Is the 'Occupy the Dream' Movement Ruining Dr. King's Legacy?

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By Setrige Crawford, Christian Post Reporter
January 16, 2012|9:43 am

Occupy Wall Street protestors have formed "Occupy the Dream," and plan to organize a series of protests during the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, which has sparked heavy resistance.

Various members of African-American faith community have teamed up with Occupy Wall Street to launch a campaign for economic justice inspired by the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., according to Occupythedream.org. The coalition has called for a national day of action on Martin Luther King Day to focus attention on economic disparities caused by the financial elite.

Organizers of Occupy the Dream are calling on supporters to leave crutches and other prosthetic devices at Federal Reserve Offices around the country to display how financial institutions are crippling the economy.

Occupy the Dream leaders are demanding absolute funding of federal Pell Grants; a moratorium on foreclosure and reparations from banks for "predatory lending" practices; and $100 billion from Wall Street for job training and placement, according to press releases.

Leaders of the movement include Rev. Ben Chavis, former head of the NAACP; Rev. Jamal Bryant, of Baltimore's empowerment Temple Church; and rap mogul Russell Simmons.

According to Rev. Lee Peterson, Occupy the Dream is a scam and the organizers are trying to rob American taxpayers. Peterson is founder and president of The South Central Los Angeles Tea Party and BOND Action.

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BOND Action is a coalition created to educate, motivate and rally Americans to greater involvement in the moral, cultural and political issues that threaten our great country, according to Bondaction.org.

Peterson claims it a tool of the Democratic Party organized to motivate entitlement-minded blacks to vote for Obama.

"It's highway robbery, without using a gun," Peterson told The Christian Post.

He believes that Occupy the Dream organizers are shameless profiteers who have nothing to do with Martin Luther King, Jr.

"They're trying to use Dr. King's name to collect money for themselves," Peterson said. "They should be ashamed of themselves.”

Peterson's problem with the organizers of Occupy the Dream is that they use what seem to be Civil Rights initiatives to intimidate the government into giving minorities money. He says that Americans can't blame Wall Street for their predicament, pointing the fact that organizers like this forced the government to give people money they cannot pay back.

Blacks should stop expecting handouts from the government and instead practice better morals, according to the outspoken pastor.

"Black people are suffering from lack of moral character, not racism," Peterson said.

Peterson went on to say that Dr. King would not support Occupy the Dream nor Occupy Wall Street. He says that King wasn't for more government, he was about family, one nation under God and moral character.

"The Occupy Wall Street protestors don't know why they're protesting," Peterson said. "They're lazy, trifling and jealous of hardworking people."

The Occupy movement is nothing like Dr. King's activism- those that compare the two are liars, he said.

"There's no comparison. Occupy is violent, nasty, dirty and they disrespect other people's property," Peterson said. "They're trying to force someone to give them something and that wasn't King's dream.

According to Peterson, organizations like the NAACP and Planned Parenthood are using Dr. King's name in vain to gain money and power, citing that his dream is dead.

"Dr. King's dream is dead. His original dream was that blacks and whites should join as one, but the country is divided more than ever, due to a class war Obama has started to stay in office," Peterson said.

He says that Dr. King would be ashamed and so should black people.

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