I had assumed that my participation in conservative commentator Glenn Beck’s ‘Restoring Honor’ rally at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.—held today on the anniversary and at the very location of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech—would be limited to supplying faulty directions to said memorial to a group of tourists clad in “Don’t Tread on Me” T-shirts this morning. Out of curiosity I later ended up at the rally myself, where I was informed that the “keynote speaker”, another euphemism for Sarah Palin, had already spoken.
The void left by the termination of Palin’s military rhetoric was now being filled by a bespectacled man near the entrance to the monument grounds wielding a “Who would Jesus bomb?” sign, in response to which conscientious passersby offered such suggestions as Iran. The man with the sign reasoned that, as he had been welcomed neither at the Restoring Honor rally nor at the “leftist gathering” across the street—by which he apparently meant the image of King that had been erected between the Lincoln Memorial and the Capitol building along with speakers emitting the “I Have a Dream” speech—that he must be nearing the truth, one aspect of which was that wars were for socialists.
Potential additional support for King’s musings on America as a schizophrenic personality then surfaced in the form of a middle-aged father hauling three small children, three posters, and a camera, who hastily distributed one poster to each of the offspring and barked instructions for them to arrange themselves with the Lincoln Memorial in the background. The posters bore slogans such as “President—Hands off of my money”; when the male child proved less than cooperative, he was threateningly reminded that this was a family effort and to “get in there”.
Other collisions with King commemorations were meanwhile referenced yesterday afternoon at a rally in front of the Capitol in favor of Dr. Malachi York, who has variously been identified as a spiritual leader, a Liberian diplomat, and a child molester—with the last identity courtesy of the U.S. court that sentenced him to 135 years of prison in 2004. Supporters of York that I spoke with at the event claimed that condemning testimony had been obtained via FBI coercion and noted that York’s court session had been illegally held on a federal holiday, conveniently the one marking King’s birthday.
As MLK Day and the anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington have already been creatively handled, perhaps the Metropolitan Area Transit Authority can devise a novel commemoration for the anniversary of King’s assassination, such as a day-long reinstatement of color-coded bus sections.