I know this isn’t about the Middle East, but I needed to rant about it. That is why I have a blog, right?
After a nice walk this afternoon around Bir Zeit University, I came home to find my housemate watching Al Jazeera‘a coverage of Glenn Beck’s “Restoring the Honor” march in Washington DC. Initially I had not paid much attention to the rally as I consider Beck to be one of the most exploitative commentators around – someone who uses fear in order to drive ratings. Despite his tearful declarations of love for his country, his divisive spewing of hate is driving America farther and farther apart.
Watching Jazeera‘s coverage angered me then humored me, before finally angering me again. The folks at Jazeera clearly, and justly, view some of the Beck/Palin – following Tea Partiers to be rather insane. The rally in general is rather upsetting. It was organized by Beck and featured Sarah Palin – the former who, on a daily basis, spews conjecture as truth and hatred as justice and the latter who defends bigoted radio hosts – and claimed to be in the same spirit as the Martin Luther King Jr rally on this date, almost 50 years ago. Clearly, the messages espoused by Dr. King and Glenn Beck could not be further apart.
But, the program was interesting at first. It interviewed one lady from Tennessee who doubted Obama’s nationality, condemned Islam and seemed certain that President Obama had a deep seeded hated for the United States.
[tweetmeme] (At one point, after the interviewee complained about Obama’s health care initiative, the correspondent clarified what ‘ObamaCare’ was by saying something along the lines of “Oh, you mean the health care initiative that was democratically voted through Congress and will bring health care to millions of uninsured Americans?” Just to give you an idea of how Jazeera views this rally…)
Later in the interview, though, this lady’s ignorance morphed from amusing to downright scary. Asked if she expected change after the November elections, the lady from Tennessee said: “Yes, there will be change through elections or by the end of a gun, there will be change.” Unfortunately, the Jazeera correspondent did not call out the lady on what seemed to be a (probably harmless) poorly veiled threat.
I am completely in agreement that people like Glenn Beck and Ms. Shoot’em Up from Tennessee should be granted platforms for their opinions. Freedom of speech is one of the most sacred rights that people have in America (up there with freedom of religion…), but when someone implies violence against anyone and is not challenged about it, I get scared.
I disagree with a lot of the opinions that were expressed today at the Beck rally and, more often than not, the clamoring of such an extremist (in politics and knowledge) group only humors me. Unfortunately, this lady seemed to be the manifestation of the hate that Glenn Beck feeds Americans – a hate that, left unchecked and unchallenged, will greatly damage the United States.
The video clip above is part of the report, I will continue to try to find the interview