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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:51 PM
Original message
The Content of Glenn Beck's Character

The Content of Glenn Beck's Character
By Rick Perlstein

January 23rd, 2009 - 8:52am ET

I've been fascinated by the responses to Rev. Joseph Lowery's benediction which closed out the inauguration ceremony. To my liberal, literary friends, the performance was a triumph: tonally subtle, morally bold, aesthetically transcendent.

Conservatives, however, have gone berserk. Check out the first four comments from the Chicago Sun-Times blog posting of the transcript of the speech:

By Jo Dermody on January 20, 2009 3:31 PM
I consider the man who made this speech to be racist.
My whole family has never been prejudiced but if many more blacks keep hitting on those of us who never did one thing that would be racist then they will turn many white people into racists.
They should all think about it. Martin Luther King had class enough not to mouth off about people of other color and I supported him all the way.

By Anonymous on January 20, 2009 3:32 PM
The right rev. Lowery had not been demeaning all races, then he would not have had anything to say.
If white had not illuminated the way, then the dark words of rev. Lowery would have not seen the light of day.
Now let us all say Amen.

By Jay on January 20, 2009 3:36 PM
I am so tired of the reverse descrimiantion that is so common place in our country today. When can we stop being a country of different colors and just be Americans? Reverend Lowery needs to work to that end and stop making everything race driven. Doesn't seem like God had anything to do with his speach because it sure doesn't seem like a prayer.

By L. Kathryn Jones on January 20, 2009 3:39 PM
I could not be more appalled by this so-called "benediction." The racism is blatant; the blame is endemic. While I do not hold Mr. Obama responsible for the content of this message, I do hold him responsible for yet again showing poor taste in his associations. If this is Mr. Obama's idea of coming together, the next four years are going to be difficult in more ways than one!

This, apparently, is the offending portion:

Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get back, when brown can stick around -- (laughter) -- when yellow will be mellow -- (laughter) -- when the red man can get ahead, man -- (laughter) -- and when white will embrace what is right.

Here's Glenn Beck ranting about the supposed inherent evil of this utterance:

It takes fourteen more comments before someone makes the point that would be obvious to anyone with any familiar with African American culture:

Okay, you totally misunderstood Dr. Lowery's ending remark about the various colors of skin because you don't know the history of those references. During legal segregation times and as integration was gradually accepted, dark-skinned African Americans with prominent "Negroid" features (black) were not as readily accepted in certain instances as were brown-skinned (brown) or light-skinned (yellow) African Americans whose features indicated Caucasion blood in their recent lineage. This was very painful for those who were overlooked, no matter how talented or gifted, by those who looked more "white." This hierarchal selection sometimes meant the difference in whether or not you were hired in a certain position (or hired at all!), accepted in a certain community, and so on, and so on, and so on. As for the red man, Native Americans' presence seemed to pose the greatest threat to the powerful. Dr. Lowery was not and is not a racist. He simply asked for God's help in moving this nation beyond such abominable behavior.

This was a preacher directly in Martin Luther King's lineage paraphrasing King's "judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin" in a way that chastised descendants of Africans that the injunction applies to them as well. The fact that this was lost on so many white Americans suggests exactly what was most exciting about this week's events: their potential to make America's patchwork identities more mutually intelligible to each other.

Too bad ranters like Beck will be working to make this as difficult as possible.

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dana_b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:55 PM
Response to Original message
1. damn, and I thought the Rev Lowery's words there
were the best part of his benediction!!

Beck - I never or knew or thought that he had any character
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nosmokes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:00 PM
Response to Original message
2. Is sorely lacking.
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tulsakatz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:13 PM
Response to Original message
3. regarding the comment by Jo Dermody.....
...exactly how is, referring to other races in a benediction, going to make people racist?

I just don't understand how that could make someone racist.

.......if she considers him racist because he mentioned other races, then maybe she is racist, but just in denial.

And for the record, I'm white (I'm also 1/8 indian, too)

Personally, I thought Rev Lowery's comments were cute!
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DCKit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:13 PM
Response to Original message
4. They gots the tubes to post their ignorance on a blog...
but they can't use the tubes to Google the meaning of what he said? No, they just had to jump to the worst possible conclusion - the definition of prejudice.

After Obama, I thought he was the most thoughtful speaker of the day, but that's just me.

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yourout Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:13 PM
Response to Original message
5. Empty head and empty heart.
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luvspeas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:17 PM
Response to Original message
6. Rev. Lowery has earned the right to say whatever he wants...
Some people have no fucking sense of humor. They probably feel guilty. I LOVED it! Everybody expected him to be soooooooo serious and he said something great, and true, and caught people's attention. bravo! Also-it is a new day in this country, and I, for one, find it a breath of fresh air to hear people of color openly expressing their feelings. I'm white, and I'm more than happy to start doing what's right. Why would anyone have a problem with that??????
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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:24 PM
Response to Original message
7. conservatives letting their racism show
Lowery's speech was magnificent, and his final phrases, quoted above, were the crowning touch.
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tomg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:33 PM
Response to Original message
8. Actually, I thought Rev. Lowery
was referencing Big Bill Broonzy's song "Get Back" from 1951. Since Broonzy was based in Chicago,it makes sense.

"I helped win sweet victories,
With my plow and hoe,
Now, I want you to tell me, brother,
What you gonna do 'bout the old Jim Crow?
Now, if you is white,
You's alright,
If you's brown,
Stick around,
But if you's black, oh, brother,
Get back, get back, get back."
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Fuzz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:33 PM
Response to Original message
9. Scarborough and Tucker were going on and on about this as well.
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