For Release: August 27, 2010
Contact: Judy Kent at (703) 759-7476 or [email protected]
Black Conservatives Compare 1963 King March to 2010 Beck Event
Goals of Events Similar
Washington, DC –Black conservatives from the Project 21 leadership network do not see much of a difference in the goals of the August 28 "Restoring Honor" rally talk show host Glenn Beck is organizing at the Lincoln Memorial and the 1963 March on Washington that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. held there 47 years earlier.
Project 21 members contend that the stated purpose of the Beck event is along the same lines as the values of the 1963 rally and the alleged goals of Beck's critics.
According to Beck's wesite, the rally seeks to "celebrate America by honoring our heroes, our heritage and our future." Political activism is being discouraged at the event. Beck, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, Dr. Alveda King (niece of Dr. King and a member of Project 21) and decorated Navy veteran Marcus Luttrell are listed among the scheduled speakers.
Because Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally takes place at the Lincoln Memorial on the 47th anniversary of the March on Washington, members of the establishment civil rights lobby are sharply critical. National Urban League president Marc Morial, for instance, calls the Beck event "insulting" and "deliberately trying to poke a stick in our eye." Al Sharpton says Beck is trying to "hijack Dr. King's dream."
Project 21 member Coby Dillard said: "The dream of Dr. King -- that every person be judged by their character rather than their color -- is one of the tenets that makes our nation honorable in the minds of people around the world. Dr. King's legacy is a gift to us all, and no one person or organization holds claim to his work and his message. I can think of no better way to honor him by renewing our shared commitment to uphold those principles that have held our country together throughout history."
Dillard, who is planning to attend the Beck event, added: "As black conservatives, we will continue to work to restore honor not just across our nation but in our communities as well. We will not 'drink from the cup of bitterness and hatred' that those who seek to denigrate our efforts share. We will continue to stand with those across this country who realize, as Dr. King said, that our destinies and freedom are eternally bound together."
Project 21 member Bishop Council Nedd II said: "Glenn Beck is organizing a nonpartisan event to highlight that 'our freedom is possible only if we remain virtuous.' Can't we agree that virtue is something we need more of in America these days? Can't we agree that any threat to our freedom is a clear and present danger to all of our civil rights? People such as Al Sharpton and Marc Morial would be wise to embrace these ideals, but their intolerance toward the messenger is creating the perception that they are against them."
Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives since 1992, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research (http://www.nationalcenter.org).