This morning, I opened my favorite on line newsletter Dana Delivered. In this issue there was an article about Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s “Time to Break Silence” speech. This brilliant speech was delivered in 1967 in direct response to the inequities of war, in this case the Vietnam War and how not speaking the truths on how a war impacts a world and its humanity was in essence a betrayal. The actual quote is “A time comes when silence is betrayal”. The executive committee of Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Vietnam set this statement, which impacted Dr. King, Jr. in 1967 to which he delivered the aforementioned prolific speech.
Last night I went to the Occupy LA rally to support those that have been standing their ground against corporate greed as well as a wellspring of other issues that have infested our society. In my opinion, one of these infestations, specifically misinformation, has seeped into our culture imbedding itself firmly in the media to manipulate the masses for ratings not to mention shareholder profits that led me and my partner to follow the Occupy LA movement since October by documenting it on our website, www.comversationsfacetoface.com and facebook page, Conversations Face to Face, as well as on You Tube. Our goal was and is to ensure that this movement will not be corrupted and sacrificed for the sake of sensationalism. That it be documented in a clear perspective allowing the public to view this movement without sound bites, cloaked opinions, scripted copy and most importantly to give this movement a human voice.
In the past I have voiced my anger and dissatisfaction with our government and laws by involving myself in campaigns, registering voters, phone banking and of course through the ballot box however this point in time is different for me as I see a society that is on the verge of rapidly sliding toward the dangerous deterioration of human rights or as Dr. King, Jr. expressed in his speech in 1967, “when machines and computer, profits, motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered.”
Measuring my success by chasing the almighty dollar limited my political action involvement to the periphery never fully embracing the important correlation between activism and one’s voice until the Obama campaign. President Obama’s grassroots campaign affected my life as well as many lives in that one realized that change was possible through one’s own ingenuity, a voice. It did not take a corporation but people voicing their enthusiasms about one's own destiny and purpose that elected a skinny bi-racial kid from Hawaii as President of the United States.
The Occupy movements resonate the same message in that change is what you want it to be. You must take charge of a system in which you voted for, you pay taxes toward, and you work for simply put this is your government. You elected these officials to serve your interest and you have the POWER to change that official anytime you want. It happened in Wisconsin and it will happen again. The only way to make it happen is through your voice.
Black Friday, we, millions of people utilized our voice to declare that we are ready to spend our hard earned dollars in the stores this holiday season. Imagine us millions of people utilizing that same voice to declare that we want the wealthiest 1 percent and corporations to pay their fair share of taxes, millions of us utilizing that voice to demand social security and Medicare, better education, jobs. If we as a people collectively utilize our voice the same voice we utilized on Black Friday we will be heard long after the stores are closed.
The voice of defiance rang out loud and clear last night on the steps of city hall at the Occupy LA General Assembly let it ring out again by supporting the Occupy movement determined to bring change to enrich the lives today and those of future generations who look to us to be their voice in which their humanity is not sacrificed due to a corporate bottom-line. Speak up for yourselves, your communities, your country and the children. The time has come when silence is a betrayal.