarm with the federal government's unwillingness to curb illegal immigration, as crystallized in the Arizona law? Nativism.

-- Opposition to the most radical redefinition of marriage in human history, as expressed in Proposition 8 in California? Homophobia.

-- Opposition to a 15-story Islamic center and mosque near Ground Zero? Islamophobia.
Now we know why the country has become "ungovernable," last year's excuse for the Democrats' failure of governance: Who can possibly govern a nation of racist, nativist, homophobic Islamophobes?

and now tigerhawk informs us that the term "darkness" is off limits because it may be insensitive

what exactly is your point tigerhawk?  

By Blogger MTF, at Sat Aug 28, 05:31:00 PM:

davod, that's an interesting story but I think this is a very different situation. "Niggardly" has a phonetic similarity to a racial slur and those ignorant of it's real meaning might easily take offense. Simple use of the word "darkness", especially given the context in which Beck used it, has no such similarity, Now some might argue, as I suspect TH intended to in his original post, that Beck intended this rally to be political, and that the use of the word was a backhanded racial codeword referring to the president's race. It is for that reason that I asked TH if he saw the rally, because if he had he would realize how far off his assessment was (if that is his assessment). While Palin is a political figure certainly, her speech was decidedly non-partisan and there were no other political figures speaking (that I saw). Instead, there was a parade of speaker after speaker, many of whom clearly were Democrats, who stood up and spoke in favor of the theme of the day. "Darkness" in this context was obviously intended by the organizers to refer to the muddled state of our national virtue (their perspective). It had nothing to do with the GOP, Obama, race, most political issues etc.

I suspect TH reacted viscerally to the use of the word based upon the combination of his (and my) lack of real knowledge of Glenn Beck and the MSM view of Beck's reputation, as a closet racist/reactionary,. All I can say, TH, is that you shouldn't read the NYT!

It is interesting though how quickly everyone jumped on our host for this post, me included. Debating on the internet causes all of us to lose a little perspective, and say things probably too harshly. I've often noticed that CC, for one example, sounds awfully racialist-- and sometimes racist-- in his exaggerated posts but I suspect he isn't really like that at all (IRL). Maybe TH has a larger point he'll make when he's back from wherever he had to go on Route 1 to buy school supplies, but also we should remember he is a great guy.  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Sat Aug 28, 05:35:00 PM:

Dr. King's speech that day was of course an iconic moment in American history. However, I do not recall the date itself being regarded as so special, except for maybe 5-10 anniversaries (which this is not) until the usual suspects like Sharpton began ranting about it this week in an effort to discredit Beck.  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Sat Aug 28, 05:37:00 PM:

First, a concession: Those of you who have called me out on whether a "huge proportion" of African-Americans are offended were right to do so. I do not know that. I am reacting more to the chatter from the blacks on my Facebook feed and from reading blogs written and commented on by blacks. Admittedly, both groups tend to be people who are politically involved. As with all assertions about opinion, I should have confined mine to the people who are likely to have an opinion in the first place.

Now, that out of the way, it seems to me that the following statements are true.

1. I have not said in this post or any other that I am opposed to the rally itself, nor the location or date of the rally. In fact, I have no objection, although it would not have been my choice if I were interested in spreading conservative values to a large proportion of people who are not of non-Hispanic European descent. My point (admittedly not really spelled out in this particular post) is that if the the purpose of the exercise is to increase, rather than decrease, the popularity of Beck's values, then the selection of the date and venue is important. This date and time seems obviously calculated to piss off people. You may say you do not care, that people should not be so sensitive, and so forth, but it was totally predictable that some people would take offense. (Note that I have not accused Beck of being a racist, or even implied it. People who have accused me of doing the same in the comments here are projecting on to me the complaints of others.)

2. Beck either did or did not appreciate the historical significance of the date he selected for the rally. If it was a mistake, well, there you go. That says nothing about Beck other than that he is not very plugged in to the cultural touchstones of African-Americans, which makes him no different than most Americans, including me. If, however, he selected the date and location knowing its significance, then his reason might have been (i) he regretted the date, but it was the best date for a rally because people have a lot of free time in August to do such things, (ii) he was trying to leverage the significance of the date to make a political point, or (iii) he was trying to provoke a strong reaction among the liberal and African-American chattering classes to generate more fervor for the event.

