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Michigan Chamber invites controversial keynote

By | 2018-01-15T18:24:11-05:00 September 3rd, 2009|News|

by BTL Staff

Mark Brewer

LANSING –
Glenn Beck, the keynote speaker at the Michigan Chamber of Commerce’s September annual meeting, has said that he believes President Barack Obama is a “racist” (“Fox and Friends” July 28). It’s a move that is stirring up local activists and politicians, who are questioning the chamber’s choice of speaker in Beck.
On “Fox and Friends,” Beck said Obama has “a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture. He has a problem. This guy is, I believe, a racist.” Beck also joked about poisoning House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (YouTube, “Beck Jokes About Putting Poison in Pelosi’s Wine”) and believes Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor is also a racist. “I think she’s a racist,” he said. “I think she has decided things based on race.”
Since Beck made the comments on “Fox and Friends,” over two dozen companies have withdrawn their commercials airing during the Glenn Beck show including GEICO, Procter & Gamble, Progressive Insurance and ConAgra. ConAgra issued a statement on Aug. 13 reflecting the concerns of many of the companies, which said, “We are firmly committed to diversity, and we would like to prevent the potential perception that advertising during this program was an endorsement of the viewpoints shared.”
On popular news blog TVNewser, Fox News appeared to distance itself quickly from Beck’s remarks, saying that Beck “expressed a personal opinion, which represented his own views, not those of the Fox News Channel.”
And in Michigan, people are asking about the Chamber of Commerce’s stance on Beck’s controversial views. “Does the chamber agree with the views of Beck that President Obama and Justice Sotomayor are racists?” asked Michigan Democratic Party Chair Mark Brewer, in a press release issue Aug. 25. “What’s next for the chamber? Inviting Jackson County Commissioner Phil Duckham, who has compared President Obama to Hitler, to address the chamber on health care reform?”
To learn more about the campaign to have advertisers stop supporting the Glenn Beck show, visit http://www.colorofchange.org.
To learn more about the upcoming Michgian Chamber of Commerce event, visit http://www.michamber.com/mx/futureforum.

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.