“They may have the mall, but we have the message. They may have the platform, but we have the dream. They want to disgrace this day and we not givin’ them this day. This is our day and we ain’t givin’ it away.”—Rev. Al Sharpton, August 28, 2010
I wanted to take a few days for the momentous occasion on Saturday to sink in. Glenn Beck called the faithful to “Restore Honor” on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. It was a non-political event and it focused on the military and how change has to come from within. Beck hit the themes of faith, hope and charity and hammered for a change from within. He maintains it’s a heart thing and he’s right.
This event was held on the 47th Anniversary of the March on Washington with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. King was an agent of change, too. While he needed the government to enforce their principles and the laws on the books for equality, King believed in the goodness of the American people. He believed they would know segregation was wrong and eventually would stand up against it.
It has been reported when President John F. Kennedy watched the speech on television, he became transformed. Kennedy had been lukewarm on civil rights up until that time due to national security and economic issues of the day. He was looking toward reelection and not worrying about “the Negro problem.”
It’s ironic that when President Barack Obama was asked about the rally the next day by Brian Williams of NBC, he seemed to know little about it and didn’t seem to care. The engagement of President Kennedy as compared to the detachment of President Obama when faced with similar challenges is striking.
We have gotten the government we deserve because we have been living on the edge and we are tired of it. August 28 was the beginning of a restoration of the middle class with buses, trains and automobiles heading to the National Mall.
I spent a couple of days leading up to the rally, talking to people heading that way. They were regular folks, faithful folks, and the backbone of America. They paid their own way to do something good and just like the Support the Troops rallies of the last few years and the 9/12 March last year, it was a kind group that picked up after themselves. These weren’t protestors, these were participants.
Charles Krauthammer pointed out that the Tea Party was about issues and Beck’s rally was about the heart. Beck hammered home the power of the individual and the ability for one person to make a difference. He said he was not the agent of change; the individuals in the crowd were the agents of change.
Al Sharpton and the race baiters on the left didn’t like that one bit. In an interview with Bill O’Reilly on Monday, Sharpton was asked if he’d do a rally with Beck next year on the anniversary of Dr. King’s speech. Sharpton answered with some kind of comment about a theocracy and challenged Beck to apply his message.
Those in the civil rights business hate that the message that has lived on from that speech is, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” What they wanted and still want is a big government that forces equality by punishing the majority to compensate the minority. I would say to them want the President said in the Oval Office on Tuesday, “It’s time to turn the page.”
It is time to turn the page on America. Stop looking back. It doesn’t mean don’t learn the lessons, it means don’t dwell on them. Beck talked about changing the heart through God and then moving on. He’s right.
The black family is not stronger since the government has gotten involved. Heck, white and Latino families aren’t doing too well either. Change cannot come from government to the people. Change can only come from God through the people. Our founders believed it and they lived it.
Mr. Beck said in an interview with Chris Wallace that nothing will have been accomplished if Saturday was just a rally. Dr. King probably felt the same way about his March on Washington in 1963. Sharpton is just looking for the next publicity stunt. Maybe he’ll have a change of heart next year.