A lot of folks are accusing Glenn Beck of trying to “hijack” the legacy of Martin Luther King. (E.g. try this.) But they’re going for the tired old cards of calling him a racist, a divider, etc. Instead they should just say this:
We understand that black Americans don’t “own” the legacy of Dr. King. This isn’t an issue of property rights. Of course Mr. Beck and his fans have every legal right to hold a rally in front of the Lincoln Memorial on the anniversary of the “I Have a Dream” speech.
Nonetheless, we are asking that they hold their rally a few blocks away, and on a different date. There are 364 other days in the year; what’s wrong with them?
Now look, we know full well that Mr. Beck and his supporters claim that they are trying to heal racial division. Intellectually, we black Americans know that just because we have been brutalized by angry white conservative males for as long as we can remember, that doesn’t mean that all angry white conservative males pose a threat to our physical safety.
But this isn’t about logic or rationality. This is about sensitivity to our feelings. Surely Mr. Beck can understand why a majority of American blacks wouldn’t appreciate him holding a rally on the anniversary of Dr. King’s famous speech. If he goes ahead with his plans, he won’t promote racial unity. So we ask him to hold the rally in a different place, on a different date.