Thursday, July 30, 2009


Media Matters has a recap of this week's racist outbursts from Glenn Beck, and it's quite a list. Obama has a "deep-seated hatred for white people." Obama "has real issues with race." Obama engages in racial "intimidation, vilification, bullying." There are multiple comments about "reparations." And on and on.

But I'd add this bit from yesterday's Beck TV show to the list, even though everyone in the clip is white. See, it's about that scary black organization ACORN -- or, rather, about the former chief organizer of ACORN, a white guy named Wade Rathke, who is allegedly (as this American Spectator blog post puts it) "plotting America's downfall(!!!!!):

You see, Rathke used to be at ACORN ... but he's still a union organizer at SEIU ... and SEIU is affiliated with HCAN ... (or ACORN is affiliated with ACORN, I forget which) ... which links to the Obama-linked Organizing for America ... which all links to the Obama health plan ... which means Negroes are taking over health care!!!!

Beck brings all this out in a discussion with an anti-ACORN blogger named Kyle Olson, who recounts an ambush interview he conducted with Wade Rathke at a book signing. This segues into a discussion of Rathke's desire to help all the eligible people in America get all the social-service benefits they're entitled to, an idea that horrifies Beck. We're told (and now I'm going to link you to a David Horowitz site for background) that this is an idea that goes back to certain 1960s social-science writings: if the poor do this, it will be revolutionary. And America will be destroyed. (Or something like that.)

Now, here's the thing: This idea emerged more than forty years ago. If believers in this notion didn't manage to stick it to The Man with a welfare "army" in the '60s and '70s, they bloody well aren't going to stick it to The Man now. Not at the behest of an aging organizer (who, as it tuerns out, doesn't even seem to be talking about sticking it to The Man, just getting people benefits they're entitled do).

But that's not how Beck and his interviewee see it:

WADE RATHKE (on tape): Everything else we do with computers. Why can't we automatically enroll people that are eligible?

GLENN BECK: OK, so what is this?

KYLE OLSON: Well, he's talking about overthrowing the system, basically -- overwhelming the system. And in [his] book, in his new book,
Citizen Wealth, he talks about calling for troops in the 21st century war on poverty.

BECK: Wait a minute -- what does he mean by "troops"? Is this kind of the idea that we talked about the other day, that Obama is talking about? Does he mention Americorps in there?

OLSON: He mentions Americorps, he mentions church groups, he mentions community groups -- which I'm guessing is ACORN.

BECK: So church groups --
(sarcastically) I'm guessing it's just like your grandma's church. Or Jeremiah Wright's church. I'm not sure which one he would be talking about would be an army. Does he refer to it as an army, or troops, in the book?

OLSON: He refers to troops and soldiers.


This is what Beck's telling people -- all because an ex-ACORN guy with old-school lefty ideas can be linked to health reform by playing Six Degrees. This is what Beck's scaring the rubes with. And it's racist even if race isn't mentioned once.


(If you want Wade Rathke's side of this, here's the Amazon page for his book and here's his own blog post about the Kyle Olson interview and the Beck segment.)

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