It’s not only conservatives who have noticed that the waning OWS movement was pretty much whiter than white. Black activist preachers have noticed the same thing and are trying to mobilize their congregants to get out there to camp on sidewalks like homeless people along with the white drug-addicted, violent OWSers:
The Rev. Harold Mayberry stood before his First African Methodist Episcopal Church congregation Sunday morning in Oakland and outlined how it was time for members to connect with the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Nationally, many African American leaders have acknowledged a disconnect between the Occupy Wall Street movement and the larger black community.
Mayberry is among nearly two dozen prominent African American Bay Area pastors trying to bridge that gap at the community level through a growing national effort that is ramping up today – Martin Luther King Jr. Day – called Occupy the Dream.
“This is a great leap forward to involve local pastors,” said James Taylor, an associate professor of political science at the University of San Francisco and an expert in African American studies. “The general critique of Occupy is that it has lacked a specific agenda. But this could be a sign of maturity for the movement.”
In February, the pastors will ask their congregants to withdraw a small amount of money – at least $30 – from their bank accounts and deposit it in either a credit union or a minority-owned bank.
If that symbolic move doesn’t get the attention of “Wall Street banks,” as Mayberry described the nation’s largest financial institutions, then in March, Occupy the Dream will ask larger African American-dominated institutions, churches and black professionals to begin transferring greater amounts to credit unions.
“I ain’t got no problem with people becoming millionaires – I wouldn’t mind joining the club myself,” Mayberry told his congregation. “My problem is when you are so insensitive to people who have not been able to raise themselves up to the level where you are – and you snuff out their dreams.”
I just heard from a friend who lives in and functions in the welfare/drug community. (I’m not kidding when I say that I have contacts in all walks of life.) There’s a black market of food stamps there. My friend is dining on roast beef tonight because another friend traded his food stamps with him for weed. All these people have a few things in common: they’re white; they’re drug users (mostly post); they rely heavily on welfare programs because of their drug use, whether we’re talking about impairment from actively using drugs or from decades of past drug use; and they support the OWS movement. They are explicit that they see OWS as a way to ensure a continued flow of welfare benefits.
Is this really the milieu to which black pastors want to sink their congregants?
UPDATE: This video of Valerie Jarrett giving a rousing political speech at a historically black church (after which the church hosted a voter registration guide) seems apropos. At least Michelle Obama limited her black voter drive speech to the BET awards, a venue that doesn’t get the tax benefits extended to a church.