GLENN: Hello, America. And welcome to the Glenn Beck Program. As we enter the final days of Barack Obama, let's take a few minutes and look back. And we wanted to do so with Burgess Owens, an NFL great, friend of the program. Author of the book, Liberalism: How to Turn Good Men Into Whiners, Weenies, and Wimps.
And, Burgess, we wanted to take a look at Barack Obama and ask this question: Did he miss the biggest opportunity this nation has ever seen when it comes to healing the divide?
BURGESS: Good morning, Glenn. I'm looking forward to chatting with you about this topic. And the answer to that is absolutely.
Let me just start off by saying that one of the things that I was very fortunate to do was grow up in an era where we really had strong visionary, good, confident people moving forward. And if anybody out there wants to see what I talked about in my book, look at the movie Hidden Figures. You see a community that Americans would love to be a part of.
What has happened in the last eight years is that the black community, those who believe and trusted and gave all their hope to his man, has done so much worse than they have since in my memory.
One thing we've always had, even when things were tough, is we had hope. We worked hard, and we could educate ourselves. We can believe in the American Dream. We can work hard enough to overcome all obstacles.
And Hidden Figures, that movie shows you what happens when people believe that. We have now a community who is more hopeless, more miserable, more angry, and less educated and really believe that they have led to the man, just because of his color, that he is going to take care of them.
So we have a lot of making up to do now.
GLENN: Burgess, does the -- and I know, you know, the black community, you know, it can't be lumped together as much as the white community can't be. Any community can't be. It's not monolithic. However, in its vote, it is pretty monolithic.
Does the black community believe what you just said?
BURGESS: Well, what's happening -- and you hit it on the head. We're very monolithic. The great thing, the president -- with President Obama is that we're beginning to think now as a group, as a race, we're beginning to peel ourselves away and wonder about results now.
You have liberals and Democrats like Jim Brown, who I have a lot of respect for, Steve Harvey, I have a lot of respect for, because they're putting their race above their ideology.
When you have Americans beginning to do that and looking at Americans first, Martin Luther King III made a very strong point the other day: How in this nation can we have between 40 to 50 million people in poverty is -- is ridiculous.
We're now beginning to think and ask those questions. Why? And that's the one thing Obama has done for us, is put us in such -- he's failed in so many different ways, that we're beginning to wonder if his ideology is truly the best for us, and that's a great place for us to be.
GLENN: So are we worse off today, or better off?
BURGESS: All right. That's a good question. We're worse off in terms of statistics. We're better off in terms of the future. We're better off because we're finally asking those questions, and we're finally beginning to talk like we hadn't talked in a while, opening ourselves up. And we're having a dialogue about people, with people like John Lewis. John Lewis is a good example. When I talk about my book, the royalty of black class, he is the type of individual that has been the worst for our race, because he lives in the past. He lives in what he did 60 years ago. And then, meanwhile, 60 years later, people are living in misery. And he sits there and allows it to happen with total silence because of his allegiance to an ideology of socialist versus his race.
So we're -- in a way, our future is brighter, because we have these kind of dialogues. And we're have black men and women standing up finally and speaking against the group think. And we're having white Americans beginning to stop apologizing for themselves. And I think that's a good place for us to be.
PAT: Burgess, if anybody says that -- if a white person says what you just said about John Lewis, oh, my gosh. Oh, the humanity. What a racist. You know.
GLENN: What's amazing about John Lewis is this weekend, the two sides were so split, he was either a God or he did nothing, ever, in his life.
GLENN: I mean, I heard -- I read so many posts and tweets that said, "John Lewis is a nobody and never really played a role in the civil rights movement." I don't think that's true at all.
Why do we have to destroy everything?
BURGESS: Well, what we have to do is we have to be honest about this process. And let me just use an analogy, guys. Since I played NFL, I can use this and be very confident with it. I played with two great quarterbacks in my career, Joe Namath, last three years with him, and Jim Plunkett. Both the most valuable players in the Super Bowl that they played in. Great athletes.
But guess what great athletes do? Leon Poker (phonetic), what he did is a great CEO. When you get to the point that you can't perform anymore, that you're no longer of value, you retire.
Now, what's happened with John Lewis is he should have retired a long time ago because he's not been doing the things for the black community. He sits over a community that's been going downhill fast and being very quiet.
I look at something like -- for example, there's 2,000 black kids, with the very first year that Barack Obama came to office that were taken out of great schools and put back into the failing schools because they decided to get rid of choice. That's 16,000 black kids impacted. John Lewis said nothing.
