As the nation marks the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s "I Have a Dream" speech, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin have taken to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to, as they put it, restore our nation’s honor. The Washington Post reports that "an overwhelmingly white crowd of tens of thousands" turned out for the event, which Beck has described as "a moment that you’ll never be able to paint people as haters, racists, none of it. This is a moment, quite honestly, that I think we reclaim the civil rights movement. It has been so distorted and so turned upside down. It is an abomination."
In her own remarks this morning, the Post reports, Palin declared:
"We must not fundamentally transform America, as some would want," Palin said. "We must restore America and restore her honor."
"Here today, at the crossroads of our history, may this day be the change point," Palin said. "Look around you. You’re not alone. You are Americans! You have the same steel spine and the moral courage of Washington and Lincoln and Martin Luther King. It is in you. It will sustain you as it sustained them."
On a day of remembrance, it seems Beck and Palin have forgotten why some aren’t able to envision them as a part of King’s dream. Luckily, Media Matters hasn’t, and the group has managed to track some of the best of Beck’s race-baiting:
Beck: Obama is a "racist" with a "deep-seated hatred for white people." On the July 28, 2009, edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, Beck said of President Obama: "This president, I think, has exposed himself as a guy, over and over and over again, who has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture." Beck added: "I’m not saying that he doesn’t like white people, I’m saying he has a problem. He has a — this guy is, I believe, a racist." The following day, Beck stood by the remarks: "I think the president is a racist."
Beck suggested Obama’s name is un-American. On the February 4 edition of The Glenn Beck Program, Beck said of Obama: "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?"
Beck’s "funny ‘black guy’ character." Journalist Alexander Zaitchik wrote in his September 2009 profile of Beck for Salon.com that Beck, as a younger man, had many "racial hang-ups." According to Zaitchik: "Among the show’s regular characters was Beck’s zoo alter ego, Clydie Clyde. But Clyde was just one of Beck’s unseen radio ventriloquist dolls. ‘He was amazing to watch when he was doing his cast of voices,’ remembers Kathi Lincoln, Beck’s former newsreader. ‘Sometimes he’d prerecord different voices and talk back to the tape, or turn his head side to side while speaking them live on the air. He used to do a funny "black guy" character, really over-the-top.’ "
Beck forced to apologize for "mocking Asians." In 1995, Beck and his co-hosts at KC101 in Hartford, Connecticut were made to apologize for mocking an Asian man who called into the program. The Hartford Courant reported in October 20, 1995: "When [Zhihan] Tong telephoned WKCI- FM to protest the broadcast as a racial slur, disc jockeys Glenn Beck and Pat Grey made fun of him. The two played a gong in the background several times, and Papineau, the executive producer, mocked a Chinese accent."
Beck praised constitutional provision protecting slave trade. In his 2009 book Arguing With Idiots, Beck reprinted and praised the now-obsolete Article I, Section 9, Clause 1 of the Constitution, which prohibited Congress from ending the slave trade before 1808 and capped taxes on the slave trade at $10 per slave. Beck, without mentioning slavery, interpreted the provision to mean that "the Founders actually put a price tag on coming to this country: $10 per person. Apparently they felt like there was a value to being able to live here."
Health care reform. "This guy is not who he says he is. None of his bills, none of his proposals are about what he says they’re about. The health care bill is reparations. It’s the beginning of reparations. He’s going to give — if you want to go into medical school, the medical schools will get more federal dollars if they have proven that they are putting minorities ahead." [The Glenn Beck Program, 7/22/09]
Assistance to Native Americans. On November 11, 2009, Beck said: "When the president was sitting there, or standing there, and he was talking about Native American rights in the middle of a tragedy, Fort Hood, it didn’t feel right. And it seemed, maybe to me, that he was even promising reparations." [The Glenn Beck Program, 11/9/09]
For the whole track of Becks racist tirades head to Media Matters.