Paul R. Lehman, Beck’s actions show bigotry

June 5, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Posted in American Bigotry, Race in America | 4 Comments

Glenn Beck’s bigotry shows ignorance and stupidity. According to an old saying, “it is better to be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.” This saying is appropriate for the conservative talk show host Glenn Beck. Beck recently used a segment of his radio show to make fun of President Barack Obama’s 11-year-old daughter, Malia. He poked fun at her by affecting a young person’s flimsy voice and trying to imitate her in a dialogue with his radio co-host, Pat Gray. Both men displayed a total lack of character and decency by their actions. Beck, however, was the instigator of the rue and so deserves the focus of attention. By his actions, Beck showed his ignorance, stupidity, and bigotry.

            President Obama made the statement during a press conference that his daughter, Malia, greeted him with the question, “Did you plug the hole yet, Daddy?” In an effort to try and denigrate this young lady, Beck missed the opportunity to show that this 11-year-old was very astute. She recognized the responsibility her father, the President, had regarding this national concern by asking the question. She also showed concern for the people living on the gulf coast by asking the question. Finally, she showed concern for the environment by asking the question. Had Beck been of a mind to address the issue with class, he would not have tried to make fun of a serious situation. However, he does not stop here.

            Pat Gray, in an effort to imitate the President, responded to Beck with “Honey, not yet…Not time yet, honey. Hasn’t done enough damage.”The implication is that the President is deliberately waiting for more damage to occur before taking corrective measures. Why would Beck and Gray want to cast aspersions against the office of the President and indeed, the President himself regarding such a critical situation? Also, what kind of person would give such a negative answer to an 11-year-old girl? They evidently have little or no regard for either the office of the Presidency or the President or an 11-year-old girl, for that matter.  Do they not know that in the oath of office for the presidency, the first duty of the President is to protect and defend the country? Since that is the oath he swore to up-hold, why would he want to do harm to the country via the oil spill on the gulf coast? In this regard, the action and language of both Beck and Gray reflect ignorance and stupidity.

            The game continues for Beck as he again mimics Malia asking the question of her father concerning the oil spill. Beck then makes a comment regarding “the level of their education.” The statement is incoherent except that Beck is trying to impugn the intellect of the President and his daughter. Ironically, his language and questioning a level of education seems to backfire on him. As stated earlier, the question from an 11-year-old girl shows more character and concern then the imbecilic action of two grown men with a national radio show. One wonders about their level of education.

            Beck and Gray finally enter into an area that clearly shows their ignorance, stupidity, and bigotry—ethnicity. Beck once again talks in his idea of Malia’s voice and ask “why do you hate black people so much?” The idea of this child asking such an absurd question is clearly unthinkable. The suggestions from the question is that the President has done or said something in the presence of his 11-year-old daughter that would lead her to believe her father hates some one. What would motivate Beck to place such a question in the voice of this child? Our first answer might be stupidity. However, when we hear the response of Gray, we know the answer is bigotry.

 Gray playing the role of President Obama, responses to the hate question saying “I’m part white, honey.” That response shows the depth of ignorance, stupidity and bigotry expressed by Beck and Gray. The terms black and white are no longer correct or accurate. Neither term defines or depicts a person’s ethnicity or culture. We now live in the 21st Century and must make the necessary adjustments in an effort to educate ourselves. When we make those adjustments, we raise our level on consciousness to accommodate a more realistic perception of ourselves and others. Their use of the words black and white reflects a mindset that is held hostage in a world that places a value on people of various skin complexions with white being supreme. Beck and Gray see themselves as superior because they identify themselves as white (European American), they feel comfortable and at ease ridiculing people they view as inferior to themselves. They apparently still believe in races—black, white, red, brown etc… None equal to their white race. Hence, we see the bigotry.

Beck issued an apology the next day because of complaints he received. However, being true to his biased perspective, his apology was not made to the President or Malia. His comment simply said that he was sorry only for breaking his own rule about not bringing children into politics. In other words, he feels that had no one complained, or he not gotten caught, all would be well. When a person has no standards or values, he or she has nothing to stand on or for that matter is worthy of respect.  People with biases and hatred against others can never rest or feel at peace for fear that they might miss an opportunity to express their negative feelings. Fear comes from ignorance. Ignorance and be corrected by acquiring information. Stupidity and bigotry like water will exploit the point of least resistance. Silence is often used by the wise to hide short comings, but a loud voice will expose a fool every time. As the saying goes, “I word to the wise is sufficient.”



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  1. This is a pretty good deconstruction of what happened. Shame on Beck.

  2. Glenn Beck’s actions does indeed show bigotry, but more importantly it reveals his ‘critical care’ level of insecurity. Unlike Malia, Glenn’s early childhood disfunctional family experiences failed to foster a sense of self-worth, dignity and a healthy self-concept. To mention a few, his father divorced his alcoholic mother and she committed suicide by his thirteenth birthday; he was educated by Catholics and is currently a Mormon. These early experiences form our attitudes and values and influence how we feel about everything. It affects the way we act, respond, behave and the choices that we make. As a young adult, he never received a college degree, became an alcoholic, drug abuser and was later diagnoised with ADHD. The better you feel about yourself, the better able you are to respect, reach out, and relate to others. Glenn can’t give what he doesn’t have. After many failures, Glenn embraced the ‘no-brainer’ radio talk show route. He learned that harsh dehumanizing comments on the affects of the economy on others; members of America’s micro-cultures; and oppressed groups, in general, allowed him to find his voice and to attain power and wealth. He gave voice to the ‘walking dysfunctional-family wounded, and banked great wealth on his subliminal message of ‘white entitlement.’ Glenn’s wounded-child, lack of formal higher education, confusion of faith, capitalistic greed and need for human validation will continue to drive him beyond boundaries of acceptable commentary. Again, thank you for isolating one of his many shortcomings, bigotry. Clearly, a word to the wise to Glenn is misguided.

  3. Beck and Palin make quite a pair.

  4. I am totally not surprised by Beck’s comments. I am also not amazed by the ratings and money he and his competition (Limbaugh and Hannity) receive. They are part of the shock entertainment industry that caters to an angry, bitter, and fearful fan base that would rather embrace the idea that Obama is the antichrist and the apocalypse looms than acknowledge and accept the fact America made an African American the most powerful person in the world.

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