Written by Jeffrey Boxer, a blogger for Campus Progress.
Although most of the 76 victims of the tragic Norway bombing and shooting spree have not even been buried yet, Glenn Beck chose to launch an attack against the 68 young adults that were mercilessly mowed down at an island youth retreat, likening them to “Hitler youth.”
Speaking on The Glenn Beck Program today, Beck distanced himself from the slew of right-wing reporters who had quickly blamed Muslim extremists for the assault, before turning his attention to the victims themselves. Media Matters has the transcript below:
“Saturday I was following the news of the shooting in Norway and the explosion in Norway, which happened what on Friday … When we heard the explosion everybody was willing to say, it’s Muslim extremists, it’s Muslim extremists. I don’t think we made a comment on it because we didn’t know other than a bombing had happened, and as the thing started to unfold and there was a shooting a political camp, which sounds a little like the Hitler Youth or you know whatever. Who does a camp for kids thatís all about politics? Disturbing.”
So, who would run “a camp for kids thatís all about politics”? How about the 9/12 Project, an initiative that Glenn Beck started two years ago?
Earlier this summer, the Tampa 9/12 Project held a summer camp for kids ages 8-12 called the Tampa Liberty School. The camp was organized by conservative writer Jeff Lukens and staffed by members of the 9/12 Project. Given his newfound interest in political youth camps, I’m sure that Beck would be interested to hear about the rigorous curriculum Lukens had planned for the children. From the St. Petersburg Times:
Tampa Liberty is modeled after vacation Bible schools, which use fun, hands-on activities to deliver Christian messages.
One example at Liberty: Children will win hard, wrapped candies to use as currency for a store, symbolizing the gold standard. On the second day, the “banker” will issue paper money instead. Over time, students will realize their paper money buys less and less, while the candies retain their value.
“Some of the kids will fall for it,” Lukens said. “Others kids will wise up.”
Another example: Starting in an austere room where they are made to sit quietly, symbolizing Europe, the children will pass through an obstacle course to arrive at a brightly decorated party room (the New World).
Red-white-and-blue confetti will be thrown. But afterward the kids will have to clean up the confetti, learning that with freedom comes responsibility.
So, what have we learned from this Beck fiasco? Before likening the victims of a brutal terrorist attack to budding fascists, make sure that your own organization hasnít just run a summer camp with the stated goal of teaching eight year olds about “hard work, reverence and thrift.” Or better yet, just keep your mouth shut.
This post was originally published by Campus Progress.
Photo from The Rocketeer via flickr