Occupy Wall Street and Occupy The Dream seek to co-opt Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s message.
A coalition of left-wing black clergy joined forces with the Occupy Wall Street movement for a series of protests labeled “Occupy The Dream.” On Monday, the group organized what they call a “National Day of Action” on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday to “focus attention on the gross injustice visited upon the 99% by the financial elite.” Occupy The Dream protests were held in Washington D.C., New York, Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
The whole thing sounded so absurd to me that I invited one of the main organizers of Occupy The Dream, Pastor Jamal Bryant of Baltimore’s 10,000-member Empowerment Temple AME Church on my radio show to find out more. The pastor appeared on my show and tried to make the case that Occupy Wall Street movement was an extension of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream.
For decades, Democrat Party operatives, with the aide of the Congressional Black Caucus, Jesse Jackson, the NAACP, Al Sharpton and labor union leaders have attempted to co-opt Dr. King’s message for political gain. Occupy The Dream is just the latest attempt to pervert King’s message and further divide this nation along class and racial lines to shore up the Democrat’s base.
In addition to Jamal Bryant, other organizers of Occupy The Dream include former NAACP chief and Million Man March national director, Dr. Benjamin Chavis, and rap mogul Russell Simmons (all the organizers are dyed-in-the-wool Barack Obama supporters).
A revealing article about the political motivations of Occupy The Dream leaders was posted on the liberal Black Agenda Report blog:
Occupy Wall Street organizer David DeGraw tied the knot with the Dream team at a Washington Press Club conference on December 14, invoking Dr. Martin Luther King’s Poor People’s campaign and the need to “penetrate deeper into the African American community.” Dr. Chavis said, “If Dr. King were alive today, he would be part of Occupy Wall Street,” and Rev. Bryant, pastor of Empowerment Temple AME Church pledged that Occupy The Dream will work “in lock-step” with OWS. The OWS/OTD alliance would begin, they announced, with a multi-city action at Federal Reserve Bank offices on MLK Day, January 16. The very next Sunday, Rev. Bryant was at his pulpit exhorting his congregation to get out the vote for President Obama!
The piece also points out that Ben Chavis is an active Obama booster. In his November 30 syndicated column for black newspapers, titled “Brilliant First Lady Michelle Obama,” Chavis praised the first couple and made a direct appeal to re-elect Obama:
“All of us should be responding by lending a helping hand, giving of our time, energy and money, and to make our own contributions to push forward for more progress to ensure the reelection of President Barack Obama. Let’s determine the future by how we act today.”
Like many black liberals, Rev. Jamal Bryant couldn’t stand up to the questions on my show and ended up running with his tail between his legs (listen to interview below). But before he ran, he told my audience that Occupy The Dream has put forth the following demands:
- Absolute funding of Federal Pell Grants (which, unlike loans, do not have to be repaid).
- A moratorium on foreclosures and reparations from banks for “predatory lending” practices (free homes with “Obama money”).
- Lastly, $100 Billion from Wall Street for job training, “entrepreneurship” and placement (spread the wealth!).
Last Friday my organization BOND Action issued the following statement criticizing the attempt to connect OWS with MLK:
Occupy The Dream is a scam that seeks to rob American taxpayers and exploit Dr. King’s good name to get Obama re-elected. The black ministers taking part in these protests are shameless "problem profiteers" who have nothing in common with Martin Luther King, Jr. and are clueless about the spiritual aspect of King’s struggle for equality…. Occupy The Dream is a political tool of the Democratic Party organized to motivate entitlement-minded blacks to show up to vote for Obama. Read More
With these radical black liberals hijacking Dr. King’s good name, it’s just a matter of time before future generations will no longer recognize that MLK’s cause was a righteous one. Dr. King wanted black Americans to be free in order that they may work to take care of their families and take full advantage of Life…Liberty…. and the Pursuit of Happiness.
At no time did Dr. King preach class warfare. He never made demands for free housing for people who bought homes that they could not afford; nor did he ask for reparations for deadbeat minorities. These demands are those of an angry godless bunch who are trying to twist MLK’s message. We the people need to repudiate these false leaders and their attempts to rewrite history—so that future generations will not lose sight of these important truths.