Snohomish County NAACP joins Glenn Beck protest
The Snohomish County Chapter of the NAACP has added its voice to those against Mount Vernon Mayor Bud Norris' controversial decision to present commentator Glenn Beck with a key to the city Sept. 26, which he'll also proclaim "Glenn Beck Day."
Seattle Times staff reporter
The NAACP has added its voice to those against Mount Vernon Mayor Bud Norris' controversial decision to present commentator Glenn Beck with a key to the city next Saturday, which he'll also proclaim "Glenn Beck Day."
The Snohomish County Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People announced its protest Friday.
Its president, Janice R. Greene, said of the Fox News personality and syndicated-radio host: "Holding him up in honor stimulates the worst impulses of human nature and makes a mockery of our nation's values."
The NAACP singled out Beck's July 28 remark that he believed President Obama to be a "racist."
In its statement, the chapter said it sent a letter to Norris requesting a meeting on the matter and saying, "Beck has a history of making divisive, offensive statements. [His] ideology is inflammatory and insulting to many of your own constituents."
Norris said he hadn't received the letter. After hearing the contents of the NAACP statement Friday, he said, "I'm not going to respond to their perception of his career or his positions on his television program.
"The reason I'm bringing Glenn Beck home is not based on his political positions or any of the things that she's referring to in her press release. We're bringing him home to celebrate an individual who was born here, raised here up to a certain point in his life, and he has reached a level of recognition and acclaim in the radio and television field, and I think that warrants consideration for the honor that I'm bestowing on him."
However, Norris' timing for the event — which was his own idea and not voted on by the City Council — was notable for coming when Beck's views had made him an increasingly polarizing figure and had begun to cost him dozens of advertisers.
The NAACP statement said, "we cannot stand idly by while actions are taken which deliberately seek to stimulate the lowest impulses of human nature: using techniques of insult, intimidation, falsity, and fear. The Executive Committee of the Snohomish County Chapter has indicated its unanimous and strenuous objection to this ill-considered action.
"We have faith that this type of rhetoric and behavior is not embraced by the majority of the citizens of Mount Vernon or those residing in the surrounding communities."
Norris has declined to meet with the NAACP about the matter, saying it wouldn't serve any purpose because the event is confirmed and the venue booked.
Norris estimated that feedback he's received has been "probably 50/50, if not a little bit more to the side of the pros. I think people underestimate the size of the following he has. I know I did."
Mark Rahner: 206-464-8259 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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