It takes some real contortions to make this link, but somehow Fox News’ Glenn Beck managed to get from the tragic shootings at Fort Hood to the President’s address at the White House Tribal Nations Conference to the possibility of reparations for tribes.
Here’s the Fox News transcript of his remarks on Wednesday, Veterans Day (or watch the video clip above – the remarks come about 2 minutes and 25 seconds in):
“The first thing that hit me as I was watching television just like you were and I saw President Obama talking about native American rights in the middle of a tragedy at Fort Hood — I couldn’t believe it. I mean, it sounded almost like maybe, possibly, would there be some reparations involved?
” … Let me say this right off the top of the bat, nobody can question that Native Americans were mistreated, treaties were broken, promises not kept. Yes. You got it. We’ve definitely heard fairly recently about Native American rights and what we owe them. What we owe them. What we owe them.”
Beck goes on to ascribe Obama’s remarks at the Tribal Nations Conference to the philosophies of the administration’s former green jobs czar Van Jones – who has been excoriated by the right – and then he says that “obviously, what he (Obama) had in mind goes far beyond giving them casino licenses and free government health care.”
Finally, Beck wonders if it’s “just a coincidence that Obama “brought up Native American rights at such an inappropriate time – and it also just happens to be a pet issue of Jones? Maybe.”
What a load of crap. The president didn’t “bring up” Native American rights – they were already on the table, as part of the long-scheduled Tribal Nations Conference, when Nidal Malik Hasan went on his murderous rampage. And he never mentioned reparations.
It’s a nasty insinuation designed to whip up fears of “them” sticking together to the presumed detriment of white people.
For Beck to twin the Fort Hood tragedy with some tired old cheap shots at Native people to make connotations about the president’s motives is stunningly – let’s use his own word – inappropriate.
Beck owes an apology to the families of the Fort Hood victims for politicizing their heartbreak. He owes an apology to Indian people for suggesting they seek handouts. And he owes an apology to the president for putting words in his mouth.