3. If (i) above, well, then, so be it. I have no problem with that.

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Sat Aug 28, 05:37:00 PM:

4. If (ii) above, then Beck is taking a political and cultural symbol that is incredibly important to African-Americans and using it for the benefit of a political movement that few (yes, some, but few) African-Americans identify with or participate in. Many feel alienated by it. If you doubt this, see the proportion of African-American votes that go to conservative candidates. This much is obvious, I think. Now, you can certainly say that the left does this sort of thing all the time, to which I would say that two wrongs do not make a right, even if two wrongs can be amusing. You can also say that more African-Americans ought to be less offended, and I would also agree. It seems to me that you cannot say that it is unexpected that many of them would be. So under this assumption Beck was willing to offend some good number of the politically aware African-Americans to achieve is broader objective. Again, nothing inherently wrong with that, but if one of those objectives is to broaden the demographic base of the conservative movement, this is not how I would have done it.

5. If (iii) above, then I suppose I think that makes Beck a douchebag. Not a racist, just a douchebag. Again, yes, the left does this stuff all the time. Two wrongs, etc., and maybe we need to do that to win. It does not make the country a better place, though.

6. So then there is his "out of the darkness" statement referred to in the post above. I did not charge him with racism, and indeed that did not cross my mind. By then, though, he knew that is his date and location had sparked controversy. Surely he also knew that the phrase "out of the darkness" might be interpreted one of several ways. Yes, the people doing the reacting would be, in many cases, disingenuous, and in other cases much too sensitive. Agreed. But it is hard for me to believe that in uttering those words, given the already-simmering controversy over the date and site, that Beck was not trying to provoke a further reaction from his opponents. Again, my question is whether that is good for the conservative movement.

I admit, my feelings on this subject are influenced by the fact that I have very few genuine social conservatives in my circles. I do, however, have many friends (including blacks) who are economic conservatives, believe in low taxes, do not believe in bashing business, believe in America, and want to go after the jihadis, but vote against Republicans because of their frankly alienating positions on social issues. So I do not think that Beck's choice of venue or his posture toward his critics is helping to make the conservative tent bigger.  

By Blogger Bomber Girl, at Sat Aug 28, 06:00:00 PM:

I would echo some of what TH said regarding the appeal to those of us (ok, me) who have questions about what exactly lurks under that "conservative tent", even if many of its vaunted values, notably on fiscal issues, are appealing. The original August 28th march on Washington, in which my father participated all those years ago, remains a very meaningful moment in history for many americans of all colors. That Beck didn't know the significance of the date may not be all too surprising, yet upon discovering it, it seems as if Beck wanted to take every opportunity to take on the mantle of a new american visionary. Maybe our new "visionaries" are cable hosts. I am guessing my dad (deceased) would have skipped this one, however.  

By Blogger Foxfier, formerly Sailorette, at Sat Aug 28, 06:06:00 PM:

Do you think there is anything, short of perhaps committing hari-kari on the spot with denunciations of everything Republican and/or conservative, that Mr. Beck could have done and NOT offended the standard, oh-so-sensitive lib? (Even then, there would be a number who would complain about littering.)

I submit that any action would have an identical result, thus the notion that one may as well be hung for a sheep as hung for a lamb comes into play.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't, so do what might work with other folks.

(On a side note? Most of the Hispanics I know who are legal are conservatives-- generally to the right of myself. Said group includes a lot of Texicans, though, so it could be a sampling error. None the less, what makes you think that Sharpton's hissyfit will sway Hispanics one way or another?)  

By Blogger Jeffrey, at Sat Aug 28, 06:10:00 PM:

Tigerhawk, what is the matter with you? Your criticism of Beck is bizarre. I actually don't even get why the line would be offensive. Maybe I'm just thick.

I was at the rally today and it was not conducted in a way that should piss anyone off, as you put it. It was quite inspiring and uplifting.  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Sat Aug 28, 06:14:00 PM:

I did not see the rally, I'll have to check out the reports from it. Ex ante, it seemed like a political rally.  

By Blogger Elijah, at Sat Aug 28, 06:14:00 PM:

There are also questions about what exactly lurks under that "liberal tent." Odd that there is no mention of Rev. Sharpton's rally. So is Sharpton taking on the mantle of "a new American visionary"? Surely his rally wouldn't exploit the King legacy for political gain.  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Sat Aug 28, 06:18:00 PM:

Sharpton is a bad guy, for sure. But are we really going for the "not as bad as Sharpton" standard?

