Sunday, August 29, 2010

What's the Difference?

One of the criticisms leveled at the Glenn Beck Restoring Honor rally held today was that it was at best insensitive of Beck to hold the rally on the day and at the place where Martin Luther King gave his famous I Have a Dream speech 47 years ago. That place and that date are sacred in the minds of African-Americans, the complaint goes, and for a white conservative talk show host to hold his rally at that venue on August 28th was an affront to the memory of Dr. King.

Set aside the silliness of this objection and consider instead its similarity to what we heard in the Ground Zero mosque debate. Liberals think Beck is sullying the site of one of the greatest moments in civil rights history and are overwhelmingly sympathetic with those who oppose his rally. Yet those Americans who believe that placing a mosque in proximity to the sacred ground of the most heinous crime ever committed on American soil, a crime committed in the name of Allah, is an affront to the memory of the almost 3000 who died there, these people are called intolerant bigots.

If opponents of the mosque are bigots why are not opponents of the Glenn Beck rally also bigots? What's the relevant difference between the two cases? Or is this not about reason and rationality at all, but rather about political and ideological demagoguery on the part of the left? Unfortunately, this is not a tough question.