Yesterday, “rodeo clown” Glenn Beck appeared on XM radio with African-American host Joe Madison. Beck seemed to be visiting the studio when Madison spotted him and asked him to come into the radio booth for an impromptu interview.
Immediately, Madison told Beck “I am so angry with you.” “Oh boy,” Beck responded, “Did I just walk into something I shouldn’t have walked into?” “Yes,” Madison said, pressing him on why he called Obama a racist:
MADISON: He’s not a racist?
BECK: What is he? […] I’ve talked about this at length, and so I’m going to rehash it all. I’ve already said stupid comment, off the top of head. And I said just the other day, an ignorant comment. Now that I really understand how he grew up, where he grew up, what his influences were — it’s more of a liberation theology, a kind of attitude he has. That I immediately interpreted — because I didn’t understand him. His attitude is more of, like Bill Ayers — that America is an oppressor. And I just disagree with that.
MADISON: You do not believe President Obama is a racist?
BECK: I’ve said this before.
MADISON: A mistake? Was that a mistake?
BECK: Absolutely it was. And I’ve said that before. I misunderstood — this I just said the other day — I misunderstood his philosophy and his theology, which is liberation theology.
MADISON: Which was King’s philosophy. Big time.
BECK: Didn’t know that. I’ll talk to Alveda today about it.
MADISON: Oh, talk to his father. You know who you should talk to? Talk to Walter Fauntroy. Rev. Walter Fauntroy, who grew up with King. That was his philosophy — it was the theological philosophy of social justice.
BECK: Right. I am not a fan of social justice.
MADISON: That’s where we really part. I’m a big fan of social justice.
On July 28, 2009, Beck called Obama a “racist” with a “deep-seated hatred of white people.” The following day, Beck stood by the remarks: “I think the president is a racist.” In an interview with Katie Couric in September 2009, he said he was “sorry” for the way he “phrased” the claim, but he said it was a still a “tough question” that needed answering. Again in June 2010, Beck accused Obama of being racist, claiming Obama had not yet spoken directly to BP CEO Tony Hayward because he’s a “white CEO.”
In his address on race in March 2008 in Philadelphia, Obama said, “I chose to run for the presidency at this moment in history because I believe deeply that we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together. … This belief comes from my unyielding faith in the decency and generosity of the American people. But it also comes from my own American story. … I will never forget that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible.”
The NAACP has launched a website to track today’s activities at the Glenn Beck rally. Check it out here.