The media knew what it wanted the Glenn Beck rally to be; and when it didn’t turn into the world’s largest cross burning, the media did the best it could to stay within a preconceived template. Good luck finding a mainstream media story on the rally that doesn’t mention the crowd as “predominantly white,” or some offshoot thereof. The Associated Press noted a “large, predominantly white crowd,” as did Politico, as did the AFP, et cetera. The Washington Post saw the crowd as “overwhelmingly white”; as did the LA Times, Toronto Star, Salon.com – you get the idea.
On this point there is no dispute: those who gathered for the Restoring Honor rally were, indeed, predominantly white. It was something you couldn’t help notice, as C-Span searched the crowd for black faces to show on television. But the fair-minded among us struggle to know why the racial make-up of the crowd matters. If you were to attend a Lady GaGa concert – and why would you? – you would also find the audience is predominantly white, in every American city where her tour stops. There is scarcely an artist in the top 100 for whom this would not be the case. Same goes with football and baseball games, book signings, talk show audiences … so why bother with mentioning it?
Well, because race matters, for those who still need it to matter. Al Sharpton – the best argument yet for a nursing home established for tired, old clowns – took his act to DC and put on a response rally, for which dozens and dozens of people arrived to show their support for … something. It’s hard to tell exactly what they were supporting. Whereas at the Beck rally one saw rhetorical flags waved for God, Country, and the Reverend Doctor King, the Sharpton rally was more of a mish-mash of tired old Leftism and chuckle inducing bumper sticker logic. (I write that knowing Sharpton has no other capacity for logic.)
Told again and again that Barack Obama’s ascent meant the birth of a new, post-racial America, we are now told it really, really matters that the Beck rally audience was predominantly white. And it matters because Glenn Beck cannot be useful to the Left unless he is a social and racial pariah; a motivating factor, something to stand against. Never mind that Beck has no control over who attends any event he puts together, or that – because blacks tend to be and vote for Democrats – he doesn’t have the largest black audience in broadcasting. No, what’s important here is making the messenger illegitimate because there aren’t enough of the “right people” in his audience.
But if I am wrong, and the purpose of making the note about race is not to demagogue Glenn Beck in a silly, backhanded way, then might I suggest some areas the press might want to target next?
1) The Obama Administration. President Obama has sixteen Cabinet-level appointees below him; of those, thirteen are white. And of the six ancillary positions that carry Cabinet-level status, four are held by minorities.
2) The United States Senate. Of the one hundred members of the Senate, ninety-five are white.
3) The House of Representatives. Of the four hundred thirty-five members of the House, three hundred sixty-four are white. This is the kind of bottom-up racism that simply cannot be tolerated if the United States is ever going to rise above its decadent past, and clearly voters are to blame. They keep voting for white people. If there aren’t non-white candidates running, why not? Isn’t that a problem in desperate need of fixing?
4) The Supreme Court of the United States. Seven of the nine Justices are white.
5) The On-air Personalities at MSNBC and CNN. Of course Fox News Channel is primarily stocked with white people; it’s evil and racist. But how does that explain MSNBC and CNN, which are also filling your screens with virtually nothing but white people? (At least MSNBC put an openly gay host on the air – CNN could also claim this if only you-know-who would fling that closet door open.)
6) The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and / or Hollywood. Who thinks it’s enough to give one Academy Award to one black actor once a year? What better way for the press to show it’s serious about real equality among people than by demanding the entertainment community surrender a certain large percentage of hosting, acting, directing, writing, and producing duties to minorities? And why not start with Jon Stewart, who could at least be a good sport and alternate weeks with a black host, and who could also replace at least half his current writers and on-air “correspondents” with black writers and entertainers. You know. If he actually wants non-Jewish, non-white minorities to do be fairly represented.