Who's Afraid of the Brecht Forum? Apparently Glenn Beck
Mr. Beck, the infamous right-wing talk show host, targeted the Brecht Forum on his Fox News program on Monday, March 1st, equating the social justice movement with "danger" and conflating socialism with Nazism. Pulling clips from a September 2009 event at the Brecht Forum, “The Van Jones Effect,” Mr. Beck extended his attacks on Van Jones and continued his efforts to demonize the left and then find supposed links to the Obama administration.
This new satirical video, sponsored by MoveOn.org Civic Action, Brave New Films, and the Service Employees International Union, humorously exposes Beck’s brand of the McCarthyist “Red Scare.” We encourage you to help spread it around.
Contrary to Mr. Beck’s unfounded assertions, the Forum neither engages in political campaigning nor endorses positions taken by speakers who participate in its programs. The Brecht Forum has not attacked Mr Beck’s freedom to articulate his opinions and rejects as profoundly un-American his effort to silence us and all others committed to social justice in a country that badly needs it.
While the Brecht Forum is clearly on the left, it is an independent and open public forum dedicated to broad dialogue and debate on important public issues from a wide variety of points of view. It offers a year-round program of forums, classes, art exhibits, performances and popular education workshops.
These are times when creative thinking from all sectors of our society is urgently needed. We are in this together. Demagogues like Beck play the “blame game” and use misinformation, demonization, and scapegoating to feed their ego while failing to deliver constructive ways to move forward.
“The economic crisis is making Americans feel like their well-being is under attack, and so they look around for someone to explain the circumstances of the crisis," said Richard D. Wolff, economist and member of the Brecht Forum's Board of Directors. “Instead of answers, Beck has so far provided scapegoats by attacking all those who seek social justice. The Brecht Forum thus joins countless religious and civic leaders in rejecting Beck’s latest outburst. What we need is open discussion of all possible solutions. Richard D. Wolff, author and economics professor, teaches at the Brecht Forum and is featured on the DVD Capitalism Hits the Fan.
While long-maligned from the right, views from the left have a lot to offer because we seek fundamental changes based on building fairness and equality for the benefit of all. We want everyone who wants a job to have one, healthcare for all, an economic system based on ensuring people’s rights rather than just property rights, rapacious greed punished rather than bailed out, and so on. We want what most people want.
Founded in 1975 as the New York Marxist School, the Brecht Forum brings people together to promote critical analysis, creative thinking, collaborative projects and networking in an open and welcoming community-level environment. Our mission statement as “exposed” by Glenn Beck reads “The Brecht Forum is a place for people who are working for social justice, equality and a new culture that puts human needs first.”