Where is our Martin Luther King, Jr. today?

http://alexa-fox.com/acne Posted by on Jan 17, 2012 in Writing | 0 comments

http://virginiacourtservices.com/property-management-services/ At 26, Martin Luther King Jr. was thrust into the spotlight, being asked to be the spiritual leader of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. What were you doing at 26? I was trying to negotiate for a new job with an increase in my salary, which is hardly on par with taking up the mantle of equality. Hell, all I wanted to do at that age was to buy a better home, get a better-paying job, and lead a very middle-class life.

chloroquine brands in india Twenty six years later, I wonder if I would have had the courage. I can’t imagine that I would have his level of commitment. He was more than brave, more than a phenomenal orator, he was a man who gave up practically every aspect of his life for something he believed in. He gave up his livelihood, so much time with his family, and eventually his life.

Which pretty much explains why people like MLK only come along once in a great while.

Most late boomers and younger know about his work on civil rights, but the man came to understand that poverty has always been a form of discrimination that transcends skin color. He moved into a slum in Chicago to make his point. But King’s non-violent approach, which was so successful with civil rights, was trumped by anger when it came to poverty. And it looks like that’s about to happen again.

Today poverty might be an even deeper and more pervasive problem. More and more people are seeing no way out of their current state. Depression and binge drinking is setting in across virtually every income level. Few of us will live a life as good as our parents. Few of us can afford a house as nice as our parents, or to give our children as comfortable a life as we had. Please don’t discount the guilt and depression that comes with that realization. It’s powerful.

I believe that this widespread desperation is what is at the core of the Occupy movement. However, I think they’ve missed their mark. Yes, the folks who played Monopoly with other people’s money, homes, and livelihood screwed the economy and then got bailed out. Yes, there are people who have spent years in prison for stealing a television while the guys who stole billions get off with a slap on the wrist. But it’s the laws and lawmakers that allowed that.

The tax laws allow big banks to pay no taxes and get a refund. Meanwhile, folks trying to live on unemployment have to pay — in fact, your average unemployment check has a higher percentage of taxes withheld than Mitt Romney paid last year. Unfortunately, the lawmakers are the ones profiting from the flow of cash, so you’re going to be hard-pressed to change those laws. The only proven successful approach to changing how money is used is to make it more expensive to keep things the way they are than to change.

It’s still going to take men and women of conviction to do the right thing. And is seems that the only way they are going to make headway is if there is a televised revolt, like those in the Middle East. I’m just not seeing an alternative right now (though I am praying for one). People (and they are still people like you and me) with the money and power don’t seem willing to concede even a little bit to the masses (who are also people like you and me) in order to placate those without. Not very smart, in my opinion. And that arrogance is about to get very expensive.

The Equal Rights Amendment was passed to placate the masses. It stemmed the flow of violence in the south. It was also the right thing to do, since it was covered in our Declaration of Independence. But poverty is a very different beast. You can’t easily pass a bill that says you have to create jobs in order to make money. Or can you? Can you change the tax laws so that a company has to pay more for cutting jobs — or share the cost-savings with those who were laid off? Will that even help? Smarter people than me would need to come up with some answers. I just hope they do so quickly.

Society today is just waiting for a touch point. Something, even insignificant, that sparks the bubbling cauldron of discontent to explode into a revolution. I just hope that our revolution is more like the Civil Rights Movement with a Martin Luther King, Jr. as the leader. Because none of us want or can afford the 2012 edition of Robespierre and the French Revolution.

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