I am glad the rally, in the event, was a good and uplifting thing. And it will be interesting to see whether Republicans can finally expand the tent. I have my doubts, but would truly love to see it.  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Sat Aug 28, 06:20:00 PM:

As long as we are all starting our comments with little statements that we rarely listen to Beck, let me just say up front that I listen to him a lot on XM radio. I even unabashedly listen to Rush Limbaugh when the opportunity arises at mid-day and I'm in my car.

So, now that I've established my qualifications as a knuckle-dragging conservative, let me move on...

Beck scheduled the date for the rally without prior knowledge of the "anniversary" of King's speech.

The politically correct progressive media used this "massive" faux pas as a reason to imply that right thinking people should not support Beck or his rally.

Dare I go back in the halls of history as see what other transgressions occurred on this high holy day that went un-noticed by the media??

Is there ANYBODY in this comment section who will truthfully admit to KNOWING that MLK gave the speech on August 28th...anyone....anyone???

I thought so....

To paraphrase Ronald Reagan: HERE WE GO AGAIN!!!

The media has been Beck's enemy ever since he started rhetorically tarring and feathering the Obama administration on national TV during the commuting hour (for those of us who still have jobs). If it were not for the convenient reason to call him a racist, it would have been something else.

So, instead, we are supposed to be outraged that a man whould have a rally on public property in honor of American exceptionalism and Christian values ON THE VERY DATE that an exceptional American Christian minister spoke about, essentially, the same thing???

If anybody is pissed off about this, I would suggest they take their piss and pour it on King's grave. You insult the man and his ideas and his legacy.  

By Blogger Elijah, at Sat Aug 28, 06:29:00 PM:

"Sharpton is a bad guy, for sure. But are we really going for the "not as bad as Sharpton" standard?"

He such a bad guy and ostracized that his perspective is sought by various cable outlets.

Is it not?  

By Blogger Elijah, at Sat Aug 28, 06:36:00 PM:

For example -

Sharpton warned conservative forces they'd face a fight in the upcoming elections, and called on people to turn out to vote this year as they did in 2008, when Obama was elected.  

By Blogger Donna B., at Sat Aug 28, 06:39:00 PM:

In all the years I've read this blog, I've mostly agreed on most points made. This is the first time I've ever thought Tigerhawk was 100% dead wrong.

And in fact, anyone who thinks leading someone or something out of darkness could possibly refer to the color of someone's skin has just insulted every person who wears skin darker than shining lily white.

To think that an insult is to think that yes... there is something "dark" about those with "dark" skin.  

By Anonymous Coach Paul, at Sat Aug 28, 06:40:00 PM:

Uncharacteristically off the reservation on that one, TH. Was Joseph Conrad using code words? But it sure got you a lot of comments ... was that your sly intent???  

By Anonymous Coach Paul, at Sat Aug 28, 06:41:00 PM:

Oops! I hope "reservation" will not be misinterpreted.  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Sat Aug 28, 06:42:00 PM:

Re Sharpton, cable news outlets get opinions from all sorts of bad people.

Re Beck, I watch O'Reilly maybe once a month and have seen him on that. Probably not for six months, though. And I saw part of his "Christmas Sweater" thing which I found quite off-putting, so I turned it off. I do not listen to talk radio, mostly because I have a 10 minute commute, at most, and am usually on the phone dealing with loose ends or overflowing conference calls. When I have heard Rush or Hannity or Levin, perhaps while on a long drive some point, I find that they do not make any arguments that are new to me. I find NPR much more interesting, although much more annoying. But you have to know the enemy, and learn their best arguments.  

By Blogger Foxfier, formerly Sailorette, at Sat Aug 28, 06:58:00 PM:

Library of Congress is clearly racist, since their "on this day in history" is only about women's suffrage...and has BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOGRAPHS!!!!11!1!1!  

By Blogger pam, at Sat Aug 28, 07:04:00 PM:

JPMcT, Every year on this date I read the I Have a Dream Speech aloud. As does my brother, to his daughters. I have long known what this date is.  

By Blogger Elijah, at Sat Aug 28, 07:18:00 PM:

thanks for the blog and discussion Tigerhawk ..

I would also add that cognitive elitism pisses people off as well.  

By Blogger Carolyn, at Sat Aug 28, 07:43:00 PM:

If blacks were miffed by Beck's lack of sensitivity, most weren't offended enough to go to Sharpton's rally, featuring that paragon of sensitivity, Ed Schultz.


