Be Schofield’s article I blogged about earlier includes this assesment of MLK’s “final campaign” (the Poor People’s March) :
King had developed several goals in his final campaign, which may or may not inspire the OWS movement. He had hoped the Poor People’s Campaign would achieve direct employment through a massive public works program, a guaranteed annual income, funding for teaching and education and adequate medical care for the poor. King also said, “We need the equivalent of Medicare for housing.” It’s simple: jobs, income, housing, education and the elimination of poverty.
The events in the ArabSpring got me asking “how long before we have ours in the US?” The answer appears tohave been about 7 months, as Sep. 17 is marked as the start of OWS. In August, I ordered a book entitled : The Last Crusade: MLK , the FBI, and the Poor People’s Campaign by Gerald McKnight.
I suspected that this would be a point of theological impact that would be a likely focal point since MLK gave us such a historical precedent to the powerof non-violent mass movements. On the secular front, this would be a new chapter in Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States: 1492-Present
I had also been moved by the actions of Wisconsin against the “Scott Walker regime” that was aprt of a nationwide GOP effort to cut the support out of the possible sources of resistance to even further curtailing of People’s rights.
The above quote’s expressed desire that a “Works program” be set in motion also makes me desire a look into the details of FDR. I have read some of the desires of Obama to draw some remedy models from the Works program begun in 1933 (and subsequently squelched and defunded by “austerity measures” in the conservative backlash that followed). I have read about Obama’s historical interest and admiration for FDR in Ron Suskind’s book “Confidence Men”, in which I am about halfway. Pretty fascinating read based on Suskind’s many in depth interviews with numerous members of Obama’s “advisory team”, both those on the cabinet level and those on “the outside” but consulted. It has given me some small measure of attenuation to my criticisms of and frustrations with Obama, but leaves me still disappointed that he wasn’t stronger.
Much more to come. Lots of people talking MLK and OWS today. Check out the posts at occupytheology.org (which is a special section of this blog with a custom post type of occupytheology, which in turn posts automatically to my twitter account for occupytheology. It’s all “theoblogical”.