Written by Victoria Cepeda
Though a little late, I would still like to feel the pulse regarding Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally this past Saturday in D.C. Organizers call it one of the biggest, non-violent, rallies of recent history while others shrug at the suggested 300,000-600,000 people allegedly in attendance on Saturday. Some research agencies, using aerial shots, by contrast, downgrade the crowd to have been closer to the 70,000-96,000 range instead. Regardless, one thing is evident, many people chose to attend and listen to Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and other key speakers gathered in Washington, D.C. As per the Washington Post, “Beck told his viewers not to believe anyone else’s estimates of the impossible-to-know head count of Saturday’s crowd. Believe only his own number, which he confidently reported at “a minimum of 500,000” people, “the sixth-largest gathering” on the Mall, ever, Beck said; roughly the size of that other defining moment, “Ronald Reagan’s inauguration.”
Could it be that the large number of people in attendance has more to do with the nature of the rally than if it would have been promoted as a Tea Party rally? I mean we have the components of honoring our men and women in uniform, showing respect to our fallen soldiers and openly engaging in prayer. All of these are very noble concepts that would move mountains and attract large crowds for sure. If there is anything that moves an American crowd, on average, is the opportunity to thank our troops and God. Add to this the fact that Mormons and Christians make up most of Beck’s supporters, him being a Mormon, makes me attribute the peaceful nature of this rally to these factors.
So how does this rally affect Latinos in general? For example, how do you interpret Dominican baseball player Albert Pujols’ appearance? He left many pondering his presence there given his pro-immigration stance vs. that of non-immigration exhibited by the Tea-Party members which, allegedly, made up most of rally participants. His showing up gives me more reason to believe that some folks saw this rally as apolitical. Though not a Glenn Beck fan, I can say that the man has found a way to make his presence felt and respected among conservatives by appealing to their core values rooted in religion.
As of 2007, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, more commonly known as the Mormons, claims membership of a little more than 13 million worldwide out of which 3 Million live in Latin America, or 23 percent.
Look, I may be just “seeing shadows in my soup” but Mormons and Evangelicals do attract many U.S. Latinos as well. Could it be that Beck’s rally was more of a show of unity, using faith as a common link, than a chance to flex his muscle at the Obama administration? As a Latino, what is your perception of Mr. Beck? Will we ever get passed his anti-immigration stance?
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