By Blogger Kinuachdrach, at Sat Aug 28, 07:46:00 PM:

Tiger hawk @ 5.37 -- lots of speculation on what Mr. Beck might (or might not) have been thinking. Not much about what (whether) Tigerhawk was thinking when you made that slyly racist comment. Although maybe the comment was elitist rather than racist -- looking down on everyone outside your little clique, regardless of their heritage.

Odd! Because surely Tigerhawk knows more about what Tigerhawk was thinking than about what Mr. Beck was thinking.

To the extent there is any logic underlying Tigerhawk's analysis, it would be the premise that only Americans of African heritage can admire Dr. King. Which would be, we can surely all agree, utter & arrant nonsense. Can only Scottish males admire the bravery of William Wallace? Can only Polish women admire the intellect of Marie Curie?

Not your finest hour, Tigerhawk.  

By Blogger dr kill, at Sat Aug 28, 08:41:00 PM:

Listen Princeton boy, you are definitely commenting in ignorance, and then going all in on the follow-up.
Beck hates Republicans too. This point you have totally missed, and cannot be emphasized enough. He is a Mormon Constitutional Conservative.
As a small-a atheist and a small-l anarcho/capitalist/libertarian there are many times I disagree with Beck.
But I would rather see a bunch of avowed Xtian conservatives running the USSA in a manner they feel is consistent with founding principle than this current dirty bunch of lieing Progs.
As long as they leave me alone to think that God is a waste of time, and that moral behavior can indeed be consistent with atheism, how they spend their time, money and enthusiasm is none of my concern.
This legislating morality thing is simply bound to end badly, no matter if the Progs or SoCons run Congress. I believe Beck ( as a person who believes that one of the lost tribes of Judea ended up in western NY State and left big golden plates buried in the ground that only J. Smith could read) knows this.
That he can reconcile Mormon and libertarian thought is impressive.
Small wonder he used to drink.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Aug 28, 10:03:00 PM:

Jesus, TH, man up and grow a pair. I think you've got your panties are a bit twisted here.

Next thing you know you'll be channeling some kind of Oprah sensitivity bullshit on this blog which will force me to crawl on my belly through these interweb tunnels and smack you upside the head, whereupon I suspect you will whack me back with your purse.

I think the legacy of MLK is probably sufficiently strong to survive the use of the word darkness by a Fox News Jockey.

I'm going to grab a beer and watch a football game. Don't drink too much Chardonnay while you're watching that rerun of Beaches.  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Sat Aug 28, 10:05:00 PM:

Heh, that was at least funny, Anon. As it happens, I'm watching Houston and Dallas right now...  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Sat Aug 28, 10:37:00 PM:

"I am reacting more to the chatter from the blacks on my Facebook feed"

You mean Chrissy? LOL

"Re Sharpton, cable news outlets get opinions from all sorts of bad people"

Sharpton is not just a cable news talking head, he is taken seriously as a political and "civil rights" leader, which is a disgrace.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Aug 28, 11:27:00 PM:

"What I can't figure out is whether you guys are intentionally not responding to the points in the post"

Fine. Nobody knew this was the same day MLK gave his IHAD speech, and we might have been impressed with your grasp of that useless bit of trivia, but you went to far with the "this is why this is important/offensive" business, as though a detectable fraction of the African American population had any idea of the significance of the date. If you have to wink and stomp that much to tell us how impressed we should be with your insight, the insight isn't that impressive.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Aug 28, 11:54:00 PM:

Yikes, this blog has a sh*tload of closet Beck fans! Excluding JPMcT, of course (no surprise there), Heh.

Beck told the crowd today that he began planning the march a year ago. Seems to me that's a very long time for him and his handlers to be "in the dark" about the chosen date. But so what if he did know? He quoted MLK. He quoted Obama. And he didn't promote his book. No harm, no foul. Next.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Aug 28, 11:57:00 PM:

Who are you!? ...

And what have you done with TigerHawk!?  

By Blogger Fen, at Sat Aug 28, 11:58:00 PM:

"I am reacting more to the chatter from the blacks on my Facebook feed and from reading blogs written and commented on by blacks"

First, you need to take a step back and consider that, according to FBI Hate Crime Stats, blacks are the most racist demographic in America. I think your black friends have a problem with a white guy celebrating MLK without genuflecting to the usual race-hustlers like Sharpton and Jackson.