So, yes, 60 years ago, he did a great thing. He was very courageous. But leaders either maintain their courageous acts, or they stop being leaders. He has stopped being a leader for a long time. We need to be honest about this. And we can't charge somebody being a racist, an Uncle Tom, because we're telling the truth. So, yes, he did great things 60 years ago. Sixty years later is when we need him, and he is not available. He has not been for a long time. As a matter of fact, he's done everything he can to hurt our race: More abortion, less education, less jobs.
You go to Libya (phonetic), what socialists do to black people, and he's been at the very head of that, as he continues to get elected and lives like a king.
So I don't have a lot of respect for what John Lewis has done today. He did a great thing 60 years ago. When I was in the seventh grade, I was also demonstrating, along with thousands of other Americans all over the country. A lot of us demonstrated. A lot of people got bloodied. But we moved on with life and tried to make an impact and help our race in the future
GLENN: Burgess, you said in some ways, statistically, we're not better off. You were talking about the black community. Let's talk about the community at large.
Tensions are at I think record highs since the 1960s. I've never seen it like this. We do have a great opportunity, but this window will close.
How -- how do we -- if -- if the Democrats decide to sharpen the knives and go after this president and -- and have no self-reflection and the Republicans take this win without any self-reflection and they just sharpen their knives, we're not going to come together.
Do you see hope for us on the horizon coming together? Are there enough people saying, "I'm tired of this game?"
BURGESS: Well, yes, I do. I think the key to this is -- first of all, the Democrats will sharpen their knives. That's what they do. That's part of their nature.
Now, it's going to be up to the Republican -- the conservative branch of the Republican Party to very simply keep their word.
One thing that I'll say -- and when you have people who I respect, Jim Brown, Steve Harvey. Again, totally different ideology. But they're sitting down with Donald Trump and talking about how to work with the inner city. At the end of the day, it's all about people. If we allow and focus as a middle class country, that most -- that so many of us are and use the empathy that's always been part of the middle class, we're going to start focusing on our kids in the middle -- in inner city -- and poor kids around the country, to become educated.
Education is the strongest tool to keep a country free. You're going to have kids and young people getting jobs. Having a job and understanding the work ethic and the pride that comes from that is one of the greatest things to keep a country free.
We're going to start putting the value of life -- once again, having a debate about Planned Parenthood. What they are and where they came from. So educate people. So, yes, we have a tremendous opportunity. And I personally believe that American people will step to the plate once again. We voted for -- we voted against Hillary for a reason. We voted for our future and self-empowerment for a reason. And I believe we're going to step to the plate and demand that these guys keep their word and the poorest of us and those that are the most vulnerable will be taken care of and we're going to feel good about ourselves and move forward with that.
Democrats will never have that power over us again.
GLENN: What is your sense of Donald Trump? What are you hoping for, and what are you expecting over the next four years?
BURGESS: It's been a very pleasant surprise. I was not a Donald Trump fan, initially. But I will tell you, that morning, November 9th, I did wake up more hopeful than I had been in a long time because at least we have a chance. I believe at that point that Heavenly Father hasn't given up on us. They give us a little more time for us to get ourselves together.
And the people that he's surrounding himself with right now, I'm very, very excited about. So the most important thing -- and, you know, I grew up -- my great hero was Ronald Reagan. He was the first conservative that really got my attention, that I really understood. He was a great articulator. He was a -- he had a way of getting around the media.
It is scary at times to see Donald tweet, but I'll tell you what he's doing, he's getting around the liberal media like no one else has ever done before. And it's actually what had to happen for us to be able to connect. And for those to get away from the messaging that's been done in the last decade, we need to find a way for us to get some truth. And hopefully we can get that. So I'm hopeful in the short -- long answer to a short question, I'm very hopeful for what will happen in the next four years.
GLENN: Burgess Owens. Author of the book Liberalism. Or How to Turn Good Men Into Whiners, Weenies, and Wimps. This is an extraordinarily brave book and a look into the things that need to be said in America to all races. Burgess, it's always good to have you on.
BURGESS: Can I say this real quick?
It's all about team. All about team. Look right now, Glenn, we take what we have -- the talents we have, and together, message, debate, think through, and just make sure that we get the very best out of the whole process. We don't have to all agree. We just have to, first of all, believe our country, love our country, and try to do our best as individuals. We'll make this thing happen.
GLENN: Thank you very much, Burgess, appreciate it.