Byron Williams, the suspect in an Oakland police shootout that his mother says stemmed from a hatred of the government's "left-wing agenda," planned to attack a group known to few outside of Glenn Beck's viewership. TPM reports on the connection.
The Tides Foundation, which prosecutors in California say was among the targets of the anti-government unemployed carpenter Byron Williams before he got into a chaotic shootout with several law enforcement officers Sunday, is also a favorite topic of Fox News host Glenn Beck.
Beginning in 2009 (and as recently as last week), Beck has repeatedly included the group — along with ACORN, the SEIU and George Soros — in his cabal of liberals and liberal organizations that are supposedly agents of President Obama's plan to spread Marxist and socialist ideas throughout the United States.
Of course, that doesn't mean that Beck necessarily inspired or influenced Williams' alleged plan to attack the Tides Foundation. But the group has been something of a whipping boy for Beck over the last year.
Williams was charged yesterday with allegedly opening fire on police officers on Interstate 580 in Oakland, California, while on his way to "start a revolution" by attacking members of the ACLU and the Tides Foundation. Williams was reportedly upset about "the way Congress was railroading through all these left-wing agenda items," in the words of his mother. (Which, we have to admit, do sound like words Glenn Beck might say).
The ACLU is well known for advocating and litigating against civil liberties violations, but the Tides Foundation, founded in 1976, is a little more obscure. The group describes its mission statement as:
to partner with philanthropists, foundations, activists, and organizations across the country and across the globe to promote economic justice, robust democratic processes, and the opportunity to live in a healthy and sustainable environment where human rights are preserved and protected.
But, according to Glenn Beck, Tides' real agenda is more sinister.
One of Beck's earliest mentions of Tides came last August, during Beck's crusade against Van Jones, then President Obama's green jobs czar, who ended up resigning in September. On his August 12 radio show, Beck described Van Jones as "evil" and a "communist" who's "shaping the views of the President of the United States," and then connected this to Tides:
The Tides Foundation, they started laying the groundwork on this back during the Reagan administration. They have been assembling an army that we have laughed at and have dismissed as a bunch of community organizers.
"These people are bullies," Beck said. "These people are thugs."
During a September 2009 show on Fox News, Beck explained the conspiracy a little bit more, connecting Wade Rathke, who co-founded ACORN and the SEIU and was a founding board member of Tides, to the Weather Underground. From Rathke, Beck jumped to "Tides, Apollo, Van Jones, Jeff Jones, Weather Underground — uh-oh." Jeff Jones is a former member of the group the Weather Underground, and is a member of the Apollo Alliance, which promotes energy independence. The Apollo Alliance is a project of the Tides Foundation.
On his radio show on September 24, 2009, Beck elaborated: "The President sees these groups as the vehicle to achieve his goals, because the Founders didn't address redistribution of wealth in the Constitution." But Tides, Beck said, is "behind it all," and "while they do legitimate things, they are also involved in the nasty of the nastiest."
Here's the video:
In another show that September, Beck implied that the Tides Foundation had a hand in indoctrinating children to believe in socialism. He cited the use of "The Story of Stuff" in schools, a 20-minute video that focuses on how much waste Americans produce, and was partially funded by Tides.
Beck asked: "Let me ask you if you want your kids learning about this in your taxpayer-supported schools."
And most recently, on July 13, Beck was railing against the former New Black Panther Party Chairman Dr. Khallid Abdul Muhammad, who he showed in a clip saying: "Why kill the babies? They're just little innocent blue-eyed babies. (Expletive), they're going to grow up one day to rule your babies. Kill them now."
Beck then tied this to Tides, saying that liberal groups "are using failing capitalism to destroy it. They're using the churches through social justice. The media — do I have to explain that one? This is what progressives and all power-seekers do. They find something vulnerable. They latch on to it. They exploit it for power."
He added that Tides "infiltrated" the education system, the media, and capitalism during the Reagan administration, but indicated that now that they're in power, liberal groups will not be able to disavow people like Muhammad: "When they are the ones holding the guns, sometimes it is hard to stop those who said, 'Yes, we can kill white babies.'"