"you can surely understand why a lot of people would look at the use of Dr. King's legacy [by a white guy] for a political purpose and react emotionally to it."


By Blogger Foxfier, formerly Sailorette, at Sat Aug 28, 11:59:00 PM:


Most of the folks who mention it say they DON'T like the man; I didn't mention it, but I'm no fan, either. (The few times I've seen or heard, the format annoyed too much to give it a try.)

Are you making the silly assumption, Anon, that someone can't hold a view opposed to TH unless they're a closet Beck fan?  

By Anonymous Dennis, at Sun Aug 29, 12:15:00 AM:

This has a lot of the flavor of calling Voldemort "He who shall not be named". In fact most of this PC crap (n-word, g-word, etc.) has that flavor and about that level of stupidity.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Aug 29, 01:31:00 AM:

Shocking ignorance, bookmark removed.  

By Blogger Larry Sheldon, at Sun Aug 29, 02:21:00 AM:

What's next? In-depth analysis of Charles Johnson's latest?

Andi Sullivan as guest blogger?

Analysis of a 5-word pull-out?


I'll let this soak overnight in case I've been hasty, but I think my "T" reading list just got shorter.

Very disappointing.  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Sun Aug 29, 03:48:00 AM:

You last two guys, calm down. TH still has a great blog with some great commenters even if we think he muffed this one.  

By Anonymous Steve Skubinna, at Sun Aug 29, 05:55:00 AM:

Sure. Because any white guy, anywhere, even mentioning Dr. King is a hate filled racist.

Screw that. Bet Dr. King would be appalled at the suggestion that any group "owns" him. Bet he'd be especially appalled at the heirs to the Klan pretending he was "theirs."  

By Blogger Foxfier, formerly Sailorette, at Sun Aug 29, 05:56:00 AM:

I kind of have to wonder...

If MLK was never killed, would he have become a race-baiting parody of what he once was?

The temptation to hold on to power is a very strong thing in human emotion.  

By Anonymous davod, at Sun Aug 29, 09:11:00 AM:

WRT to the anniversary of the MLK speech.

MLK is normally remembered in January.

However, if his speech were to be celebrated anywhere then DC would be the place. I looked for details of any rallies or commemorances in DC.

The only reference I could find was to Sharpton's alternative to Beck's rally (Bearing in mind I may have been using the wrong words to search).

It may well be MLKs speech is only remembered on the important milestones.  

By Anonymous davod, at Sun Aug 29, 09:12:00 AM:

Is it ratings month?  

By Anonymous davod, at Sun Aug 29, 09:31:00 AM:

Ace has a photograph of yesterday's rally at the mall.  

By Blogger SR, at Sun Aug 29, 09:58:00 AM:

Did I see a black face somewhere in that Ace picture?  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Sun Aug 29, 11:39:00 AM:

"Did I see a black face somewhere in that Ace picture?"

I suspect there are a few that judge a president and a society by it's character and not skin color.

What would have been the acceptable percentage??  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Aug 29, 11:49:00 AM:

At the risk of getting hit with TH's purse (that was a funny comment) I'll respectfully disagree along slightly different lines than the rest of the commenters.

I think the initial post was a bit careless, but you have followed it up only slightly better in your comments. Despite what a few other commenters have said, I don't think Beck could have not known the anniversary of MLK's speech. MLK's neice was a speaker at the event and Beck (in the short time I listened to his radio program in the last couple weeks) touted her appearance and went on to say that other groups, including Sharpton's, were trying to lure her away from speaking at his event.

Second, I don't read the criticism of Beck as coming from a Black perspective, but from a Liberal Black perspective. You know full well the left has hijacked the ability to define events or issues that deal with race/sex. Ostensively single issue advocacy groups like the NAACP or NOW are in actuality reliably liberal advocacy groups (note their lack of support for Clarence Thomas and Sarah Palin, respectively). So when a prominent conservative attempts to hold a rally in the same place, on the same date, and with a relative of MLK on the speakers list, of course they have to re-frame the debate from what Beck's actual purpose was to something more sinister and offensive. I would venture a guess that the reactions you read were an extension of this re-framing.

Look, I agree with the black fiscal conservatives you reference who find the Republicans stance on a number of social issues to be off-putting. But I find the Democrats stance even more off-putting, especially on issues like this. You ask if Beck's rally (and/or the way he described it) is good for the conservative movement and I would suggest that it is. To truly realize MLK's 'dream' (and I'm not claiming to fully understand it, but I can read and analyze his words the same as anyone else) then we cannot continue to let the left monopolize the business of defining what it - or subsequent race/sex issues - means.

