Occupy MLK: #RealityNotWhitewashing

Mickey Z.

 

“Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.”

- MLK

 

This year, as we mark the 83rd birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I have two revolutionary suggestions:

  • Learn about the real MLK, not the whitewashed product
  • Apply his vision in the name of our shared heritage

Dr. King understood what it meant to commit to a movement. He comprehended and accepted the risks involved. He was fully aware of the urgency. He never wavered in his efforts to create radical changes in human culture and society and he left behind enough words to help us realistically imagine what he might say and do today (Hint: #Occupy).

For example, he is on record as saying: “If we are going to achieve a real equality, the US will have to adopt a modified form of socialism.”

What? You haven’t ever heard that one? Well, that’s what I mean by whitewashing…

And while we can’t know exactly how Dr. King would feel about the persistent parade of US military interventions, his thoughts on another contemptible intercession are also on the record. The Vietnamese, King said, “must see Americans as strange liberators … For it occurs to me that what we are submitting them to in Vietnam is not simply the brutalizing process that goes on in any war where armies face each other and seek to destroy.”

King then sagely and prophetically added: “We are adding cynicism to the process of death, for they must know … that none of the things we claim to be fighting for are really involved … What do they think as we test our latest weapons on them, just as the Germans tested out new medicine and new tortures in the concentration camps of Europe?”

Maybe you haven’t heard that one either? Well, here are a few ways to help you ReOccupy MLK and commence reclaiming our future in the process:

Speak out: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

I mean, seriously…SPEAK OUT: “A riot is the language of the unheard.”

Tap into something bigger: “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom … Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.”

Ecosystem Before Economics: “When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.”

Community Before Technology: “Through our scientific and technological genius, we have made of this world a neighborhood and yet we have not had the ethical commitment to make of it a brotherhood…We must all learn to live together as brothers or we will all perish together as fools.”

Be Radical, Be Extreme, Be Creative: “When you are right, you cannot be too radical … The question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. The nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists … Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.”

Commit: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

Here’s a pretty damn good answer to that last question: #Occupying.

As MLK urged: “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

We are the 99%. Expect us. Join us…

#DeOccupyWhitewashing. #OccupyReality.

 

Mickey Z. is the author of 11 books, most recently the novel Darker Shade of Green. Until the laws are changed or the power runs out, he can be found on an obscure website called Facebook.

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