Glenn Beck Invokes MLK in Support of Racist Arizona Education Ban

Beck invokes MLK in support of AZ racism

On his radio show today Glenn Beck continued to urinate all over the meaning and legacy of Martin Luther King, by claiming that King would support a new Arizona education policy that bans courses that are designed for students of a particular ethnic group, and prohibits teachers with a heavy accent from teaching English. Beck said, “This I believe Martin Luther King would be for.”

Here is the audio courtesy of Media Matters:

Beck said, “There is a new racist bill in the state of Arizona. Racist, these people are so racist. Signed into law Tuesday by Gov. Jan Brewer, cheering critics who called such classes in Arizona, ethnic studies classes in the schools there, divisive, they called them divisive and again, the outcry from the Left is that they are targeting Latinos, targeting Latinos. This is HB2281. It bans schools from teaching classes that are designed for students of a particular ethnic group, promote resentment, or advocate ethnic solidarity over treating pupils and individuals.” This I believe Martin Luther King would be for. It’s the content of your character not the color of your skin.”

As Think Progress pointed out, this ban has a particular target in mind, “The measure is directed at the Tuscon Unified School District’s popular Mexican-American studies department, which school officials say provides only “historical information” — not “ethnic chauvanism” as the state school superintendent has alleged. One state lawmaker tried to show how ridiculous the legislation is by proposing that schools be barred from teaching about 9/11 because it would result in hatred toward Arab-Americans; the measure failed.”

The Wall Street Journal reported that going hand in hand with this ban is, bit of interesting news “The Arizona Department of Education recently began telling school districts that teachers whose spoken English it deems to be heavily accented or ungrammatical must be removed from classes for students still learning English. State education officials say the move is intended to ensure that students with limited English have teachers who speak the language flawlessly. But some school principals and administrators say the department is imposing arbitrary fluency standards that could undermine students by thinning the ranks of experienced educators.”

The point of this ban and subsequent teacher removal is not to combat racism, but to remove any Latino influence from the Arizona school system. In short, the state is trying to get its Latino students to act “more white.” This ban is intentionally written vaguely so that it not only could include ethnic studies classes, but also ESL (English Second Language) classes. In essence the ban could create a segregated education system, where Latino students don’t get any special help that they might need and either have to whiten up or fail.

To say that what is going on in Arizona is not racist is to ignore the race based motivations behind the changes in the rules and law. Beck continues to warp the legacy and words of Martin Luther King and other historical figures to conform to his ideology. I believe that MLK would oppose the discriminatory activity that is occurring in Arizona. I believe Dr. King had someone like Beck in mind when he said, “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

On the topic of education, King said, “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” There is also this poignant reminder from King that those on wish to discriminate against Hispanic people need to remember, “Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.” I would like to believe that MLK would find the behavior of the Arizona government appalling, and if he was with us today, he would be speaking out and leading the protest against such overt racism.

8 Replies to “Glenn Beck Invokes MLK in Support of Racist Arizona Education Ban”

  1. Beck couldn’t and wouldn’t understand the philosophy of MLK if it was standing in front of his face. We need more MLK voices to speak up. What the city of Los Angeles did today against the Arizona state immigration law is what will help this situation to become front and center. The racism in AZ has become downright blatant!

  2. I have an ugly feeling it right now from the grave, Martin Luther King is slapping the living daylights out of Glenn Beck. And the nice part of that is he will not feel it until he goes home and closes his eyes in bed. if he closes his eyes at night. it has to be a pretty ugly scene inside there.

    This isn’t something he cooked up on his own. There is someone dreaming all this stuff up and feeding Hannity, Beck, Rush and the rest of the idiots.

    I’m not going to comment on the Arizona law because I have an entirely different take on illegal immigration than I think most people do on this site

  3. @Shiva,

    Your insight and comments are always valued here, and they don’t have to agree with anyone else. We’d like this to be a place of intelligent debate, which means all view points (based in reality) are encouraged.

    I think those of us who have lived in one of the cities most affected by illegal immigration have seen things others haven’t, so the issue is more complex — and we have also seen the drain on the police force (and their unwillingness to deal with it).

    I think I touched on this in one of my posts about this subject. The balance between protecting the constitutional rights of citizens and protecting our borders is challenging.

    Here’s an example of something that happened to me: A drunk illegal immigrant hit my car and totaled it. He obviously didn’t have insurance because he didn’t have a license, and even though he turned himself into police, they not only could not issue him a ticket, but he didn’t have to pay for anything because the system was so back-logged they just told me I was stuck with a totaled car. My insurance wouldn’t pay for it because of some obscure rule, so I was out the car AND he was allowed to continue going on with his life with no repercussions.

    The point of this is that when you live around these problems, you see how they affect citizens and hence, the issue becomes more complex. My issue with the AZ law is that it is both impractical and seems unconstitutional. There is no reason to target legal citizens, and that’s where the outrage comes from. I don’t like any group being singled out for their exterior or minority status, and being stripped of their rights. There are better ways of dealing with this issue which don’t impact people’s rights and are MORE effective to boot.

    I always enjoy your comments and hope you feel comfortable to share. We can’t grow if we don’t listen to differing points of view.

  4. @Sarah Jones, TY Sarah.

    I as well have direct knowledge of an illegal drunk driving(from a neighbor) and getting away scott free from an accident where I know i wouldn’t get off.

