Rev. Al Sharpton attacked Glenn Beck last week for daring to compare the current injustices facing conservatives, Tea Party groups and other Americans -- like being unfairly targeted by the IRS -- to the civil rights movement.
"I’ve been in civil rights all my life," Sharpton said, "and to equate civil rights to fighting these issues that have nothing to do with any rights that are denied, and it’s all about their polarization. It’s really offensive. I mean we can disagree, but we don’t miscast things as something that it’s not."
Rev. Al Sharpton speaks to the media in Detroit, Thursday March 28, 2013. Opponents of Michigan's new emergency manager law are seeking to block it in federal court, saying the measure is unconstitutional. Credit: AP
Touting his civil rights background, Sharpton said he was the youth director for the organization founded by Martin Luther King Jr., adding that he is still involved with the group.
The MSNBC host then played a clip of Beck speaking about civil rights on his show:
"This is a civil rights movement, and it’s time for us to start moving as a civil rights movement. We have to be willing to have the dogs be unleashed on us, because believe me – after what I saw today on the way they’re handling things at the Capitol, you’re not very far from having the same kind of oppression coming our way."
"It's unbelievable," a flabbergasted Sharpton reacted. "He’s talking about imaginary unleashed dogs when the real heroes of the civil rights movement actually had to confront those dangers."
Beck tried to make the connection, Sharpton said, "but even as he talked about civil rights, the slogans on the signs told the story of fear and paranoia."
"It was similar to what we saw at previous Tea Party rallies, where this historic president was compared to a tyrant, accused of having a hit list. None of it slowed Beck down," he continued.
Sharpton also criticized Beck for saying the following at the Tea Party rally:
"Harriet Beecher Stowe, Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Frederick Douglass’s time was in the 1800s. Martin Luther King’s time has passed. This is our time, and the long march towards civil rights is here."
He said King's dream "lives on in battles over voting rights and women’s rights and gay rights and economic justice – all things that the far right has tried to block, obstruct, or roll back."
Sharpton had no interest in providing the full context of Beck's civil rights argument. Those who listen to his radio or TV show understand that when Beck refers to a new civil rights movement, he is referring to fighting back against any infringement on "laws of nature and of nature's God" and the rights provided under the Constitution.
Whether it's the IRS intentionally targeting conservative groups, the NSA spying on American citizens or the DOJ snooping on members of the press, Beck argues it will require the "new civil rights movement" to stand up and fight and demand those rights be respected.
For more context, watch the following clip via TheBlaze TV below: