the BLOG of stuart mcdonald


What If Glenn Beck Was A Black Man?
August 13, 2009, 12:21 am
Filed under: Think About It | Tags: , , , , ,
ENTER TV-GLENNBECK 2 PH
Radio & Television Host Glenn Beck on the set of his Fox News Program

“This president [Barack Obama] has exposed himself as a guy over and over and over again who has a deep-seated hatred for white people… this guy [President Obama] is, I believe, a racist.”

As of late there has been a lot of uproar about the above statement made by conservative radio and television host, Glenn Beck. In this statement, taken from the show “Fox & Friends” he says that he believes President Obama to be a racist. In order to not speculate about the phrasing or the context, you can watch the video for yourself. The statement in question begins at 1:55.

While I completely and vehemently disagree with Beck’s statement, I will absolutely defend his right to say it. The same 1st Amendment right that guarantees him his freedom of speech, and freedom of press, affords me the right to voice my opinions and, when needed, call into question things I don’t agree with.

This is especially hard for Christians to understand, but if you want the freedom to proclaim the Gospel, you had better stand up for the rights of others, even when you disagree with their statements. If you take away their voice, you move a step closer to giving away your own.

If I want to keep my right speak my mind, at all times, and to voice my opinion, while now on a smaller platform, but perhaps one day on a larger, more national one, I must defend everyone’s right to speak their mind. To not do that, would jeopardize my ability to speak my mind one day down the road.

An organization called ColorOfChange.org has organized a petition that requests advertisers to pull their commercials and money from Beck’s program. ColorOfChange.org’s website says this:

Fox’s Glenn Beck recently said President Obama is “a racist” and has a “deep-seated hatred for white people.” Beck is on a campaign to convince the American public that President Obama’s agenda is about serving the needs of Black communities at White people’s expense. It’s repulsive, divisive and shouldn’t be on the air.

Join us in calling on Beck’s advertisers to stop sponsoring his show.

And the petition is working. With over 45,00 signatures they have convinced 3 companies to remove their sponsorship. A press release, detailing the success, reads:

Three companies who run ads during Glenn Beck — NexisLexis-owned Lawyers.com, Procter & Gamble and Progressive Insurance — today distanced themselves from Beck. LexisNexis has pulled its advertising from Beck and says it has no plans to advertise on the program in the future. Both Procter & Gamble and Progressive Insurance called the Beck advertising placements an error that they would correct.

The decision by the three companies comes as over 45,000 ColorOfChange.org members call on advertisers to pull their ads from Glenn Beck after the controversial news host called President Obama a “racist” who “has a deep-seated hatred for white people” on “Fox & Friends” last week.

It’s great that they’re able to rally people together around a cause and get the results they were looking for, definitely. However, if we pulled advertising from a program every time we heard something offensive or something we didn’t agree with, no one would be able to hold steady sponsorship. No one agrees with anyone all of the time. That variety of opinion and diversity of views are part of what makes America great!

d1tJES
President Barack Obama

So I’m left wondering… why are we so shocked and, for some, offended at the situation? Is it because there is a man calling the President a racist? Or does it have to do with the races of the 2 men involved? How would it have played out if Glenn Beck was a black man? Does it make a difference that Obama, while associating more with his black heritage, is mixed instead of being white?

I think the answer is “all of the above.”

Anytime someone brings a criticism against the President it’s met with great resistance, but being that we’re in “post-racial” America, using a word such as strong as “racist” would definitely rub folks the wrong way. And that’s understandable, but we will only get past race once we no longer see it & use it as a reason, excuse or barrier. For now, race is still very much an issue in the majority of things we do.

Think back to 2005, and similar situation played out when artist, Kanye West, declared, that then President, George Bush “doesn’t care about black people.” Whether Bush did or didn’t care about black people is irrelevant, as it is concerning whether President Obama is racist. Kanye simply voiced his opinion that he believed the President to not care about African Americans due to his response in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and received far less backlash. Although he didn’t use the word “racist” as Beck did, he implied something eerily similar.

Why do we, seemingly, find it more acceptable for a black to call out a white as racist? Why the outrage when a white calls a black a racist? Is it perhaps, because, we believe the only thing most whites know about race is what they see on movies or television, which we know to be such an accurate depiction? That may have some merit. But is there a deeper reason? Could it be that most still hold the opinion which says that blacks could never be racist?

I think if a black man in the same position as Glenn Beck had made the same comment, there wouldn’t have been the same backlash. Why? Perhaps because it’s always different when a person from one race calls someone of another race, a racist. There’s no need for justifiable evidence or proof. It’s almost as if the accusation in and of itself is all the jury you need to convict them. Or maybe we’d just overlook it because, if they’re both the same color, well, they should know their mindset behind their words, right?

