August 28th, 2010
02:06 PM ET

Sharpton-led rally recalls King's "Dream" speech

The Rev. Al Sharpton indicated at a Washington rally Saturday that conservative forces will face a fight in the upcoming elections.

"We're coming out to fight and we're not going to let you turn back the clock," he said.

Sharpton was the organizer of a rally to commemorate the 47th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech.

Across town at the Lincoln Memorial, where King delivered that seminal address, conservative talk show host Glenn Beck was hosting a rally called "Restoring Honor."

The speakers at Sharpton's "Reclaim the Dream" rally included Robert Franklin, president of Morehouse College, King's alma mater.

"I am delighted to know that Mr. Glenn Beck and his colleagues discovered the 'I Have a Dream' speech," Franklin said. But, he added, Beck needs to travel to Morehouse to learn what King studied, citing, for example, the works of religious thinkers who influenced the late civil rights leader.

A couple of speakers noted the passing of Dorothy Height earlier this year. Height, a civil rights pioneer, had been chair and president emeritus of the National Council of Negro Women and was on the podium with King during the 1963 speech.

NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous castigated the message of the Beck rally.

"For a year and a half, we've been subjected to small hearts and small minds on our small screens," he said, referring to conservative ideas on television.

"It's time to make sure our country - when they turn on the TV - sees itself reflected back."

Marc Morial, head of the National Urban League, said, "We will not stand silent as some seek to hijack, as some seek to distort and contort, as some seek to bamboozle and confuse the vision of Dr. King's dream."

Education Secretary Arne Duncan told the "Reclaim the Dream" rally that education is "the civil rights issue of our generation." He urged people to stop being complacent and "step up" to demand excellence in schools.

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Filed under: Civil Rights • Politics • U.S.
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Jake

    No racists, no money. These groups are big business. Only perceived victims can collect big checks. To keep getting big check victims need to vote for people who will write them. It's a sin groups like Sharptons perpetuate an under class to feed their egos and wallets. They want to keep bad teachers for life, pay folks not to work, throw them change from the tax payers just to let them get by. I'm sure the folks of color (all colors) out there busting their butts making good money don't see themselves as victims. They see themselves as blessed. When was the last time you saw a welfare family at Disney? With these guys running there movement, you never will. It's more than a shame, it should be a crime.

    August 28, 2010 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
  2. marie

    Obama and the Dems are cooked!!!!!!!

    August 28, 2010 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
  3. dom youngross

    Yeah well between the two of them, Beck and Sharpton, doesn't seem that we are a single step closer to ending the perpetual-debt/perpetual-warfare cycle, the latest incarnation of which is President Obama's 2010 (and still counting) Afghanistan War of Presidential Candidate Obama's 2008 campaign necessity. Yes, MLK had a dream, and eloquently expressed it. But you can dream on about that July 2011 drawdown date. Karzai's term runs out in 2014.

    August 29, 2010 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  4. chillipepper

    Too bad i didn't see more balcks at Becks rally. I'm sure they're out there. Maybe they're scared of Liberals and thug racists in their neighborhood burning their house down. I hope it's not a large anti white mentality with blacks still. All colors were welcomed and the healing could of started. Some blacks get it but too many are still led by dividers like Sharpton,Jackson,Farrakhan,Rev.Wright, Even Obama is doing a poor job on race relations.Could be political. Blacks are like 90% Democrat. I hope it was that.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:56 am | Report abuse |
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    April 9, 2012 at 3:38 am | Report abuse |
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