Several labor unions and the NAACP are planning a rally in Washington, D.C., October 2, to push for improved job creation efforts and to put an end to the idea that the Tea Party represents the views of America’s working people.
The rally, which is titled “One Nation Working Together: For Jobs, For Justice, For Education, For All,” is being organized by the NAACP and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in an effort to influence President Barack Obama and Congress to enact more progressive-minded legislation on jobs, and other important issues effecting America’s working class families.
George Gresham, president of the Local 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East stated that he is bothered that the Tea Party is constantly on television being portrayed as the voice of America’s workforce, and as the only ones who are speaking out about the state of the economy, when that isn’t the case. Gresham believes that the Tea Party instead divides working people and stagnates the advancement of a more progressive racial and economic agenda.
The Tea Party held their own rally last week (on the 47th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, and in the same location). Called the “Restoring Honor” rally and was spearheaded by conservative political commentator Glenn Beck. The NAACP had originally planned to have its really at the Lincoln Memorial, but Beck and the Tea Party were able to secure the location first complete with keynote speakers such as former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin a staunch Tea Party supporter, and Alveda King, Dr. King’s niece.
Many confused by her actions, looked at King’s support of Beck’s movement as a slap in the face to her uncle, but during an interview with The Daily Center Alveda stated, “I’m speaking at the Glenn Beck rally, because Glenn and I have had many conversations about faith, hope and love. Glenn asked me about the philosophy and the strength to love that my uncle Martin had. I’ve been sharing that with Glenn, and I’m hearing and seeing Glenn embrace those principles. Where those principles are bound, and they’re not just rooted in the ‘American Dream’, but in the faith of our Father.”
Alveda King also said she thinks Beck embraces the meaning of her late uncle’s “I Have a Dream,” speech, and aims to try to reach a better tomorrow, better than the NAACP.
Lloyd Marcus, Black conservative and composer of the “Tea Party Song” agreed with King saying that he is disgusted with the NAACP and feels that if Dr. King were alive today he would be disgusted with them as well, and that he would likely be at the Beck rally rather than at the NAACP rally. Marcus also said that unlike the NAACP, Dr. King stressed a person’s character rather than their skin color and that the NAACP is the complete opposite and is only focused on race.
Nevertheless, thousands of people have registered to be a part of the “One Nation” rally and march. Others are still questioning the overall goal the rally strives accomplish and whether a rally will accomplish this goal. In response, the NAACP posted this on its website:
“We march for a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. We march for jobs, justice, and education. We march for an economy that works for all. We march for a nation in which each person who wants to work can find a job that pays enough to support a family. We march to create a million new jobs right away, because the national values that got us out of the Great Depression will get us out of the Great Recession. We march to build a world-class public education system, from pre-school to community college and beyond–because our nation must start unleashing the greatness of every child today. We march to end racial profiling and re-segregation-from Arizona to Atlanta. We march to defend the Voting Rights Act and the 14th Amendment. We march to advance human rights, civil rights, equal protection, and dignity for all. We march to fix the broken immigration system – because no child should live in fear that her parents will be deported. We march to ensure every worker has a voice at work. We march for green jobs and safe workplaces, so no worker will have to choose between her livelihood and her life.
“We march for a clean environment, so no child is ever forced to decide between drinking the water or breathing the air and staying healthy. We march to move our nation beyond this moment, when a handful of Senators can block urgently needed progress-skewing our national budget towards tax cuts for the wealthy, unjustified military spending and prisons. We march for peace abroad and job creation at home. We march for energy independence, public safety, and public transportation, because the nation we want to build most is our own. And on 11-2-10, we will march again-into the voting booths.
We will bring our families, our friends, and our neighbors. And once the ballots are counted, we will keep organizing, we will hold our leaders accountable, and we will keep making our dream real. This movement will grow. It will put America back to work, pull America back together, and keep us moving ever forward.”
Organizers of the NAACP rally say interest is increasing and expect that the numbers in attendance may reach nearly a quarter million. The organizations involved are trying stress that the rally is about more than simple job creation alone, the march hopes to bring new opportunities and unity among the American working people.