The Oval: Booker T. Washington

Good afternoon.

These days, America is hearing a lot about civil rights. And I believe deeply that America must always be making sure it is protecting the civil rights of its citizens.

After all, we affirmed this purpose in our Declaration of Independence. “All men are created equal, [and] they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.”

These words can only mean one thing. God endows mankind with rights, and it is the duty of America to defend those rights for its citizens.

Today, I cast my eyes a century back, to the struggle for civil rights. I look at that chapter of America’s history, and what it teaches us.

And I look for heroes, people whose example inspire us today – and give us hope for tomorrow.

I don’t have to look far.

Booker T. Washington was born in 1856, the son of a slave woman named Jane. His father was a white plantation owner. He began life at the lowest rung of the ladder in America.

But he rose quickly up that ladder. And by his own efforts, he became America’s premier voice for full civil rights in his time.

He founded the Tuskegee Institute. He was a champion for the legal challenges to Jim Crow. He attracted the financial support of John Rockefeller, Julius Rosenwald and others, so that Southern blacks could build good schools.

He was an adviser to presidents, and they listened to his advice.

And over the course of his lifetime, he planted the seeds that became the civil rights movement of Martin Luther King Jr.

He was a giant and he taught us important lessons about what for civil rights really means.

Booker T. Washington understood the realities of his time. He knew there were bigots and racists all over America. In the South AND in the North.

He was not naïve. And he knew that the fight for equality would take generations.

There were four things he focused on. Four things that he said would lead to full civil rights for blacks. Four things that he said black Americans had to do.

Industry. That means work and invention. And so he trained generations of black Americans, men and women both, to be trained engineers, architects and other skilled professions. That way, white America would see that black Americans would work hard. He also wanted black Americans to see the dignity and reward that comes with hard work.

Thrift. That meant savings and investment. Booker T. Washington saw that communities that didn’t invest in themselves went nowhere. So when someone wanted to build schools in Southern black communities, he insisted that half the money came from the community. The lesson was clear: When a community contributes to its own future, it has a future.

Intelligence. One of the great sins of racism was the theory that blacks were not as smart as whites. This view persists among bigots today. Washington knew that the only way to fight that falsehood was with truth – so he made sure black Americans could learn … and learn well. He was an educator all his life, because he believed that intelligence means power. He was right.

Property. Black Americans sometimes didn’t own property because they couldn’t. But sometimes, they wouldn’t. He insisted that blacks exercise their property rights because he knew that citizenship begins with the right of a man to own something. In property there is freedom.

I think of these lessons because they apply today.

They apply to all of us. Even those of us who think of our civil rights as secure.

If we don’t demonstrate industry… practice thrift… develop our intelligence… and assert our rights to private property, what claim do we have to freedom?

What good are civil rights if we don’t act as good citizens?

Liberty and freedom and dignity may be guaranteed to us. But we still have to use our rights.

God does not grant us equal rights so that we can do nothing. He wants us to be his agents of freedom.

Booker T. Washington knew that civil rights are not bestowed by man. They are earned. And they are earned not once, in one generation, but every day, by every generation. Every American must understand that the strength and durability of their civil rights depend on what they do with their lives.

That’s how this country became great. That’s how black Americans won what was their right. And that is how we will see better tomorrows.

Thank you, may God bless you and may God bless the Republic.

Earlier this year, Coca-Cola became the poster child for how a corporation could shove leftist ideologies onto its consumers. The company suspended advertising on Facebook in a push to censor former President Donald Trump, published a manifesto about racial equity, and demanded all legal teams working for Coke meet certain diversity quotas.

But now, after Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.), Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and many other conservative voices called for a boycott of the company's products, Coca-Cola appears to be shifting directions.

The Washington Examiner reported that the company issued a conciliatory statement after conspicuously failing to appear on a published list of hundreds of corporations and individuals that signed a statement denouncing the Georgia voting bill.

"We believe the best way to make progress now is for everyone to come together and listen respectfully, share concerns, and collaborate on a path forward. We remained open and productive conversations with advocacy groups and lawmakers who may have differing views," the company said. "It's time to find common ground. In the end, we all want the same thing – free and fair elections, the cornerstone of our democracy."

