Just moments after the conclusion of the Aug. 28 "Restoring Honor" rally in Washington, D.C., an olive branch, albeit a potentially double-edged one, was tossed between an unlikely couple very much on opposite sides of the political aisle.
To the surprise of those in attendance, the Rev. Al Sharpton has challenged Glenn Beck to come on Geraldo Rivera's Fox News program and support the building of the Ground Zero Mosque.
Appearing on "Geraldo At Large" after his own civil rights event in our nation's capital, Sharpton told the host, "Why don't you, you're here on Fox, invite Mr. Beck on the show to finish the speech?"
"He said we should all come together equal...how do we do that?"
Later in the program, Sharpton raised the bet even further saying, "He made a great statement - he said after 9/11 we all came together. All Americans, all races, all religions - therefore Mr. Beck, will you say we should stop fighting the mosque? That's where the rhetoric will hit the road" (partial transcript follows with commentary):
REV. AL SHARPTON: Let me make a proposition to you. Why don't you, you're here on Fox, invite Mr. Beck on the show to finish the speech? He said we should all come together equal.
GERALDO RIVERA, HOST: I kind of scare you as an interrogator.
SHARPTON: Mr. Beck, how do we do that? When you have unemployment disproportionate, that's what we raised at the civil rights march, we have education disproportionate. How do we do that?
RIVERA: Fair enough.
SHARPTON: Every preacher tomorrow morning after church...
RIVERA: I'm not going to lose Reverend Al's point. Invite Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin on my show tomorrow morning.
SHARPTON: ...every preacher tomorrow morning at 11:00.
RIVERA: Tomorrow night.
SHARPTON: He made a great statement - he said after 9/11 we all came together. All Americans, all races, all religions - therefore Mr. Beck, will you say we should stop fighting the mosque? That's where the rhetoric will hit the road.
DR. ALVEDA KING, PASTORAL ASSOCIATE FOR PRIESTS FOR LIFE, MARTIN LUTHER KING'S NIECE: We're emphasizing that there's one human race - not all races getting together, but human race. And we're saying about rebuilding about rebuilding America and unity - it was just a marvelous time. One human race - doing what my Uncle Martin said - we have to learn to live together as brother and as sisters or perish as fools. So we need to rebuild America and we have to have unity to do that.
Assume for a moment Sharpton's not just trying to set Beck up: wouldn't it be interesting if as a result of Saturday's rally, a meeting of the minds could occur between these unlikely personalities that actually improves race relations in this country?
And what finer place for it to happen than Fox News where both of the players are clearly at ease? That would surely drive all those in the mainstream media crazy.
Is such an eventuality possible or just a wee bit of post-rally Kumbaya?
To quote the late Ed Hart, we will know in the fullness of time.