August 28th, 2010
11:38 AM ET
4 years ago

Civil rights rally remembers King's speech

(Updated at 2:45 p.m. ET)

Washington (CNN) - The Rev. Al Sharpton and a range of activists on Saturday fervently marked the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech and some delivered pointed remarks about conservatives rallying nearby at the site where King delivered his seminal address.

Sharpton spearheaded the "Reclaim the Dream" rally at Dunbar High School in northwestern Washington, addressing a throng that later embarked on a march to the planned King memorial after they listened to speaker after speaker extol the virtues and visions King stood for.

Sharpton and others couldn't resist discussing the controversial event at the Lincoln Memorial organized by conservative talk show host Glenn Beck, a rally Beck called "Restoring Honor." Beck, who has a program on Fox News as well as several radio programs, was criticized for holding his rally at the site of King's speech on the anniversary.

"They may have the mall," Sharpton said, "but we have the message. They may have the platform but we have the dream."

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Filed under: Al Sharpton • Arne Duncan • Ben Jealous • NAACP
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Uncle Snerdly

    As fearful WASPS gather nearby with guns in one hand and a bible in the other.If you truely believe,all you need is a Bible,you dont need guns,big business or government.

    August 28, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  2. Marcus

    The 'dream' (that wasn't private property of Mr. MLK) helped to shatter and destroy the ugly unequal society that hid behind an idealized concept of 'honor' . If that's the same 'honor' that people are trying to restore, then let the 'dream' arise once again!

    August 28, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  3. Augsbee

    It's wonderful to see both rallies taking place in our country and Martin Luther Kings Jr.'s family participating at both events.

    August 28, 2010 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  4. one voice

    That's some POWERFUL KOOL-AID He serves, LOL

    August 28, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  5. Sue

    The speakers at Beck's rally also included Martin Luther King's niece.....i see that CNN forgot to mention that.

    August 28, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  6. GaryB

    Let's see. Beck insists the rally is a non-partisan rally to honor our returning vets, yet he calls the event "Restoring Honor". Is he insinuating that our vets have dishonored themselves in some way? Speaking as the uncle of an Iraq and Afghanistan vet, I find that offensive.

    August 28, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  7. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Please don't hate them, Glenn Beck is not God, pray for them. God has the final say, not Glenn Beck, not you or I. We all must answer to a higher being. Pray.

    August 28, 2010 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  8. one voice

    The average I.Q in attendance is 10. How many of these CLOWNS buy His overpriced gold?

    August 28, 2010 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  9. jim

    Remember it was Glenn Beck that stood up for Shirley Sherrod against her firing by the W. H. if anyone is interested in hearing the truth

    August 28, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  10. Marie MD

    @sue – we know she spoke. There's always that person in a family who doesn't get it. She is it.
    What's his face, so he wouldn't be confused with a great man such as MLK, Jr., said that he would stand two steps down and not on the same step as MLIK, Jr. to give his silly speech.
    I am really surpsied the whole monument doesn't crumble from the stupidity of little girl beck and anyone else who thinks he is trying to unite the country.
    I think I would have believed him more if he hadn't invited the half term governor which is probably one of the most hated and devisive women on the planet right now. She might not be a politician but she leaves the stink of trouble wherever she goes.

    August 28, 2010 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  11. WAKE UP

    Pray for "PEACE". We can all get along if we don,t attempt to suppress our brothers and sisters of af all colors and faith. I look forward to visiting the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial site.

    August 28, 2010 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  12. vic

    Talking is easy please follow what Martin Luther King Jr said

    August 28, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  13. barry

    I think it's great! I had hoped our first black President would help unite our country from a race standpoint. Unfortunately that hasn't been the case so far but I haven't given up hope yet. When you look at the blogs sometimes and see the nastiness displayed it is sad that we forget we are all fellow Americans and united we stand. We are the melting pot and a truly exceptional Nation. We should all consider ourselves American first and then liberal, conservative, white, black, hispanic, Arab, Italian, etc. after that.