Or would we have had the same responses had both men been white? No. It’s much harder for a white to spot another white who holds prejudices, partly because most hold the same biases without even knowing it. Or maybe they do know it, but overlook it since “everyone else is doing it” and most are getting ‘away’ with it.

But what white, or black, for that matter, would label someone of their own race as a racist without fear of being called a “race traitor” themselves? Most would consider it, but think it not worth the issues to stand up for a people not their own color.

At the end of the day, I don’t know that any answer really makes a difference. We’ll all wake up tomorrow and more people will say more offensive things and we’ll all still be shocked that prejudice exists because, how could it, we have a black President. Surely, in 2009 we don’t still have bigots and idiots who still hold bias and prejudice! I got news for you, we do.

Welcome to America. Land of (the) free (speech, unless you offend someone) and home of the brave (except when others disagree with you).

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7 Comments so far
Leave a comment

wow -we cannot ignore the fact that Obama is both black AND white (by DNA) or neither black NOR white – but will forever be criticized by both for being “too _____” or “not______enough.” This is the ugly truth of a fallen world. When you can slather on self tanner and make yourself another skin color, or bleach yourself (a la MJ) into another skin color it would seem that we would finally figure out that it isn’t about the melanin. But maybe in another generation we can lay this stuff down. I can only pray this for my grandson.

Comment by anita

Well, Stu you have a valid point. I think that we all should have freedom of speech of course and that as a country that once relied on slavery and racism to survive we will never get rid of the “white elephant” in the room. As far as Glenn Beck goes…I think he should show some respect as far as Obama’s title goes…he has never been a supporter and no one is losing sleep because he isn’t, but gee whiz give Obama some credit. I feel that if he was a black man…we wouldn’t even hear about it. See this is how I think the rationale is…Since White people have treated blacks so bad in the past and in some cases currently…blacks are “entitled” to be racist or should I say have a a reason to be racist so it’s no “big deal”, but when a white person comes out of their mouth as being racist..it rehashes bad memories of times when Jim Crow was still around and all the beatings, lynchings, etc… How dare they still carry this hatred?? I’m just saying this is what I think the rationale is…I personally don’t feel this way, but I can understand why people want to pull away from Glenn Beck…he’s not being part of the solution…same thing with that Imus dude…It’s bad for business. I remember when people were saying Tommy Hilfiger is a racist…stop wearing his clothes..It’s just one of the ways we as Americans put a band aid on one person’s ignorant thoughts…hit em where it hurts…the pocket…Great Blog Stu.

Comment by Nicole Queen

I think the biggest deal with him calling Obama a racist is that it’s outlandish. Obama is not only half-white (by calling him a racist you’re assuming he hates his mother & half of his family, which is ridiculous) but has made a concerted effort NOT to talk about race (until forced into it during the campaign) and emphasize that he’s not a president for any race, but for all Americans. He often champions causes for poor and underprivileged, if those happen to be disproportionately black, the problem lies not with the president, but with why that is so in the first place. If a black person had said it, I would be just as irritated. Just because we’re both black doesn’t mean it’s time for you to come out of your face talking about things you know nothing about to an audience you know is filled with people looking for justifications for their feelings about the changes in this country.

As for Beck, yes that falls under freedom of speech, but freedom of the press? As a journalist I’d rather he wasn’t categorized as one. Just because he works for a news organization does not make him a journalist. A true journalist imparts FACTS without the insertion of OPINION or with not only clearly showing that he is stating his opinion but also careful thought about sharing it. Freedom of the press was created to keep the government from censoring information the public has a right to know i.e. Watergate and Whitewater (we should know if/when our government officials are breaking the law despite the fact they would not want you to know that in order to keep their jobs). So free speech? Yes. Free press? No.

Comment by jameil

You make very valid points, but in my opinion, a black person calling a white person a racist is very different from the opposite. It’s a double standard, maybe, but given the nation’s history with race relations and the deep-seeded issues among whites and minorities make for different standards when it comes to what people say.

Comment by mizChartreuse

obama is only 6% black. he is 44% arba, 50% white. He is 100% muslim.

I cannot believe someone as intelligent as you has such limited knowledge fo the data out there, as well as limited listening to what obama says about himself.

Comment by luke

Do you have information to back up your stats? If I can’t trust a man to tell me his heritage, who should I trust?

Comment by CreativeStu

is luke^ serious?? lol….god help the hopelessly dumb

moving along….it’s sunday and i am in no mood to type up a thesis about why kanye cut some slack.

but, long story short, there was less outrage shown towards kanye because there was compelling evidence that could be used to back it up….glenn’s comment was completely and glaringly ridiculous…hence the outrage

if you were as enlightened as you proclaim to be, this post wouldn’t have ever been made.

Comment by WOW




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