David Neiwert from the liberal blog Crooks and Liars watched Glenn Beck’s show on black conservatives and has offered a critique. Not surprising his critique uses fallacies and tortured logic to adhere to his liberal worldview. While there are many crazy things said, there were three that I simply must address.
First Neiwert begins by claiming Beck “was careful to hand-select his audience”.
Beck, you see, was careful to hand-select his audience, people "the media claim don't think exist" -- black conservatives! Not that he ever actually explains this to the viewing audience -- you have to figure that out for yourselves as the show goes along, like the moment when he asks the audience if they think we're headed toward socialism (they all raise their hands) or are accused of being not "black enough" if they are conservative (again, a unanimous show of hands).
As someone who was actually part of that audience, I can tell you first hand that while everyone was black, not everyone was conservative (see my earlier post). Furthermore, a friend told me about the upcoming show and I asked to participate. I then passed along the information to my friend Maria and she asked to participate too. So as far as hand selecting goes, that is just fiction on Mr. Neiwert’s part.
What should be noted is that given the slight ideological mix of the audience, everyone still raised their hands when asked if the nation was moving towards socialism. It is very hard not to think so seeing how the government now controls banks and car companies. Must we wait until they control the oil companies too before it becomes OK to think we are moving towards socialism?
Oh and by the way about that “black enough” business, one need only Google “Uncle Tom” plus any prominent black conservative’s name and you will see the truth to that statement.
Next Neiwert attempts to admonish Beck for asking the audience about how they feel about the word “African American”:
Will Brown of the New York Republican Community Coalition points out, adroitly, that "African American" is an "evolution" from the "N word" -- and certainly is preferable. Moreover, it wasn't black people who invented the "N word" or the segregation from enjoying the full fruits of American citizenship it represented -- it was white people. "African American" represents the recognition of their dignity and their rights as Americans.
But this point sails right over Beck's head, because he's too ignorant to appreciate the implications. Had Beck even a smidgen of American history, particularly pertaining to civil rights, he'd know that white Americans for most of the decades of the past century used the word "American" and "real American" almost exclusively to refer to white people -- and that this motif lingers even today (see, e.g., Sarah Palin's references to "real Americans" during the campaign -- speaking before small-town, all-white audiences).
I wonder if it ever dawns on Neiwert that black people are free to individually decide which word describes themselves best and as such asking how each of us feels about the word “African American” really isn’t that stupid.
I also have to squelch Neiwert’s subtle attempt to tie Sarah Palin to some half-baked concept of subtle racism. Regarding the American vs. Real American concept. Today the concept depicts the difference between those Americans who support traditional American ideals of the individual’s pursuit of life, liberty and happiness (Real Americans) vs. those Americans who have accepted the socialist/ statist point of view. Harkening back to the old days when the term was used to differentiate between natural born Americans and the immigrant classes is just intellectually dishonest.
Regarding Sarah Palin, it may surprise Neiwert that Adrienne from Motivation: Truth, a black woman, has met Sarah Palin, her family and her parents more than once. Each time she was treated warmly and graciously by all of them. So Neiwert, stuff the manufactured subtle racism of Palin, it’s pure evil.
Finally what I found to be the most shockingly stupid thing that Neiwert does is to say that it is idiotic of white people to quote Martin Luther King.
Beck doesn't understand why it's idiotic of white people to quote King -- namely, King was speaking in defense of black people whose civil rights had been systematically and violently denied for over a century, and his words were spoken in that context. They weren't intended to be spoken in defense of advantaged white people who want an excuse to keep stereotyping black people.
Neiwert derides Beck and some of the guest throughout his post for not knowing history. It seems he should crack open a book himself sometime and read King’s I Have A Dream speech. From that iconic speech Dr. King said:
We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.
Sounds pretty clear to me that Dr. King would not have found it idiotic for white people to quote him. King was clearly calling for the day when we all lived equally in freedom. That certainly isn’t an idea that says only black people should quote King’s words. Dr. King is a national treasure and his words should be quoted and embraced by all people regardless of their color.
Via: Crooks and Liars
Via: MLK Online