I'm going to digress for a moment only to explain my thought process. Traditional, white Americans (of which I'd probably be considered one) are told by the left that we have to be tolerant, we have to build bridges, we have to understand. I'm OK with all of that, they're good, laudable goals. However, no other group is held to the same standards. We have to be tolerant of Islam, but Islam doesn't have to be tolerant of women, children, other religions, or Americans who don't want an Imam to build a mosque on/near ground zero. We have to be tolerant of blacks, women, or any other 'oppressed' group, but they don't have to show the same tolerance (blacks can say the 'n-word', Mexico can have a more draconian immigration policy than the law Arizona passed, etc.) There is no single standard of action/analysis/thought but rather one that shifts depending upon the racial/sexual/immigrant status of the person.

This approaches dogma on the left and for good reason. Without it they lose reliable minority votes. But this is also what you appear to say that conservatives shouldn't challenge. Republicans need to wided the tent, but I'm not sure there is a way to do that without the ability to better and more accurately define debates such as these. I don't see them objecting to Beck, a white guy, saying we need to be led from the 'darkness.' I see them afraid that Beck, a conservative, is attempting to redefine a debte they've monopolized for 50 years.

MLK's dream was not a uniquely black one. Nor are blacks given exclusive priviledge to define that dream. But I would offer that liberals have defined his dream as a uniquely liberal/Democratic one, particularly to the black electorate. That is absolutely something we need to challege because, while it may have had validity 50 years ago, does not accurately reflect the political landscape today.  

By Blogger ruralcounsel, at Sun Aug 29, 01:30:00 PM:

Use of word "darkness" somehow relates to encouragement of racism or disrespectful of MLK?

Say what? You can't be serious.

This kind of Webster Thesaurus of Leftist Racist Accusations is truly absurd. Trying to reform our language in order to meet some unrelated social engineering goals is just perverted. What other words will now be banished from our vocabulary merely because some warped psyche thinks they can discern an illusory thread from the word to some banned thought or belief? Do we remove another Crayola color "black" from the box?

darkness (n) absence of moral or spiritual values

Sad to say, I think it says more about Tigerhawk's frame of mind than it does Beck's.  

By Blogger DEC, at Sun Aug 29, 02:24:00 PM:

Subj: TH's initial post

You're stretching to make a point, TH.

Is a man who says he is a New Yorker claiming he is a magazine?

In a famous speech, President John F. Kennedy said, "Ich bin ein Berliner." In Germany a Berliner can be either a human being or a jelly doughnut. Was Kennedy saying he was a jelly doughnut?

Meanwhile, in the case of race relations, it is helpful for Americans to remember a bit of information in a news release from the American Psychological Assn. in October 2008: "White people -- including children as young as 10 -- may avoid talking about race so as not to appear prejudiced, according to new research. But that approach often backfires as blacks tend to view this 'colorblind' approach as evidence of prejudice, especially when race is clearly relevant."

As I have said here before, the world would be a very boring place with only one kind of bird and one kind of flower. The same is true of people.

I hate stereotyping. I prefer to view people as individuals. At the same time I recognize that every society, every culture and subculture, has good traits that should be admired and bad traits that need to be improved. You don't always have to pretend the differences don't exist (as long as you remember that all of the people in any group don't necessarily behave the same way). It's fine to reject the negative things about a culture or subculture. But remember to praise the positive things. If you celebrate the positive things frequently, you won't come across as a bigot, and you can brush off accusations of racism like you would brush off dandruff.

In addition, remember that the information you have gleaned from books and the news media about any culture or subculture may or may not be true. (The same is true about isolated personal experiences. You have to spend a lot of time in a culture to understand it.)

My reaction to your post, TH: Lighten up. (And I'm not talking about your skin color.)

Link to the American Psychological Assn. news release:


By Anonymous Boludo Tejano, at Sun Aug 29, 03:27:00 PM:

Interesting that Chris Chambers has not commented yet.

Guess this extended discussion shows that the wingnuts do not march in lockstep.

While I do not agree with some to a lot of what social conservatives say, I fear them a lot less than I do the other side of the aisle, with its moonbats, PC freaks and the "another law will solve the problem without any negative consequences" crowd.

