On 8.28.2010, Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally was held on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. The purpose of the rally, which Beck claimed to be “non-political” despite featuring Tea Party-favorite Sarah Palin as a speaker and its being attended entirely by conservatives, was unclear. The participants spoke abstractly about the need to restore “honor” and “pride” to a country that had lost it. When pressed for when our country had lost its honor, most cited the election of Barack Obama.
8.28.2010 also represented the 47th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech, and Glenn Beck has been criticized for by civil rights groups for trying to misappropriate the occasion.
Last year, Beck referred to Barack Obama—our country’s first African-American President—as a “racist… who has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture.” When offered the chance to respond to Beck’s statements, his fans either agreed with him or simply refused to believe that he had ever made them.
While the speaker list was diverse, the overwhelmingly white crowd expressed paranoid and conspiratorial fears of multiculturalism—that atheists or black liberation theologists or radical Muslims or “free-loading” Latinos were going to ruin our country. There was the constant suggestion that white Christians and their way of life are somehow under assault, and that the attendees of this rally were here to put an end to it and return the country to what it used to be.
This NEW LEFT MEDIA film was produced and edited by Chase Whiteside (interviewer) and Erick Stoll (camera operator) with additional camera work from Kasey Hosp.