Then last week, Coca-Cola Co.'s new general counsel, Monica Howard Douglas, told members of the company's global legal team that the diversity initiative announced by her predecessor, Bradley Gayton, is "taking a pause for now." Gayton resigned unexpectedly from the position on April 21, after only eight months on the job, to serve as a strategic consultant to Chairman and CEO James Quincey.

"Why is Coca-Cola 'taking a pause' on all of these? Because you have been standing up," Glenn Beck said on the radio program Monday. "You and others have been standing up. Your voice, it's the power of one. Your voice makes a difference."

Watch the video below to hear more form Glenn:

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This week on "The Glenn Beck Podcast," civil rights activist and Woodson Center founder Bob Woodson joined Glenn to call out the leftists in the "race grievance industry," like the Rev. Al Sharpton and Black Lives Matter, Inc., who, he says, are "profiting off the misery of their people."

Woodson lived through the appalling segregation laws of the last century and has a much different message about what it means to be "oppressed" than the so-called "anti-racist" activists today.

Woodson said he believes the real struggle for impoverished minority communities "is not racial." He argued that leftists "at the top" derive "moral authority" by claiming to represent "so called marginalized groups," while they prosper at the expense of those "at the bottom."

"There's nothing worse than self-flagellating guilty white people and rich, angry black people who profit off the misery of their people," Woodson said.

"I call what Sharpton and some of those are doing is worse than bigotry. It's treason. It's moral treason against their own people," he added. "The only time you hear from them is when a white police officer kills a black person, which happens maybe 20 or 21 times a year, but 6,000 blacks are killed each year by other blacks. So, in other words, their message is black lives only matter when taken by someone white, which means you are betraying the black community when you turn your back on 20 children that are slaughtered and you don't march in that community and demand that those killers be turned over to the police."

'The problem is not racial," Woodson asserted. "The problem is the challenge of upward mobility. Any time you generalize about a group of people, blacks, whites, Native American, and then you try to apply remedies, it always benefits those at the top at the expense of those at the bottom. ... It's a bait and switch game where you're using the demographics of the worst of these, to get resources that helps the best of these, or those who are prospering at the top. So, if I was the president, I would say an end to the race grievance business, that America should concentrate on the moral and spiritual free fall that is consuming people at the bottom."

Watch the video clip below to catch more of the conversation, or enjoy the full podcast here or wherever you listen to podcasts:

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Following President Joe Biden's first joint address to Congress, Glenn Beck joined fellow BlazeTV host and author of the new book, "American Marxism," Mark Levin to expose what they called the "Liar-In-Chief's" radical plans for our country and to explain why the far Left's proposals and programs are really a "frontal attack" on our Constitution, our country, and our way of life.

"Substantively, this is a frontal attack on our Constitutional system of limited government. It is a frontal attack on our capitalist system. He's basically throwing out all the bromides for the radical left groups that now form the base of the modern Democrat Party. And I make the case that ... this is Marxist bullcrap in its broadest sense," Levin stated.

"Here we are, a country now where one man can get up in the middle of the night and make a list of everything he wants to do to the country," he added, speaking figuratively. "It's like an unreality where we're living in separate worlds ... the whole thing is a fraud."

Watch the video clip below to hear Levin expose the lies and misinformation in Biden's speech and explain why he believes the true message is absolutely chilling for the future of our nation:

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After months of delays and COVID-19 excuses, President Biden finally delivers his address to the joint session of Congress. It is a truly historic moment, as only a few hundred members of Congress received an invite. While some have compared this speech to JFK's moon landing challenge, it will likely be more like FDR's New Deal nightmare. Will Speaker Pelosi continue her tradition of ripping up the president's speech? Will VP Harris cackle to a quiet audience?

Glenn Beck teams up with fellow BlazeTV host Mark Levin, author of the new book "American Marxism," to take on the progressive plans that could completely transform our economy and our way of life. Steve Deace, BlazeTV host and author of "Faucian Bargain," joins to discuss why it's not enough for conservatives to just lament the dangerous Democrat agenda; we must activate against the woke infection of our institutions. Plus, a power panel to rival CNN talking heads: Stu Burguiere, BlazeTV host of "Stu Does America," and Jason Buttrill, head researcher and writer for Glenn Beck.

Watch the video below:

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