Was Glenn Beck right?
Back there in the mists of 2009, then-Fox TV host Glenn Beck caught heat for saying: “This president, I think, has exposed himself as a guy, over and over and over again, who has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture,” adding “I don’t know what it is.”
Later, Politico reported it this way:
Following up on Beck’s ridiculous claim, Fox’s Brian Kilmeade pointed out that Obama is surrounded by white advisers like David Axelrod, Robert Gibbs, and Rahm Emanuel.
“I’m not saying he doesn’t like white people,” Beck said. “I’m saying he has a problem. He has a — this guy is, I believe, a racist.”
Down the road a year later Beck recanted, as noted here in the New York Daily News:
“It shouldn’t have been said,” the 46-year-old former disc jockey said on Fox News Sunday. “I have a big fat mouth sometimes and I say things, and that’s not the way people should behave. And it was not accurate.”
What does Beck wish he had said? He’s not racist, he’s just a “Marxist.”
“He is a guy who understands the world through liberation theology,” Beck told Chris Wallace.
… Calling the theology “Marxism disguised as religion,” Beck argued it goes against what most Christians believe.
“That is a direct opposite of what the gospel is talking about,” he said.
Beck has linked Obama to liberation theology before, most notably during his time as a commentator on CNN’s Headline News. He also discussed it last week on his Fox News program.
Obama was also linked with black liberation theology, which is a race-specific version of the belief, through his relationship with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the controversial former pastor of the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.
Here we are four years later—after Ferguson, after Eric Garner, after the assassination of two New York City policemen—and here comes a recent Bloomberg poll that in its own way is dancing around Beck’s original assessment that the President of the United States is a racist. A poll saying that 53 percent of Americans believe the “interactions between the white and black communities have deteriorated since he took office.” And now the President himself gives an interview to NPR that only inflames the idea.
What to make of all this? Note the reporter in the Politico story cited above dismissed Beck’s claim of presidential racism as a “ridiculous claim.” But was it? Was Glenn Beck in fact right? Is the President a racist?
In truth I think Beck was closer to the mark the second time when he focused on the President’s worldview as coming from the far-leftist “liberation theology” and its cousin, “black liberation theology.” Black liberation theology is in fact racist, as the rantings of Obama’s old pastor and mentor the Reverend Jeremiah Wright illustrated time and time again. This should come as no surprise as the Democratic Party itself was the political home for all things racial from slavery and segregation on down to racial quotas. Black liberation theology is thoroughly leftist in being all about skin color. When one listens to the President’s response about Ferguson or Eric Garner—not to mention that of his Attorney General, Eric Holder— the racially driven nature of their responses are hard to miss.
The Washington Examiner reported on a post-Garner Obama interview with NPR this way—an interview posted yesterday in the wake of the funeral service for the first of the two murdered policemen:
Despite racially-motivated protests and a police slaying linked to the killing of black teen Michael Brown by a white policeman in Ferguson, Mo., President Obama believes that race relations are improving — in part because of the Ferguson case.
… In a National Public Radio News interview, Obama said that the case has put the spotlight on minority-police relations, which he called “healthy.”
He also said that debut of videos of police actions taken on mobile devices like phones in the Ferguson case, and that of killing by police of Eric Garner in New York, have helped to show a wider audience what minority communities see daily.
Notice this line? The part where the President says the videos from the Ferguson Michael Brown case and the Staten Island Eric Garner case “have helped to show a wider audience what minority communities see daily.”
But what is it that Mr. Obama saw in those videos? In fact what was shown on those videos in both cases is the world that Martin Luther King dreamed about—a world where human beings of all colors were judged on “the content of their character”—not their skin color.
What did we see of Michael Brown’s character in that video from inside the convenience store in Ferguson? We saw the young Mr. Brown steal cigars, then, when the store clerk—a man of color—protested and tried to stop him, Michael Brown’s character revealed him to be not just a thief but a bully—and a big bully at that. None of this had a thing to do with Brown’s skin color—but everything to do with his character. Likewise with Eric Garner, whose character has also now been revealed in all the subsequent publicity of his death. After breaking the law (albeit a stupid law) and resisting arrest—captured on camera—Mr. Garner had a long—was revealed to have a very long—police record. As noted here at Newsmax:
Garner, 43, had history of more than 30 arrests dating back to 1980, on charges including assault and grand larceny.
… At the time of his death, Garner was out on bail after being charged with illegally selling cigarettes, driving without a license, marijuana possession and false impersonation.
In other words, Mr. Garner’s character was that of a much-arrested thief and bully among other things.
Yet President Obama himself looks at videos of both of these human beings and sees not the decidedly non-racial content of the character of each—there are, after all, bullies and thieves in every race on the planet—but sees instead their skin color. Then he says to NPR that well, gee, thanks to those videos now everybody can see what minority communities have been seeing for years. This said in spite of the fact that the target of Michael Brown’s theft and bullying was a man of color, and that the supervising police sergeant of the Garner arrest was a black female sergeant.
Which leads us back to Glenn Beck’s first assertion that the President is racist, and his second, a correction that the President is not a racist but a follower of black liberation theology—the latter, of course, which as its name implies is all about race.
Is there any wonder in the wake of the assassination of the two NYPD officers that the Bloomberg poll shows the American people have a negative view of the President when it comes to his handling of race relations?
The ultimate irony here is that it was the American people—a heavily non-black population—who judged then-candidate Barack Obama not on his skin color but elected him based on the content of his character—both his literal character as a man and his political character promising to keep moving America toward a “post-racial” society. If anything in terms of race, Americans were proud to bursting that they had elected a man who happened to be black as president. Yet now—elections for him long over—it is abundantly clear that the president himself does not partake of the worldview that has shaped the racial attitudes of a vast majority of Americans, Americans directly responsible for his election. That worldview being Martin Luther King’s dream that Americans must judge people not by their skin color but rather the content of their character.
So if, as we know now, the President in fact judges others by their skin color—if he sees in Michael Brown and Eric Garner not bullies and thieves but black men—the question recurs.
Was Glenn Beck right?