Glenn Beck is getting it from all sides as the countdown to his “Restoring Honor” rally is now at 19 hours and 59 minutes (it says so on his website). This morning, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski had some fun at Beck’s expense ahead of tomorrow’s Lincoln Memorial event:
Other stories to check out ahead of tomorrow’s rally:
• Christian Science Montior: Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., explains why she’s speaking at the rally
• Mediaite: Glenn Beck Says He Wants No Political Signs At His ‘Restoring Honor’ Rally
• More: The Rev. Al Sharpton talks with CNN’s John King about Beck’s rally. “He’s an American that has every right to be on those steps. I just don’t think he has it right to say that he’s reclaiming the civil rights movement.” More after the jump…
JOHN KING, HOST, “JOHN KING USA”: Let me just ask you, first and foremost, what do you think of this event?
You have called Glenn Beck a divider.
Do you think he’s trying to tarnish the legacy of Dr. King by doing this or is he an American who has every right be on those steps?
REV. AL SHARPTON, NATIONAL ACTION MOVEMENT: Oh, he’s an American that has every right to be on those steps. I just don’t think he has it right to say that he’s reclaiming the civil rights movement. When he said that he had the date and the place, we didn’t challenge it, even though we were coming to town and we have done this for years. We didn’t challenge it. And there was — you will see nobody filed against it.
But then he starts saying I’m going to reclaim the civil rights movement, we’re going to bring it back, we started it in the first place, now that’s where I took issue. Because what Mr. Beck and Ms. Palin represent is the opposite of what civil rights is about.
I wasn’t here in 63. I was eight years old. But all of my teenage and adult life, I have been part of Dr. King’s — the aftermath of his movement. His wife introduced me on those steps to speak in 2000. His son and I worked together, his son will be speaking tomorrow. The civil rights movement of ’63 was to come to Washington to ask government to protect citizens, to intervene in our lives. He’s coming to tell government to get out of our lives. They’re a states’ rights movement. So you can’t have it both ways. Martin Luther King does not belong to blacks. He’s right about that.
But you can’t change the speech. This is not Martin Luther King’s birthday, this is his speech day. The speech very clearly says what Dr. King saw as his dream.
KING: So what do you think his motive is, then?
SHARPTON: I think if I knew his motive, I could get a PhD in psychology. I would know — I don’t know his motive. I know what his mouth is saying. His mouth is saying he’s reclaiming civil rights and is, to him, civil rights is states’ rights?
KING: He says he wants, also, to have a tribute to the troops. And he said this on his show: “I’m sorry, African-Americans don’t own Martin Luther King. It’s a human idea, just like white people don’t own George Washington or Abraham Lincoln. These are American icons and ideas and we are all Americans”…
SHARPTON: I couldn’t agree with him more. But this is not Martin Luther King’s birthday. This is the day of a speech. This is a civil rights march day. We’re not talking about Dr. King’s legacy. He and I and all Americans share that. We’re talking about what his speech said and you can’t distort that. And honoring the troops, we all honor the troops. The difference in the civil rights community is we honor them before they were troops and we honor them when they come home. That’s why our rally is starting at a school, because we want troops’ kids to get equal education. We want to troops to get health care. We love the troops and they don’t have to be in uniform for us to love them.
KING: And so when he has this crowd here, do you think they’re at odds with your movement?
Do you think that you’re not welcome?
There have been some who say, you know, the Tea Party people are racist. And you know most of the leaders of that movement have said no, way. No, we’re not. Maybe there are a few isolated people who have shown up and we repudiate them.
SHARPTON: I don’t call the Tea Party as a whole racist. I don’t call anybody racist. It is not about whether I would be welcome there. It’s about would they be welcome where we’ve been consistently for years, celebrating this day?
If anyone is having a counter march, it’s them. They’re trying to call themselves civil rightists — at least Beck is. I believe a lot of people in that crowd probably don’t even know what the original march was about. If they were younger than 47, how do they know that Beck is wrong?
They should read Dr. King’s speech.