Seeing how I live in Birmingham, AL, I thought I knew what was happening on a day-to-day basis here. But apparently, an approximately 20.000-30,000 member march downtown can go by me, and most of the major national networks, unnoticed.
Glenn Beck led the marchers in a “Never Again is Now” march Saturday, otherwise called on AL.com as an “All Lives Matter” march. It was an interracial march from the historic Kelly Ingram Park to the Birmingham City Hall (a route I’ve taken before in a march protesting the Trayvon Martin killing, and I can tell you that walk can be easy, but not so much if you’re walking in southern summer heat). Notables in the march include Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece, Alveda King, Chuck Norris, and the pastor of Birmingham’s Guiding Light Church, Bishop Jim Lowe. AL.com quotes Beck in his assertion that people came from as far as China, the Netherlands and Dubai to participate. Also, according to Beck’s Twitter:
Biggest March in Birmingham since MLK in 1963 pic.twitter.com/uij08BjdqA
— Glenn Beck (@glennbeck) August 31, 2015
//platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsThere are questions: 1) How in the world did I not know a march 20,000-30,000 strong was going to take place over the weekend!? No one, not even social media, had picked up on this. Perhaps I should say “mainstream” news and social media streams didn’t, since I’m guessing the conservative side knew this was going to happen all along.
— TheBlaze Radio (@TheBlazeRadio) August 28, 2015
Even still, you’d think this would have made a blip on people’s news coverage.
2) What was Beck aiming for with the march? While I’m all for interracial marches and stuff, Beck isn’t the person I’d like to be led by. From what The Blaze states, Beck was fighting for the rights of Christian minorities in the Middle East, against Planned Parenthood, and against terrorism (seemingly specifically terrorism perpetuating itself as “Islam,” such as ISIS). Beck equated all of this to “evil,” saying he has “never felt evil this close.”
I don’t want to say that fighting for Christian minorities is wrong, because it’s not. But it sounds like Beck’s message was a muddied one, discussing actual evils, such as the subjugation of a religious minority and committing atrocities in the name of religion, in the same vein as something like those doctored Planned Parenthood videos, which only prove that there was a concerted effort to ruin what is a very respected and necessary women’s health service. (Planned Parenthood does just what the name says: they help you plan your parenthood. They helped my mom when she was having me, and they’ve helped tons of women with their pregnancies and families. To say they’re just an abortion clinic is really missing the point.)
I have other thoughts on this, such as wondering if there was any talk about police brutality against Native, black, and brown people and how the worded signs look like they’re in the same font and nearly the same color as the now legendary “I Am a Man” signs, but I wasn’t there, so I don’t know exactly what kind of tone there was to this. Let’s boil my feelings down to “skeptical,” to make it easier. I’m skeptical of the messenger. But, I’m also glad that something positive could come out of this. If it leads to people actually recognizing one another as people and not as stereotypes, that’s great. The only real critique I have is that I wish it was more interfaith than I believe it was. For the most part, it was a Christian event, and as a Christian myself, I wish there was more inclusion on the faith front.
You can see some pictures from the event at AL.com, and below are some tweets from the day.
— Billy Hallowell (@BillyHallowell) August 29, 2015
— Johnnie Moore ن (@JohnnieM) August 29, 2015
— Mary (@mbowr6) August 29, 2015
— Alveda King (@AlvedaCKing) August 29, 2015
What do you think of this event? Give your opinions in the comments section below!
Screencap of AL.com’s coverage of the rally