Politics

‘Reclaiming the Dream’ rally touts liberal causes, slams Beck

Photo of Keith Cottingham
Keith Cottingham
Contributor

While Fox News host Glenn Beck spoke to the droves of people that flooded the Lincoln Memorial to attend his “Restoring Honor” rally Saturday, the Reverend Al Sharpton also drew a sizable, though much smaller, crowd across town for his “Reclaiming the Dream” rally at Dunbar High School. Sharpton’s rally concluded with a march to the proposed site of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall.

Billed in part as a counter-rally to the rally hosted by Beck, Sharpton’s event was more political, focusing largely on jobs, education reform, voting rights for Washington, D.C., and advancing the vision Martin Luther King Jr. presented in his 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech. Both Shaprton and Beck’s events Saturday took place 47 years to the day after King’s iconic speech.

Though most of the ministers, labor leaders, activists, and academic figures who spoke at Sharpton’s rally focused on pushing for education improvements and reinvestment in jobs, some speakers used their time on stage to attack Beck and his rally.

Jaime Contreras, president of Service Employee International Union (SEIU) local 32BJ, said Beck’s rally didn’t “represent the dream.”

“It’s a shame what’s happening at the Lincoln Memorial. Shame on them! We are here to let those folks on the Mall know they don’t represent the dream!” Contreras said, cheered on by purple-shirted SEIU members in the audience. “They sure as hell don’t represent me! They represent hate mongering and angry white people!”

Washington Congressional Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, who had her microphone cut off for speaking over her allotted time, also engaged in anti-Beck rhetoric.

“Beck’s message doesn’t change nothing. Beck has march-envy, and he doesn’t have a message to match our march,” she said.

The Rev. W. Franklin Richardson, senior pastor at Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon, N.Y., told the audience that he wasn’t threatened by Beck’s rally. “It’s alright with me that they’re at the Mall today, because we’re at the White House,” he said.

Most of  the speakers, however, spoke in less antagonistic terms, focusing instead on the themes of the rally.

Preceding Sharpton’s speech, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spoke to the crowd, saying, “Education is the civil rights of our generation.” Duncan also encouraged greater personal responsibility, telling parents to “turn off the TV and read to your kids,” and challenged educators to stop making excuses.

(Last week, a spokesman for Duncan hung up on The Daily Caller when asked about the secretary’s planned participation in what was advertised to be, at least in part, a counter-Beck rally.)

Sharpton took the stage last, energizing the audience by taking a few shots at Beck’s event.

“They ought to ask Lincoln why he fought against states’ rights and held the Union together,” he said. “The dream was never about states’ rights.”

Before the march began, Sharpton cautioned his audience against provocation.

“Some said there’s going to be trouble. There ain’t going to be trouble. We won’t disgrace today. They want to provoke you. They want to disgrace this day and we’re not giving them this day,” he said.

  • truebearing

    Now the Obama admin, through the HuffPo, are offering $100,000 to anyone who can find a sex tape, or any other info that will smear Beck, and get rid of him forever. This is the way the left debates issues. When they can’t win honestly, and they never can, they resort to sleazy, slimy, evil tactics.

    Obama himself taught Alinsky and his evil methods, so one can justly assume he endorses this attempt at character assassination on Beck.

    What the demonic left doesn’t understand is that there is little they could come up with that would make people abandon Beck. They also can’t get it through their thick, dogmatic, moronic heads that Beck is not a politician, therefore, isn’t subject to the same dynamics as an elected official.

    • riseabove

      Talk about character assassination. This sounds like the same kind of scummy guy who was caught peering into the keyhole of that female sportscaster’s hotel room.

      If Huffington fires him, I wonder if he’ll be sending his resume off to the same papparazzi responsible for Princess Di’s death? Should fit right in.

  • mnemosyne23

    “King had a dream; Beck had a scheme.”

    Oooh, THAT’S original. I wonder which lib chanter she picked that up from?

  • joedoe

    After watching the whacked out left preach to 70% of the country about tolerance concerning the Ground Zero Mosque, it is good to see some of them step up to the plate and demonstrate such tolerance with their actions.

    Hmmmmmmm…….. oh…….. hmmmmmmmmm………. Never Mind.

  • loudog

    Looking forward to Glenn Beck joining in the fight to support the vision of MLK. Of course, that doesn’t include calling people Nazi’s and questioning anyones faith, but that’s history and he and Palin have embraced MLK and his struggle for equality, war on poverty, peace in the world and regulation of capitalism. A good gesture would be to contribute to the NAACP and support freedom of religion.

    • theprofessor

      You’re a phony. Mocking MLK and Beck in the same post. Wow…teh skilz….

      • truebearing

        Now the Obama admin, through the HuffPo, are offering $100,000 to anyone who can find a sex tape, or any other info that will smear Beck, and get rid of him forever. This is the way the left debates issues. When they can’t win honestly, and they never can, they resort to sleazy, slimy, evil tactics.

        Obama himself taught Alinsky and his evil methods, so one can justly assume he endorses this attempt at character assassination on Beck.

        What the demonic left doesn’t understand is that there is little they could come up with that would make people abandon Beck. They also can’t get it through their thick, dogmatic, moronic heads that Beck is not a politician, therefore, isn’t subject to the same dynamics as an elected official.

    • truebearing

      Why would anyone contribute to the NAACP if they wanted freedom of religion and equality? They are Marxists and black nationalist racists. They don’t stand for equality, or anything else of any merit.

      Beck and Palin embraced MLK’s belief of judging a person on character, not race. They most definitely did not endorse MLK’s beliefs regarding any kind of wealth redistribution.

    • des1

      “Of course, that doesn’t include calling people Nazi’s and questioning anyones faith…”

      Should I assume that you put up similar posts criticizing the plethora of Democrats who’ve done exactly that over the last 9 years?

      Anyone….Bueller?….Anyone?

  • damage6

    “Reverend Al” I’ve only got two words for you TAWANA BRAWLEY

    Jaime Contreras I’ve got two words for you two but this is a public forum.