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.

There are new curriculum standards being implemented into schools throughout the nation for health classes that not only go far beyond what's appropriate for young children, but are entrenched in clear political biases, too. Under the standards, third-graders are taught about hormone blockers and endless gender identities, and topics get shockingly graphic for kids as young as 11. Some schools are even teaching their teachers and kids to ignore what parents have to say about these topics. And the worst part may be that many parents are completely unaware what their children are being taught.

Tina Descovich, co-founder of Moms for Liberty, joined "The Glenn Beck Program" to explain exactly what you can ask at your next school board meeting to ensure this "horrifying" curriculum isn't being taught in your kid's school.

Watch the video clip below:

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It should come as no surprise that a newsworthy story receives more media coverage when released on a Monday than a Friday. The reason is in part due to a large number of news-consuming Americans checking out for the week to focus on their weekend plans rather than the news.

On Monday's radio program, Glenn Beck shared information that President Joe Biden decided to release on Friday — when fewer people would notice — regarding the Climate Finance report. This report is marketed to Americans as "A Roadmap To Build a Climate-Resilient Economy." But Glenn believes the report to be Biden's Great Reset warning shot to banks.

In this clip, Glenn warned that if Americans don't stand together, in eight years we all indeed will own nothing. Watch the clip for the full story. Can't watch? Download the podcast here.



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On today's radio program, Glenn Beck was joined by Bill O'Reilly to discuss the top stories of the week.

For O'Reilly, the biggest story this week centered around someone mysteriously missing from mainstream media news reports today: Mark Zuckerberg. Specifically, O'Reilly said it's the 'scandalous' way the Facebook CEO spent nearly $420 million to influence the 2020 election — and did so successfully.

Watch the clip to hear the full conversation. Can't watch? Download the podcast here.

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On Thursday's radio program, Grace Smith and her father, Andy, joined Glenn Beck on the phone and provided a first-hand account of Grace's refusal to wear a mask at school.

Smith, 16, began a maskless protest after her school district in Laramie, Wyoming, decided to implement a mask mandate. As a result, Grace received three suspensions, was issued two $500-citations, and was eventually arrested.

"How long were you in jail?" Glenn asked.

Grace said was taken to jail but was never booked nor was she was placed in a jail cell.

Glenn commended Grace's father, Andy, for raising such a "great citizen" and asked if it was Grace's idea to protest. Andy said it was Grace's idea, explaining that they took the position of arguing on the grounds of civil rights rather than the efficacy of wearing a mask.

Grace has since withdrawn from public school and started a home school program. She also told Glenn that she will continue to fight the school district, legally.

You can donate to Grace's legal fund here.

To hear more from this conversation click here.

Disclaimer: The content of this clip does not provide medical advice. Please seek the advice of local health officials for any COVID-19 and/or COVID vaccine related questions & concerns.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution, and live the American dream.