Help Reclaim Dr. King's Dream!

On August 28, conservative radio/television host Glenn Beck, 2012
Republican presidential candidate Sarah Palin, the National Rifle
Association, and the Special Operations Warrior Foundation will conduct
the "Restoring Honor" rally
at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. The date and location are
significant. It was on August 28, 1963, on the steps of the memorial
that Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous "I Have a Dream"
speech during the March on Washington. Beck has billed the rally as a "non-political event" that will pay tribute to America's service personnel and "help us restore the values that founded this great nation."

Although unaware of the date's significance at first, Beck has since claimed its selection as "divine providence."
He has further justified the planning of his event by saying, "Whites
don't own Abraham Lincoln. Blacks don't own Martin Luther King ... Too
many have forgotten Abraham Lincoln's ideas and far too many have either
gotten just lazy or they have purposely distorted Martin Luther King's

Beck, of course, is the same man who told listeners on his March 2 radio show,
"I beg you, look for the words 'social justice' or 'economic justice'
on your church website. If you find it, run as fast as you can. 'Social
justice' and 'economic justice,' they are code words. Now, am I advising
people to leave their church? Yes!"

The March on Washington and King's life work, of course, were
dedicated to the pursuit of social and economic justice. In his famous
"I Have a Dream" speech, King stated that marchers had come to
Washington "to dramatize a shameful condition. In a sense, we've come to
our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our
republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the
Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to
which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all
men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the
unalienable rights of 'Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness' ... So
we've come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the
riches of freedom and the security of justice."

Social activists and civil rights leaders, concerned that the
"Restoring Honor" rally will co-opt the historical significance of the
March on Washington to advance a political message that is directly at
odds with the vision of King, have planned their own event on the same
day. The National Action Network, the National Urban League, the Center
for Nonviolent Social Change, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights,
United for Peace and Justice, and others are sponsoring the "Reclaim the Dream" rally and march.
The rally will take place on August 28 at Dunbar High School (1301 New
Jersey Avenue NW-Mount Vernon Square/7th Street/Convention Center Metro
Stop on Green/Yellow Line) in the District of Columbia from 11:00 AM -
1:00 PM. At 1:00 PM, participants will march from Dunbar High School to the site of the King Memorial on the National Mall. All Americans are welcome and encouraged to participate in these events.

Rev. Al Sharpton of the National Action Network insists that the "Reclaim the Dream" event "is not a countermarch to Beck" and that he has every right to carry out his event. National Urban League president Marc Morial agreed,
saying, "It is very important to convey a positive message that America
belongs to everyone. Our rally is not an 'us against them.' We want no
confrontation with Glenn Beck. But we want a confrontation with the
ideas he espouses. His ideas seem to be ideas of intolerance."

Participants are viewing the "Reclaim the Dream" rally and march as a
warm-up to an October 2 event being planned by the NAACP and 200 other
organizations. The "One Nation" march will take place in the nation's capital and seek to "pull America back together and put America back to work." According to NAACP President Benjamin Jealous, the event will "reflect Dr. King's true legacy and his determination to eliminate poverty, racism and hatred in all forms."

Just months before he was shot and assassinated in April 1968, King
launched the "Poor People's Campaign," saying, "What we now [need is] a
new kind of Selma or Birmingham to dramatize the economic plight of the
Negro, and compel the government to act." The campaign focused on jobs,
income and housing and called for an "economic bill of rights" from the
U.S. Congress-a request that was never answered. Decades later, King's
dream that "one day this nation will rise up and live out the true
meaning of its creed-'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all
men are created equal'" continues to inspire Americans nationwide. If
you seek peace, if you believe in nonviolence, if you embrace the goal
of social justice, please come out and join us on August 28 as we rally
and march to Reclaim the Dream of one of America's greatest leaders and proponents of full democracy.

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