Dr. Martin Luther King, Glenn Beck and Workers Rights

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This week I was flipping through the channels and saw Glenn Beck mention “collective bargaining” and I thought, hmm I wonder what whacky thing he is going to say now. To my shock and horror he took a quote from AFL-CIO chief Richard Trumka and twisted it around to besmirch the legacy of Dr. King.

On his show, Mr. Beck discusses a quote from a speech that Mr. Trumka recently gave regarding an upcoming “day of solidarity.” Mr. Beck reads a portion of a transcript of the speech where Trumka asks that April 4th, 2011 be “a day to stand in solidarity with working people of Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, and a dozen other states, where well-funded right-wing corporate politicians are trying to take away the rights that Dr. King gave his life for.” At this point, Glenn Beck stopped, saying:

“Wait, wait, hold it, just a second. Dr. King lost his life for collective bargaining for the public unions, really?”

Mr. Beck is, once again, trying to reinterpret history by using logical fallacies to distract from what Mr. Trumka really said. I challenge anyone in today’s media to twist facts and statements as well as Mr. Beck does.

Dr. Martin Luther King did give his life for Civil Rights, and the right to assemble and to protest are part of that. If our government fails to “Be true to what you said on paper”, as Dr. King said in his “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech, which is exactly what Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and other States are doing, then they are violating our Civil Rights. And that is exactly what Dr. King believed in and died for.
Further more on the night before his death Dr. King asked the question, to the crowd at the Mason Temple, “If I do not stop to help the sanitation workers, what will happen to them?” Obviously, Mr. Beck has no clue what it means to stand up for the oppressed and to have principles that you are willing to die for as Dr. King did.

In his “Mountaintop” speech, Dr. King, said “Something is happening in our world. The masses of people are rising up. And wherever they are assembled today, whether they are in Johannesburg, South Africa; Nairobi, Kenya; Accra, Ghana; New York City; Atlanta, Georgia; Jackson, Mississippi; or Memphis, Tennessee” These words were true then and are still true today and I suggest that Mr. Beck go back to school and study his history to see what happens next when the people finally rise up.

Dr. King’s Speech

Sources:

I’ve Been to the Mountaintop Speech

AFSCME Video on Dr. King and Unions.

Glenn Beck Rant from Crooksandliars.com

About fiercebuddhist

Welcome. I am happy that our paths have crossed. Here you will find various poems, articles and photography. I hope that you enjoy them and visit often. I am currently working on writing “A Haiku A Day” so that I can, perhaps, have enough good ones for publication. If you are wondering what a “Fierce Buddhist” the following declaration should clarify. The “Fierce” in FierceBuddhist I define as “an obligation to do what I can to benefit all sentient beings, not just those close to me or those I agree with. If I see something or someone that is hurting others I must step forward and do what I can to assist them.” In the Army and in the dojo I learned how to defend myself, family and country but that does not mean I endorse the use of force. Two nonviolent examples of Fierce Buddhists that come to mind are Thich Nhat Hanh and the Dalai Lama. While I do not claim be even close to them I can strive and so can you. Furthermore, my Buddhist name, given to me by Sensei Kubose, is Seiyo. His interpretation of my communication and interaction with him led him to this name. He told me Seiyo means “Fierce Sun.” The sun shines on everyone without prejudices without giving preferential treatment to anyone. This is tough to live up to, as you can imagine, but it sure sets the tone for my life. In Buddhism this is called a Fierce Bodhisattva. I am only on the path to Enlightenment and can only say to be a Fierce Buddhist.

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