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. Troy

    These people seem stuck in the '60s and not moving forward. Race is not the factor in this country it once was, stop trying to bring it back.

    August 28, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ray

    You will notice there are no pictures that shows how small al's crowd was (almost as many on the stage as attending).

    August 28, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • tweetie

      Indeed Ray. No mention of 1/2 million who turned out to hear Dr. Alveda King, daughter of Rev. AD King and niece of Rev. Martin Luther King, at Beck's rally.

      August 28, 2010 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Kelley

    "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."


    August 28, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. jimmy jones

    Id African Americans believed in judging a man "not by the color of his
    skin but only the content of his soul " would they be at a rally for a con artist
    like Al Sharpton ????

    August 28, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. bobbcat

    I watched Beck's rally in its entirety on C-Span and saw no fighting words or negative rhetoric. It was all about honoring those who have fought & died for our freedoms and words of encouragement regarding sticking together & getting past the issues on which we disagree.

    August 28, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ray

      I was there and it was like a day in the park with a half a million of my good friend.
      didn't hear a cross word all day people went out of there way to help each other

      August 30, 2010 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  6. kaye

    you have to remember..sharpton,jackson,etc....make a living, large and in charge like a rock star, off of racism....sooo if it goes away, they are out of a gravy job! do you really think they want it to go away???

    August 28, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. peter Olson

    How could a republican be a christian , christ would never be a warmonger or cut aid from the poor – shame on them all. Little hearts little soul

    August 28, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • kaye

      lets teach em to fish...instead of doling out freebees and keeping em depressed and poor and dependent???.....get it???

      August 28, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brad in Mo

      Ah – the standard cry of the ignorant! Let me explain it in simple terms: if you are in a hole, a democrat will come to you and tell you that for money a rope will be lowered to pull you out; a republican will tell you if you can raise your hand you will find you can touch the rim and, if you can touch the rim, he'll help you get out with a little aid. Democrats need to keep you in the hole or they have nothing to offer. Republicans need you to try and then they will help you.

      August 28, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Meshuga Mikey

    with a President...who has been touted as America's First BLACK president ....Sharpton should be out of business BY NOW dont ya think?

    cant we all just MOVE ON......

    likely not

    August 28, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mike Murray

    King's niece spoke at Beck's rally. What does that tell you left wing hate mongers?

    August 28, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bertina

      That you are a right wing hate monger.

      August 30, 2010 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  10. Confused

    WHY didn't the REVRAND Sharpton JOIN in a rally to CELEBRATE Dr. Martin Luther King's dream,SUPPORT our troops, restore HONOR, and EXALT God? Shouldn't we ALL, regardless of color, politics, gender, or religion, SUPPORT these things? As an AMERICAN I honestly don't understand.

    August 28, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • kaye

      a very good question...follow the money....he's getting paid to do it....he's on the clock today making hate filled, it's ours not yours speeches, and yep he should have taken the chance to join in on the day .....but um nope!

      August 28, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Confused

    Should have spell checked...

    August 28, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Glen

    He is awfully skinny. Has he been smoking crack?

    August 28, 2010 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Nate Hill

    I can not believe we are still acting like little kids, Dr. King had a dream, Glenn Beck has a desire to be at a level of a Dr. King but trying to get there reversing the progress of civil rights, getting on the "good" side of the "TEA PARTY' (I have stopped drinking Tea) and some of the other political leaders. 365 days in a year and he decides on 28 Aug, at the same site as Dr. Kings speech. I was born at night but not last night, come on. I am a retired military officer and what Glenn Beck and Ms. Palin did / said today does nothing for me or the "GREAT" young men and women serving our country. You should have taken the money you sent today to support our troops with items they could use to provide a little comfort for them and their families..TO GOD be the glory, May GOD bless the United States , the President, Congress andour dedicated troops,serving all over the world.

    August 28, 2010 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • eric


      You kind of didn't bother to actually read did you? They have been sending money to aid the soldiers for months and years now, indeed that was part of the point of the rally, to get others to support the troops. Here's the link for the charity to support soldier's families that Beck has been supporting in case you would like to actually shake loose a little cash yourself:

      August 29, 2010 at 2:18 am | Report abuse |
  14. Robert

    Rev.AL, Mr. Beck and all those who seem to speck for God, read your bible. (Jeremiah 10: 23) No gorvernment nor civil rights leader nor rally nor President can heal the wounds of this planet. Only God himself well make things right. So sit back and watch your salvation (Proverbs 3:5-8)

    August 28, 2010 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Allison Brown

      I believe that you are correct that only God will 'make things right.'
      Yesterday, I was at the stairs of the Lincoln Memorial... For the last year or so I have caught Glenn Beck's program on Fox when I could.
      What I have heard is NOT that Glenn Beck proports to speak FOR God, but that he asks US to pray TO God... for our leaders and for our country.
      Will you join with me – and others – in asking God to do so?

      August 29, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Allison Brown

      One more thing...
      Romans 8:28 is a good scripture to remember along with the ones you quoted... And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose

      August 29, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  15. BkiByer

    Good old Al, good old Jesse, just gotta keep things riled up. Riots to follow.

    August 28, 2010 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
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