    August 28, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  14. Palin Power

    Beck and Palin are truly restoring honor back to our country by subtly exposing MLK as a leftist commie! When Palin becomes President, she will remove MLK day from our calendars for he was a disgrace to our country.

    August 28, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  15. Wanderer

    As long as our way of seeking ‘our dream’ is not delusional or in the expense of others’ dream, we will get it. In fact, a dream is a dream after all. That’s why we keep dreaming.

    August 28, 2010 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  16. D. Tree

    Martin Luther King Jr was a brilliant religious man. And, he was a socialist just like Jesus was.

    How does Beck justify his hateful rhetoric against those he calls "socialists," when th essence of Christianity has a socialist message?

    Remember the tale of the Good Samaritan, who King spoke of frequently: the Good Samaritan practices "dangerous altruism." He risked his own wealth so that someone less fortunate could be helped.

    I don't see how Beck's rhetoric squares up with the Christian ethic he so strongly espouses.

    August 28, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  17. T'SAH from Virginia

    I wonder if Martin Luther King's niece was a 'last minute' addition!!! Why wasn't this mentioned on any of the news media channels?????? In my opinion, I am happy to see her there. I just hope she does not 'water-down' her message to satisfy the crowd's 'appearance'!!

    Glen BECKy had NO CHOICE but to turn around this initial 'hateful move' into something else that seems more positive!!! This event that was 'totally' political at first CHANGED at the last moment!!

    I hope all is well that ends well!!!

    August 28, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  18. Peter E

    Dr. King's family is participating in both rallies because they actually believe in the Dream. They actually believe in tolerance, coming together, and compassion, no matter how much Beck is usurping this day with his divisive agenda, and no matter how much he is distorting American history. In turn, you will not find any of these conservatives who claim they want to bring America together at anything but conservative rallies. THAT's the difference.

    August 28, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  19. Truth squad

    Fearful liberals, those that welcome "diversity" as long as thought or ideolology is voting democrat and being liberal, meet at "their" spot like spoiled kids who learned that a neighbor was using their sandlot for a game of pickup baseball.

    "Shame" on Beck for thinking that anyone other than those with a PC trademark on "civil rights' could hold a rally and talk about God and the good old USA.

    August 28, 2010 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  20. Bessy

    MLK"s niece that is speaking at Glenn Beck's rally does not represent his family. They have nothing to do with her. She was shunned some time ago. She is just at his rally to throw water at the rest of the family. Check it out if you don't believe me.

    August 28, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  21. harold

    Just another Republican rally.... If Jesus were here today at the rally.. which he is not evidently..Jesus would turn over the money changers tables in the USA... Inclduing Glen Becks money changer table he has working for him.... and his Pirvate Health Insurance friends et al...

    August 28, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  22. Sgt. USMC

    @ Sue
    they did mention it in another piece, it's on the headline. Just trying to keep you from having an anxiety attack.

    We can all thank Dr. King for being able to speak our minds, even beck. If it wasn't for the civil rights movement, we would all still be segregated and beck wouldn't have anything to complain about.

    August 28, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  23. r ryan

    I have an opinion and only an opinion I would like to share. I think because of President Obama and the contrast that he presents when justaposed to the Authoritarian type leadership of Bush the Citizensof the US are finding their voices that were muffled under Bush and his fear mongering Cronies. This so caled backlash is based in the past eight years not the last two. These public displays were not seen in the days of bush...... just fear and oppression. what we see now is the expression of repression as a country. Although it is presented as a backlash against obama in the covert sense. Thank you for your time.

    August 28, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  24. lil

    I don't think that MLKs dream was private but I dont think it should be used for self promotion and hurt.

    By the way CNN you are promoting this more than Fox.

    August 28, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  25. Mickey, NY

    I see Beck has plenty of supporters for his "Restore Bigotry" rally...disgusting.

    August 28, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
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