At least that is my perspective as a PostLiberal.  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Sun Aug 29, 03:35:00 PM:

"If MLK was never killed, would he have become a race-baiting parody of what he once was?"

I don't think so. My understanding was that before his death MLK was already getting irritated with the young Jesse Jackson for exhibiting the demagogic tendencies that later "flowered".  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Sun Aug 29, 03:37:00 PM:

I am reading now that in Sarah Palin's speech she cited Dr. King. Undounbtedly many liberals' heads are exploding at the thought of Sarah evoking MLK. The problem is that their heads should have exploded years ago when the likes of Jackson and Sharpton were exploiting his legacy.  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Sun Aug 29, 03:39:00 PM:

"Interesting that Chris Chambers has not commented yet.

Guess this extended discussion shows that the wingnuts do not march in lockstep."

And the douchebags. Don't forget the douchebags, BT.  

By Anonymous John, at Sun Aug 29, 09:38:00 PM:

Beck is a genius, and he's making millions and pissing off lefties. C'mon, I know that TH and his regular readers are super-smarties, but I honestly could NOT tell you what day King delivered this speech, which was delivered many times in many places. 8/28, or whenever, who gives a rat's ass? We keep pandering to blacks, and being PC calling them A-A. It's baloney. The point of Beck's rallies is to mobilize people to have a voice, and to push back. His following includes people of the entire color spectrum and political affiliations. Sure, they're likely mostly righties to start with, but his programs are interesting, and he takes great pleasure in poking and pissing off his detractors, to his publicity, ongoing hooking of others to listen-up, to his ratings, and his wallet. His 15 minutes aren't over until people stop listening.

King's speech is freaking awesome, and his message wasn't simple to Blacks. It's been bastardized, and ripped off, and exploited by leftists and Black activists. I think if he were alive today he'd tell them to stand down.

And darkness ... please. What if he said he wasn't leading us out of darkness, but shining a light on it. Would we overthink that? Most Americans couldn't tell you how many States there are (or our President) how many stripes are on the flag, or the words to the Pledge or National Anthem. What makes you think they actually know the signifiacance of that date?  

By Blogger Catchy Pseudonym, at Mon Aug 30, 09:26:00 AM:

Ha! Attacked by your own readers... This has been quite an interesting thread. Good luck Tiger.

P.S. Beck is a douche and so are is followers. :-)  

By Blogger GreenmanTim, at Mon Aug 30, 12:46:00 PM:

I'm going to restrict my comments to the symbolism of Beck's actual words and the context in which they were said.

"For too long, this country has wandered in darkness"

This is a theologically mixed biblical reference, an admixture of Numbers 32:13 "The LORD was angry with Israel and made them wander in the wilderness for forty years until the entire generation that sinned in the LORD's sight had died..." and Isaiah 9:2 "The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light."

Given that the message was about God and revivalist values and faith to an audience that is attuned to Christian Scripture, I doubt he had the secular humanist perspective in mind. Nonetheless, wandering in darkness also calls to mind Plato's Allegory of the Cave and the enlightened ones who will show the prisoners staring at the shadows on the wall the true source of the light from the world outside their false reality.

An expressed desire to "lead from darkness" would have been an even more direct reference to Plato's Allegory, not to mention a tad messianic, but I have not yet found a credible transcript in which Beck actually says he wants to help lead American out of darkness. Maybe one of your other commenters can track one down.

Beck has built his public persona out of an over the top ability to stretch connections between disassociated thoughts and events to the point of self parody. TH's offhand snark about the context of his alleged use of the phrase "lead from darkness" is much in the same vein.  

By Blogger Foxfier, formerly Sailorette, at Mon Aug 30, 01:05:00 PM:

Ooh, found a transcript for you, GT!

CNN video transcript-- you type in the word you want it to find, it pops up results, you click on one of the quoted snippets and it takes you to that point in the video!

I LOVE technology!  

By Blogger GreenmanTim, at Mon Aug 30, 03:48:00 PM:

And this is very helpful, because I find no reference at all in the closed caption transcript that he ever said he wanted to lead America out of darkness. He did say America has wandered in darkness for too long. The rest is how it was spun in the press.  

By Blogger Larry Sheldon, at Tue Aug 31, 12:49:00 AM:

The unconsidered option: He didn't say or do anything offensive, and nobody was offended.

But more importantly, I have erred in thinking there was anything useful here.

See ya' around.  

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