More and more, right-wing talk show hosts are bringing race-based fear mongering into the mainstream, but FOX's Glenn Beck just took it to another level. On Tuesday, Beck said:
This president has exposed himself as a guy over and over and over again who has a deep-seated hatred for white people... this guy is, I believe, a racist.1
It's part of a larger argument Beck has been making:2 that President Obama is using the White House to serve the needs of Black communities at White people's expense. This kind of talk stirs up fear, hate, and it can lead to violence.3,4
Together we can stop Glenn Beck.5 Starting today we're calling Beck's advertisers, asking them if they want to be associated with this kind of racist hate and fear-mongering. When they see tens of thousands of people signing on behind that question, we believe they'll move their advertising dollars elsewhere, damaging the viability of his show and possibly putting him out of business.
All it requires is you, standing up and being counted. Please take a moment to join the effort, and invite your friends and family to do the same:
Glenn Beck is appealing to the worst in America. Of course, some people refuse to accept the fact that our president is Black or the idea that he could truly serve all Americans. We know that. The only way these views will fade away is if they're not reinforced by mainstream society. Instead, folks like Glenn Beck, Lou Dobbs,6 and Rush Limbaugh7 are exploiting racism and race-based fear to bump their ratings, stirring up racial discord in the process.
The dangers of these tactics are real. We saw the same dynamic during the presidential race: by the end, the McCain/Palin campaign was unable to control the violent energy whipped up by their race-baiting. The result was an unprecedented number of threats on Obama's life, a rise in the number of hate groups, and an increase in the number of threats and crimes against immigrants and Black people.8,9,10
FOX has had a long history of race-baiting and racism on its shows, and we've run campaigns calling them out.11,12 But Glenn Beck appears to be taking the network to an even lower standard. He's trying to divide and distract America when we should be coming together and talking about issues that really matter--like health care and the economy.
The good news is that we have the power to stop this. All major media is funded by advertising. And advertisers, more than anything, care what consumers think. If we want to change what's happening and put an end to folks like Glenn Beck having a platform, we can do it.
It's up to us, and it can start now. Please join us:
Thanks and Peace,
-- James, Gabriel, William, Dani and the rest of the ColorOfChange.org team
July 30th, 2009
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1. "Beck: Obama has 'exposed himself as a guy' with 'a deep seated hatred for white people'" Media Matters, 7-28-09
2. "Glenn Beck: Obama agenda driven by 'reparations' and desire to 'settle old racial scores'," Media Matters, 7-23-09
3. "Palin linked to death threats against Obama," Economic Times, 11-9-2008
4. "Obama win prompts wave of hate crimes," Times Online, 11-17-2008
5. "MSNBC's Deutsch encourages viewers to demand advertisers on Beck's show spend money elsewhere," Media Matters, 7-29-09
6. "On Television and Radio, Talk of Obama's Citizenship," The New York Times, 7-24-09
7. "Rush and reparations," The Nation, 5-12-2009
8. See reference 2.
9. See reference 3.
10. "Homeland Security report warns of rising right-wing extremism, Huffington Post, 4-14-2009
11. ColorOfChange.org email on Fox's attacks on the Obamas
12. "An overview: Fox News and its problem with African-Americans," ColorOfChange.org