Racial equality wasn’t all that big a deal to the plutocracy (AKA the 1%), because they weren’t going to lose any money from it. But when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. started the Poor People’s Campaign, that’s when s*** got real. A multi-racial, cross-class movement for economic justice? That was gonna cost some change.
And if you think about it, the leaders of every movement that tried to empower the many and free them from the oppression of the few have been so treated. Jesus, and Gandhi, to name a few. Others survived (like Mandela) but suffered horribly as they were made an example of by the 1% of their day.
Because ultimately the color wars, the culture wars, the party wars, all are of relatively little import to those who would use the world as their own private slush fund. They matter to US, we who are not of the Plutocratic Elite, but all they care about is cash and control. When wealth and power are put on the table, that is when people start getting killed, to protect the fortunes and privileges of the few. If they can mute the voices of freedom and justice, they will do so: but kill they will, if they deem it expedient and to their own benefit.
The leaders of Occupy managed to avoid King’s fate, because they refused (wisely) to have one single person as their capital-L Leader. Their message was marginalized by less drastic means. But marginalized it was, because when it comes to wealth, any and all means will be used to maintain the positions of the Plutocrats.
Remember, Gentle Reader, as you honor Dr. King on this day: he did not only die because he wanted people of color to be free: he died because he wanted all of us to share in the fruits of our labor. That is why he was murdered, as were other warriors before him. And we can best honor him by carrying on that fight.
Mister Blunt and Cranky
PS: This is not intended as slight on those who have bravely fought for justice based on color, creed, class and culture. Those are serious struggles and are very important to the vast majority of us. This post is about the economic aspect of Dr. King’s legacy, which is ofttimes overlooked.