Nonprofit Newswire | Beck and Palin Channel MLK

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August 24, 2010; Source: Think Progress |  Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin are apolitical, or at least they say they will be apolitical on August 28th when they will hold a “Restoring Honor” rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. If you think Beck and Palin can shed their political togas and absorb the high-minded values wafting around the site where 47 years earlier the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech, you’re pretty special.

Not even Bill O’Reilly could buy the non-political pitch of his “Bold Fresh Tour” partner. Ostensibly, this non-political event is a fundraiser for an organization called the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, a 501(c)(3), which provides educational scholarships and counseling to families of special operations military personnel (Green Berets, Navy SEAL’s, etc.) who die in operational or training missions and financial assistance to the families of severely wounded special ops personnel.

Despite SOWF’s cosponsorship, Restoring Honor feels and looks political, with Americans for Prosperity—a major conservative advocacy organization that provides technical and operational support for Tea Party groups and other conservative causes—helping organize bus trips for people to join Beck and Palin at the Lincoln Memorial. Beck’s people say that the rally is not a Tea Party rally, but there are lots of Tea Party groups organizing to generate numbers for the crowd.

Beck might get some numbers not in his favor. National Action Network leader, the Rev. Al Sharpton, joined by the NAACP and the National Urban League is organizing a counter rally, and New Black Panther Party Chairman, Malik Zulu Shabazz, plans to greet Beck at the Memorial—the National Park Service police may have their hands full.

Maybe Beck and Palin, and luminaries like Amboy Dukes lead guitarist (and gun enthusiast) Ted Nugent, will keep the event on a nonpolitical plain. Doubtful, but the IRS probably won’t go after SOWF’s (c)(3) status. However, the notion of Beck and crew picking the “I Have a Dream” anniversary for their rally feels inappropriate, notwithstanding Beck’s recruiting of Rev. King’s niece, Alveda King, to join him. Alveda King is a well known pro-life activist who gained special notoriety for comparing gay marriage to genocide. We just don’t see Beck and Palin as representatives of the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.—Rick Cohen