On Sunday morning, Rev. Harold Mayberry of the First African Methodist Episcopal Church informed his congregation that it was high time for them to connect with the Occupy Wall Street movement, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, in attendance at services that day.
There’s a movement afoot to link the nation’s black communities — often those hit hardest by unemployment, foreclosure, lack of opportunities for education, and many of the planks of the Occupy platform — to the activists making headlines, many of whom are not black, according to reports. Mayberry is one of many attempting to make Martin Luther King Day “Occupy the Dream,” according to the newspaper.
Mayberry is part of a movement called Occupy the Dream which is trying to tie the memory of Dr. King with the Occupy Wall Street movement.
In the Bay Area, some faith leaders in the fledging movement – which takes its name from Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I have a dream” speech – are talking about other ideas, including asking “all those billionaires” who are participating in the upcoming America’s Cup sailing race to contribute to a community fund that would help with job development, said the Rev. Daniel Buford, who works in the Prophetic Justice Ministry at Allen Temple Baptist Church in Oakland.
“This is a great leap forward to involve local pastors,” said James Taylor, an associate professor of political science at the University of San Francisco and an expert in African American studies. “The general critique of Occupy is that it has lacked a specific agenda. But this could be a sign of maturity for the movement.”
Bill O’ Reilly’s favorite socialist, Dr. Mark Lamont Hill agrees that OWS is the extension of Martin Luther King’s Civil Rights Movement
“We’ve always needed to talk about the have-nots and the have-gots,” Hill said in a telephone interview last week. “The Occupy movement kind of revives that conversation.”
Forgive me for being blunt but Horse-Crap! If Dr. King was alive today he would be horrified by Occupy Wall Street. Besides the obvious (Dr. King would never approve of crapping on cars, rapes or any of the other 400+ crimes committed by OWS protesters) the Occupy movement is about divisiveness and class warfare, it is full of hatred and violence. That is not what Dr. King was fighting for:
“We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.”– Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., August 28, 1963
Dr. King would reject a movement that had to set up guarded tents for women because there were too many rapes going on, or had members who pushed a cop in front of a bus, or ones whose participants were arrested for selling crack or marched into a McDonalds demanding free food. King was a Preacher, a man of God and would have never accepted the lawlessness of the Occupy protests.
King would have never stood by the Occupy claim that America’s business leaders are the source of their problems. He preached personal responsibility:
And so the challenge which confronts all of us is to respond to our circumstances with strength and courage rather than with weakness and despair Who in all history canserve as a better example for us at this point than our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ.
There was nothing so comfortable and advantageous about His environmental and hereditary circumstances He was born in a stable and raised on a carpenter’s bench His mother and father were not members of the upper crust of Jewish society They did not enjoy the power of the aristocrat Pharisee or the prestige of the cosmopolitan Sadducee Jesus was born in plain unpretentious circumstances.
But Jesus had within himself a power of personal response which was destined to transform his circumstances This same Jesus who was born in an ox stable, rose up to be the strongest and tallest oak in the great forest of history This same Jesus, rose from a carpenter’s bench to gve impetus to a movement which has grown from a group of 12 men to more than 700,000,000 today This same Jesus split history into A.D. and B.C. This same Jesus so concerned men that His message is eternal and universal that they have triumphantly sung Jesus shall reign where ere the sun, Does his successive journeys run, His kingdom spread from shore to shore, Till moons shall wax and wane no more.
Not environment, not heredity, but personal response is the final determining factor in our lives. And herein lies our area of responsibility.
-Reverend Martin Luther King Jr, sermon in Atlanta July 26, 1953
Reverend King would have never stood for the Antisemitism that came out of the Occupy Wall Street camps. When Dr. King marched, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel (on the left in the picture below), was next to him, along with others, like Rabbi Maurice Eisendrath (carrying the Torah) who were not Black but because they too were clergy who believed that all men should be treated and judged equally:
Heschel, a Polish immigrant, scion of a long line of Chasidic rabbis, Professor of Jewish Ethics and Mysticism at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and King, an American descendant of slaves, a compassionate protector of the oppressed, charismatic orator, writer and theologian, marched side-by- side from Selma to Montgomery to protest the pernicious racism that poisoned America and humiliated its African-American citizens.
When preachers such as Rev. Harold Mayberry try to tie the occupy movement to Dr. King’s work they are not only wrong, but they are slandering the memory of a great man of God, whose teachings were the exact opposite of those espoused by the protesters occupying sites across the country.