Monday, August 30, 2010

Becky as MLK? More like Malcolm X

I don't agree 100% with Reihan Salam, particularly about anything Becky says as "spiritually uplifting", but he makes some good points.

Glenn Beck's weekend speech was reminiscent of the radical 1960s black separatist leader: Both terrify mainstream liberals and shed politics for a message of spiritual uplift.

If white separatism is supposed to be 'spiritually uplifting' I want no part of it. Also, being caught between two 18-wheelers terrifies me. All Becky y ilk does is piss me off.

[...] Palin, like Beck, was talking about a spiritual restoration, a return to time-tested virtues that had been celebrated by the more homogeneous America of the past, in which non-traditional families were stigmatized and relatively rare, church attendance was far more common, and the dominance of Anglo-Protestant culture was unquestioned.

But as most of those who attended Beck’s rally(*) understand in their bones, that world is gone. And President Obama, for all his efforts to expand the reach of the federal government, has had very little to do with this deep transformation. Rather, the country has long since been transformed by powerful demographic and economic forces that very much threaten what we might call Glenn Beck’s America.

*"Whitestock". Apt.

Instead of accepting or embracing this transformation, a large and growing number of white Americans are, knowingly or otherwise, taking a page from minority protest movements of the past by asserting themselves and demanding recognition from political and cultural elites. Many on the left find this sense of anger and alienation risible, seeing in this movement of “are-nots,” as opposed to “have-nots,” a class of ignoramuses duped by Fox News into acting against their supposed economic interests.

And your point is...?

So in this very strange and very fluid political moment, Glenn Beck has emerged as the white Malcolm X. Whereas Malcom X embraced militant black separatism, Beck marries a stridently emotional style with political views that wouldn’t have been out of place at a 1950s Elks Lodge event. [...]

Most of Becky's crowd probably attended those.

And though Beck is scrupulously inclusive — I was particularly struck by his reference to “our churches, our synagogues, our mosques” during his lengthy address to the crowd — his people are overwhelmingly white and old. Among Americans over the age of 65, 80 percent are non-Hispanic whites, an artifact of an earlier era in which the number of Latinos was negligible and African Americans were the only minority population of any significance. This over-65 population, well represented at the rally, has tended to be the most hostile to President Obama’s agenda. Not coincidentally, the average age of Fox News viewers is 65, a shade older than CNN’s 63 and MSNBC’s 59.

[...] With each passing year, the cultural mix of the United States is growing more Latin and Asian and black. Non-Hispanic whites are just 56 percent of the under-18 population, a reality reflected in an increasingly pan-ethnic youth culture that seems baffling to older white Americans. Imagine how elderly viewers of Glenn Beck must feel when they accidentally catch themselves watching an episode of Jersey Shore.

I don't watch Becky, but I can dig the reference to Jersey Shore. I don't get it either. Perhaps Snooki and I could take a sweat lodge and she could esplain it to me...

I like the 'Malcolm X' comparison. I hope it holds.


Also see "The Glenn Beck Crazy Tracker".

The punk took a half day off from his message of hate and racism and some are calling it a 'transformation'. Yeesh.

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