Seems I’m always arriving late to the party. Especially since Monday was actually Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and I’m just posting my thoughts about King today. But it’s having spent Monday reading quotes from Dr. King that inspired me to write this post. So I guess it’s better late than never.
As those who have read other posts already know, I have supported the Occupy Wall Street movement from the sidelines. I do not want anarchy. Nor do I think capitalism is inherently evil, though it is not inherently good either. I wish humanity (and Americans in particular) could be trusted to be Godly socialists but as far as I can tell that won’t be happening any time soon. I have prayed that the Christian Church would step up to the challenge, sound the call, and takes its place as the leaders of such socialism, but sadly my prayers are still just a drop in the bowl which rests in heaven collecting all the prayers of the saints.
Dr. King’s prayers helped fill that bowl, that not quite full bowl of prayer. And some of his followers felt a splash of goodness and mercy and peace as its contents got closer and closer to spilling completely over the edge. As each powerful prayer poured into that bowl the contents was stirred, prayers set in motion sprinkled a little taste of God onto the thirsty world. But, violence silenced Dr. King nearly 34 years ago. The prayers in that bowl have grown like still waters, calm, unable to crest the lip of the bowl.
The words King spoke over 30 years ago are as relevant now as they were then, more so. We’ve had 30 more years to realize that problems don’t fix themselves, that injustice doesn’t just go away, that prejudice is just as ugly now as it was then. We’ve had 30 more years of senseless war mongering, growing economic disparity, and moral decay.
When the Occupy Movement started I though maybe, maybe the time had finally come. Perhaps now we would listen, come together, find our moral compass again. But all the clamoring has not solidified into a single message. We have not heard a lone voice cry out in the wilderness. Occupy has no beacon to show the way. No Mahatma Gandhi, Susan B. Anthony, Harvey Milk, Martin Luther King.
We are all frustrated. We all know what’s wrong. But we can’t seem to figure out what’s right, how to correct the course, how to work together. Perhaps we have become too jaded and cynical, too distrusting of organizations to organize. Perhaps we’ve become too post-modern for our own good.
But it’s okay. Really. The people at the top don’t mind at all. In fact, they really aren’t too worried about the whole affair. “Let them eat cake!” and freeze in their tents.
Even though it’s spread across the country, the Occupy Movement has been no more irritating than a mosquito outside the net–the buzzing made sleep a little uncomfortable but other than that…nobody cared. Why? Because the people with power know at least one of two things is necessary in order to wield power–an organized mass or money. So far they have both needs covered.
Our current two party system creates just enough tension to fool the electorate into believing real differences exist between the two parties. Yet in all honesty very little changes despite which party is in control. You don’t believe me–just ask yourself when Bush was in the White House and the Republicans controlled the Senate and the House what pro life legislation was pushed through? And, after Obama was elected and the Democrats took over congress was any major environmental or educational issue championed? Didn’t think so.
Until we see a viable third party followed by sincere campaign finance reform the two parties we have will continue to duke it out on the single issue that matters most to them–who can please their financial backers better. Believe me when I say Wall Street has its fingers filling both party’s pockets. The 99% needs to quit being afraid of its shadow and get organized. The 99% needs the voice of Dr. King to renew its cry.