Glenn Beck’s LSD trip: white guilt as the path to conservative revival

As Hanna Saigo writes at Alternative Right, based on the reporting of liberal William Saletan at Slate, Glenn Beck’s rally took “white self-flagellation to a completely unheard of level.” Here is the entire article:

It seems that James Edwards and most others have missed the best part of Glenn Beck’s MLK rally. Those who watch the Glenn Beck Show will have noticed that one of his favorite regulars is Alveda King, the civil rights leader’s niece. Here is ABC News on her appearance last Saturday.

On the 47th anniversary of her uncle’s historic “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, politician and activist Alveda King has joined conservative commentator Glenn Beck at the same spot to bring people together in paying tribute to America’s soldiers and “restoring honor” to America …

While speaking in front of tens of thousands today in DC, King said that she hopes that white privilege will become human privilege and that America will soon repent of the sin of racism and return itself to honor.

King also mentioned “white privilege”, and even claimed to have invented the term, in a 2005 interview with Newsweek.

William Saletan at Slate sees the Beck rally as the final conservative surrender to multi-cultural orthodoxy.

Did these portrayals whitewash the sins against which King campaigned? No. In fact, the rally was full of apologies. “It was you, Lord God, who called us to account when we broke the treaties with the first peoples,” the Rev. Paul Jehle confessed in the opening prayer. “You called us to repentance. And you, O God, called us to repentance when we did not live up to our creed, and we did not treat everyone as equal.” Palin followed Jehle to the podium, calling slavery “our greatest shame.” Beck told the crowd, “Let’s be honest: If you look at history, America has been both terribly good and terribly bad.” He conceded: “Countries make mistakes. We have made more than our fair share.” A video reviewed the ugly era of segregation and concluded that King “awoke our nation’s collective consciousness.” Awoke our consciousness! That’s a line …

The rally organizers didn’t pretend that all our sins were behind us. “We as citizens must all carry Martin Luther King’s dream in all of our hearts today,” said the rally video. “The dream is not completed. It’s an ongoing struggle, one that all Americans should always be willing to undertake.” Borrowing a favorite progressive buzzword, the video affirmed King’s recognition in 1963 that “this was the day to inspire change.”..

Christianity helps. Its message of repentance helps people admit their mistakes, inviting them to surrender to God rather than to their political enemies. But pride is still hard to swallow. Conservatives need a way to distinguish their apologies from the apologies of progressives. Hence their contrast between looking forward and “wallowing.”..

Crying “socialism” is what conservatives do before they yield to change. It’s a stage in the process of defeat. But the process doesn’t end with defeat. It ends with absorption. It ends with the political descendants of George Wallace embracing the legacy of Martin Luther King. Beck today is just catching up to where King was 50 years ago. That’s because King was in the front of the civil rights bus, and Beck is in the back. And it’s a really slow bus.

Let’s not pretend that the Fox host “had to” do all this in order to remain on TV. I understand that politics is a game of inches, but you hope for people that move you towards your goal, not away from it. There are plenty of constitutional, legal and moral arguments against affirmative action, enforced diversity and third world immigration which don’t brush up against white nationalism which Beck could use. Instead, whether for career reasons, out of personal conviction or both, he’s chosen to take white self-flagellation to a completely unheard of level. One can only pity those regular Americans who thought they may have found a spokesman; I can’t help but believe that all but the dimmest of bulbs are going to start tuning this huckster out.

[end of Saigo article]

How many times have I condemned George W. Bush for going to Africa and saying that the racism that drove slavery is still operative in America today? How many times have I excoriated his pal Condoleezza Rice for saying that America still hasn’t reached racial justice for blacks, and has much further to go?

And now some readers of this website expect me to support Beck, who is pushing the same message of white guilt as Bush and Rice?

Wake up, Beck supporters. White America owes nothing to black America. The debt has been paid in full, and more than full. Any person who believes that whites still must repent for slavery and discrimination is locked inside the suicidal liberal mindset—and lost to any meaningful conservatism.

- end of initial entry -

LA writes:

Clarification: I do not mean to say that the Beck supporters who have been commenting at VFR share Beck’s view that white America must repent for its treatment of blacks. I am saying that any movement that holds as one of its central beliefs that white America must repent for its treatment of blacks is not, and cannot become, a meaningful conservative movement.

Gintas writes:

The more I read the more I believe that this parade is moving so fast to the left that Newt Gingrich has been left in the dust.

JC writes:

I happened to catch Beck on his regular radio show this morning. He was prattling on about “Divine Providence” and stating that the “transformation of America” was going to occur in forty days. Since that is mid-October it was clear he was not referring to the midterm elections. He in fact stated that politics was not going to “transform” America. I never did quite get to the point of what exactly is supposed to happen in forty days. I think you’re characterization of Beck as an “Elmer Gantry” is a bit tame. He’s beginning to sound more and more like Jim Jones.

Alan Roebuck writes:

Becks’s 40-day challenge is described here. It’s likely influenced by Rick Warren’s “40 days of purpose,” which is the basis of his book “The Purpose Driven Life.” Beck is evidently hoping that vague exhortations that people live a more “honorable” life will somehow turn the nation around. As if platitudes can defeat the leftist juggernaut.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 01, 2010 04:11 PM | Send

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