Glenn Beck says “divine providence” played a role in scheduling his “Restoring Honor” rally on August 28, the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
“I’m certainly no Martin Luther King,” Beck said in June, adding that he announced the date before realizing it was the same date and location as the civil rights leader’s famous 1963 speech. Beck has said the 8-28 rally is nonpolitical. Instead, the event pays tribute to America’s service personnel and other upstanding citizens who “embody our nation’s founding principles of integrity, truth and honor,” according to Beck’s website.
Beck, asserting that whites “do not own” the legacy of Abraham Lincoln and, by this logic, “blacks don’t own Martin Luther King,” said on his own radio program in June that he initially chose the day by default. Originally planned for Sunday, Sept. 12, Beck changed the date because he was not “going to ask anyone to work on the Sabbath.” When one of his staff members informed him of the significance of Aug. 28, Beck says he thought the coincidence was “divine providence.”
Civil rights leaders, including the Rev. Al Sharpton and NAACP President Benjamin Jealous, have decried the timing of the rally. National Urban League President Marc Morial called the “Restoring Honor” event “an effort to embarrass and poke a finger in the eye of the civil rights community because Glenn Beck and his public utterances don’t necessarily demonstrate a consistency with the vision of King.”
Sharpton and the NAACP, the Urban League and Martin Luther King III are planning a “Reclaim the Dream” march the same day as Beck’s rally. Their event will begin at D.C.’s Dunbar High School and end at the future site of the Martin Luther King memorial a “nearly four-story-tall original sculpture on the Mall.”. A press release for the march describes “the Tea Party and allied conservatives” as “trying to break the crux of what the civil rights movement symbolized and what Dr. King fought and literally died for,” but Sharpton was quick to say the event was not a “countermarch” or confrontation with Beck. “At no point will we interchange [with Beck and his supporters],” said Sharpton. “We will not desecrate the march and what King stood for.”
( Yahoo )