Glenn Beck offered a hopeful message to the thousands of Tea Party activists who gathered on the National Mall Saturday. Beck urged his fans to “concentrate on the good things in America, the things that we have accomplished—and the things that we can do tomorrow,” after describing the country as having “wandered in darkness.” Sarah Palin also spoke at the event, dubbed "Restoring Honor," saying the country needed to be restored, not transformed. The rally is taking place on the anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech—a move that drew counter-protesters led by Al Sharpton, as Tea Party members have been accused of racism. Beck said earlier this week that King’s vision has been “corrupted” because character “doesn’t even matter in the country anymore.” "This is a moment, quite honestly, that I think we reclaim the civil-rights movement,” he said, referring to his followers’ feelings of being persecuted or ignored by the government. Civil rights activists rejected Beck’s claims; one protester asked, "If we hadn't elected a black president do you think they would be doing this today?"
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