One of the most frequent criticisms of today’s “Restoring Honor” event is that, on the anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, gathering thousands of Americans to listen to Glenn Beck is disrespectful to the Civil Rights Movement. Not all African-Americans are offended, however, and CNN found one attendee, Lloyd Marcus, who actually believes Beck’s views are closer to Dr. King’s than many modern black civil rights leaders.
Donning a charming hat and enthusiastically defending Beck, Marcus argued that the rally had “nothing to do with race,” and that the only reason race is a factor is because Beck is a “white boy.” “If Beck were black, would we be having this conversation? No.” Since it’s not about race, Marcus clarified what he did believe it was about: “restoring honor… bringing God into the public square,” which made it, to him, a “tremendous tribute to Martin Luther King.”
Asked about comments he had made that some civil rights leaders had “sold their souls” and were thus less legitimate leaders than Beck, Marcus replied in the affirmative and named Al Sharpton and NAACP President Ben Jealous among them. Of Sharpton, he noted that “the fact that he’s even leading anything is amazing to me,” and called Jealous a “liar” for claiming there were racist elements to the Tea Party.