Glenn Beck Empathizes With Black Lives Matter — Or Does He?
Glenn Beck, the ultraconservative pundit, spokesman and insightful framer of politcal discourse composed an article featured in the New York Times Opinion section this past Wednesday titled “Glenn Beck: Empathy for Black Lives Matter”
Sure Glenn, surely you can emphathize
After reading what appears to be a morally cultivated response to the Alt-Right’s own moral panic ensuing from the Black Lives Matter Movement, let’s just say that I am left unimpressed by the platitudes of Beck’s spoken conscience for the silent majority.
Glenn Beck is the more soft-spoken of the bunch that includes Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly, but trust me he is just as invective in the dominant framing of racialization in America. Mr. Beck starts off by identifying himself as a “classical liberal” — a.k.a. “constitutional conservative” and procedes to give high praise for the “founders’ creation of a system” we endure under in this great democracy called the United States. Unfortunately, and most notably, there are still a few kinks we need to work out in this country that we just seem to love to hate at times.
…I believe the greatness of our country lies in our founders’ creation of a system that allows and encourages all voices to be heard. The only way for our society to work is for each of us to respect the views of others, and even try to understand and empathize with one another. I have always tried to work toward this goal, even though I have often been guilty of conflating the individual with the whole.
Let me remind everyone that the “founders’ greatness” that Beck speaks so eloquently of occurred under the guise of this manifest destiny and colonization of North America by blatant land theft followed by the oft-inattention to and indifference of the genocidal war that took place against Native Americans. The founders proceeded to capitalize (early form of capitalism) on this land theft through the enslavement of Africans. They rationalized these atrocities of theft and dehumanization with the modernising of the Eurocentic framing of global colonialism into the framing of westernized societal development that we have today.
Sophists like Beck, that have been afforded a media platform serving as some variant of an elitist always seem to leave this important fact in American history out of the conversation of the founding of this nation. They neglect to acknowledge the signficance of the violent upheavals, exploitations, and persistent oppression that provided racialized white people with undue socioeconomic gains and benefits to this day.
Beck continues to frame his views that the only way to quell the emotionality of protests with its instigators, believers and political insiders is to “respect the views of others and even try to understand and empathize with one another”. This should fall on deaf ears but ignorance prevails and the implacability of white racialized groups of whom can only see the protests of and surrounding Black Lives Matter as a threat to what they deem as once great in its founding. They fail to realize nor do they contemplate how harmful are the effects of America’s remarkable racialized history along with its dominant framing that has left lasting inconsistencies with its own constitution and recurring yet widening inequality, all begotten from this manifest destiny.
This manifest destiny is the white framers claim to supremacy and burden.
Today there isn’t the overt racist and oppresive behaviors that occurred in the recent past, only because of the prevailing counter-force, which isn’t a balanced force but a force nonetheless, pushing constantly against it in the form of protesting movements that include the Civil Rights Movement, Anti-Segregation Movement, Equal Rights Movement, and LGBTQ Movement. Today’s more pesky counter-force just so happens to be the Black Lives Matter Movement.
The movements of the past come with great sacrifice which have helped put in place a set of laws that are now more or less inclusive and serve to protect civil rights which were not the intention of the founding fathers. Until Mr. Beck and the like can acknowledge that the all-white male founding fathers vitiated the consititution with disregard and stark contradiction in its applications to universal rights, then obviously we can’t try to respect, nor understand and empathize with one another.
American history is rife with the glorification and thus placating of racialized whites and their sustainablity of being the dominant group. I guess you have to research really hard to find all the unjust enrichment benefitting whites, while at the disadvantage of minorities and in particular so-called blacks. This, while under the dominant white frame and the impoverishment of others has maintained the racial heirarchy we still feel and see today. The large-scale federal assistance programs that majorly benefitted whites in the give away of millions of acres of land under the Homestead Act of 1862 and plenty more public support programs are rarely if ever discussed, however Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan and his ilk have consistently issued out the Republican mantra of disdain towards Big Government as a terrible concept. This willful ignorance and failure to acknowledge the contradiction of how these federally gratuitous public assistance programs have provided so much socioeconomic benefit and privilege that has been inherited from generation to generation is indicative of the dominant white framing of American history and culture.
This foundational framework and its ensuing social inertia as sociologist Joe Feagin has pointed out in his book on the “White Racial Frame: Centuries of Racial Framing And Counter-Framing” is conclusive. Feagin noted that “When our system of racism does finally change somewhat, a “law of social inertia” seems to operate that keeps the society more like it was in the past than like the “dramatically changed” society that many often celebrate.”
Mr. Beck inasmuch as you would like us all to think that your empathy is a legitmate analysis, the “shared” grievances of these movements, such the Tea Party and Make America Great movments with their alleged strong commonalities are rather weak. Mr Beck states that “In their own ways, they say: “I am not being heard,” “I don’t feel like I belong anymore,” “I have no control over my future.”
Another aspect of dominant white framing
This is what delusionally privileged fearful, divisive, racialized white people grieve about, and this is in stark contrast to the injustice, police brutality, and the socioeconomic and institutionalized policies of discrimination and inequality by way of oppression that the protests surrounding the Black Lives Matter Movement have factual grievances about.
This is the type of empathizing that Glenn Beck and his subscribers are unable to (in his own words) “necessarily agree with or understand”.