    As for the Arz law, I think much of it is blown way out of proportion. The fact is it the cops job if he profiles, and he must prove his investigation was in line with criminal activity. Which to me, being an ardent anti illegal immigration advocate, seems to handcuff the police in the performance of their jobs in an area that has a bad illegal problem.

    However this would be profiling and I am against that to a degree. I say this kind of jokingly because on a recent flight to Sydney Au and back, At LAX I was in a line of people to go through customs. As one would expect, there was a considerable number of Indian and arabic people in line as well. A gentleman walked up to me and asked if I would come with him. I thought I was being arrested. he took me around a corner and out of sight to a customs agent, the guy checked my passport, smiled an waved me out the door. Everyone behind me had their bags opened and checked. I am sure that more people “like me” got taken out of line.

    First, according to the law the illegal is fined is he is found to be here illegally. If he is involved in a crime then he may or may not get what the crime punishment should be. The fact is, the guy gets off scott free except for a fine. He stays here to be one of the statistics that we as legal citizens pay for. A legal citizen simply goes home.

    In my view if you are in an area that has a large number of Illegals and they happen to be latino, then there will be times that a legal citizen will get checked in the investigation of a crime. However no ones rights get stripped.

  5. @Shiva,

    Yes, well in my case, they didn’t fine him, and they told me I couldn’t even sue him because he worked under the table. They knew where he worked, but they were too back-logged to deal with petty problems like working illegally (LA). Did I mention that he had stolen the car, and also totaled two other cars on my block as well as a city utility pole? The police didn’t care– they had bigger problems on their desks.

    The illegal immigration reform that was put forth several years ago placed the burden on employers to check for status and this seems like a more successful approach and one which does not violate citizens rights. Of course, anyone who’s lived in LA knows that social security cards are stolen and used illegally, which leads to a whole other set of problems if you happen to be the person whose identity was stolen.

    I think what you’re saying (correct me if I am wrong) is that some profiling makes sense. Of course, this is as accurate as it is unpalatable. My sense is that the danger in this is that once we accept this practice, we’ve kicked down the door to civil rights many have fought long and hard for — because not every cop will use the best judgment. It’s already hard enough for the police to maintain a sense of fairness when they see things every day which lead them to conclude that this or that type of person is often engaged in criminal activity. Frankly, I don’t know how they maintain the impartiality I’ve often seen them demonstrate but I have also been horrified by the abuses dished out by the police against minorities (e.g. I give you the Los Angeles Police Department).

    When we take a law like the AZ law into context with the civil rights movement, we can see how easily it can infringe upon rights which were hard-won and are still not, even today, equal. It’s a teeter-totter of an issue.

    We walk a fine line when we start accepting profiling. As frustrating as I find this problem, I find the inevitable results of a law like the AZ law even more unacceptable. Why do that when we have other reform that makes more sense?

    These are my thoughts today:-) I’m so glad you shared your view point. Legitimate debate is vital to democracy. And as an added bonus, I think you’ll find that more people here agree with you on this than you think. This is a progressive, liberal website in the true meaning of those terms. We value open minds and are not so married to ideology and partisanship that we can’t approach each issue separately. That isn’t to suggest that I am not disgusted with much of the modern day Republican Party; but they’ve earned that the hard way.

    One of my challenges is reading Conservative points of view (the intellectuals, of which there are fewer and fewer) so that I can understand both sides of an issue. Sometimes I find myself agreeing with them in theory and certainly sometimes, in their older incarnations, in practice.

  6. @Sarah Jones, Certainly there is a difference between cops that deal with gangs, illegals, nice people and crime in a place like LA and a place like where I live. And the levels of professionalism at times may scare you or impress you. it boggles my mind how people can deal with latino, white and black gangs in the large cities and still maintain their cool. Lets face it, the vast number of them do.

    I am as afraid of kicking the door down as much as the next person. Its the old whos next, left handers thing. Its something I cant argue against at all because that door is our very freedom.

    But I will throw this out just for thought. And it doesnt justify the Arz law, but it is soemthing to think about. You and I are giving illegals more rights than a common citizen. Simply because we have no rights of privacy except in our bedrooms. We are tracked by credit card firms, cell phone use, the discount card you use at Krogers or costco, your credit rating and just about anything else you can think of. Your name is in more databases than you can dream of. And we worry about it if an illegal alien has his “rights” broached? Or the occasional legal citizen?

    I still think we are making far too much of this. There is not going to be a night of the long knives, or cattle stampedes getting illegals into box cars. In fact I am sure it will be far more like your experience with the drunken driver.

    More like, I dont want to do the paperwork. And illegals will continue to come in, employers will still hire them and all this will be forgotten in short order. To me, this is partisan bs from both sides of our government.

  7. @Shiva,

    I can certainly agree that our privacy is violated constantly and I can understand why you are suggesting that we are giving illegals more rights than citizens — but I don’t think that the AZ law was a legitimate effort to solve the problem. It was red meat for the base, impractical and unworkable in reality.

    I’m so glad that you brought up the privacy issue– it is one of the issues I wrote to Obama about when he first took office. This issue is OUT of control.

    I will agree with you that NO ONE wants to touch the illegal immigration issue because it’s a hot potato. Too bad that bi-partisan bill wasn’t passed under the Bush administration – it wasn’t a great bill, but it was a good start, much like most bills.

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