Commentary: Palin, Beck take a page out of Sharpton's playbook

The Kansas City StarApril 28, 2010 

We're Trading Places.

From his Fox News pulpit, Rev. Right (Glenn Beck) begs God to damn America for empowering Barack Hussein Obama.

Gal Sharpton (Sarah Palin) travels the country stoking the fears of white Americans telling them their country has been stolen by a mixed-race president.

Meanwhile, Nation of Idiots leader Rush Limbaugh inflames his underground radio audience, convincing his followers there's a brown-eyed devil inhabiting the White House.

Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy — the stars of the 1980s comedy smash "Trading Places," which explored a racial and social experiment/wager between Wall Street tycoons — might find humor, satisfaction and vindication in what is occurring across America's political and social landscape.

I do not. It's disheartening. It's uncomfortable. It's dangerous.

Just 16 months into America's first non-white-male presidency, and right-wing extremists already sound identical to the African-American extremists who have been mocked for blaming The Man for black people's lagging economic and educational progress.

Beck, Palin and Limbaugh staked their positions early. Rev. Right declared that President Obama is racist against white people. Gal Sharpton claimed Obama pals around with terrorists and is anti-American. And the Nation of Idiots spokesman expressed his desire that the Obama administration fail.

These right-wing poverty pimps have discovered that Obama's ascension to the Oval Office has been every bit as lucrative as George W. Bush's re-election was for the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the Rev. Al Sharpton and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

Well, in fact, it's been quite a bit more lucrative for Glenn "Rev. Right" Beck and Sarah "Gal Sharpton" Palin, the shiny new stars of the elitist, right-wing mainstream media.

Rev. Right is challenging Bill O'Reilly as the face of Fox News and now earns more than $30 million a year from the radio-TV-book empire built on the laughable notion that Beck speaks for the common man. Since quitting elected office, Gal Sharpton has pocketed an estimated $12 million as a community organizer of "real Americans."

As some of you know (and detest), I avoid our political system. I've never voted. I don't have a political affiliation or ideology. I did, however, have a naive hope that our multi-cultured, traditional-values president would usher in a teeny bit of racial harmony.

That's my passion. I hoped that in the aftermath of Obama's historic election we'd see each other a bit more in context and less in evil extremes.

To read the complete column, visit www.kansascity.com.

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