30 Aug 2010

Michael Kinsley, Free Advice Reader?

Humor 2 Comments

Me, on August 27:

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?

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.

Michael Kinsley, August 29:

My first thought, when I heard that Glenn Beck was planning a huge rally at the Washington Mall on the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech at the same site 48 years ago was, “How obnoxious. How offensive. What a jerk!” My second thought was, “Well, he’s got a right to speak in that place on that date, as at almost any other place on any other date. Even jerks are protected by the First Amendment.” My third thought was, “Sure, he has the right to have his rally there and then, but shouldn’t he have more sensitivity to those for whom this date and this place have special meaning and importance? Couldn’t he find some other place or pick some other date for his rally?” My fourth thought was, “Uh oh. This line of reasoning is starting to get uncomfortable.”

I’m flattered, Mr. Kinsley, but how ’bout a little somethin’, you know, for the effort?

2 Responses to “Michael Kinsley, Free Advice Reader?”

  1. Robert Wenzel says:

    It’s not your week. The new standard-berarer of the Austrian School didn’t mention you to WSJ ,either.

    • bobmurphy says:

      I’m surprised you couldn’t find an in-focus picture of Evans. Were you in a hurry?