Tonight I realized something: I like Reverend Al Sharpton. This may seem trivial, or not, but this is a big deal for me. For the last few decades I have pretty much hated his strident rhetoric.
I was in college in the late 80’s and early 90’s and I didn’t really like him back then. Even though I was very liberal and progressive, he always seemed like he was exploiting things for fame, hype and personal gain. Whether or not that was true, even as recently as last month, whenever his show came on MSNBC after Hardball, I would turn off Reverend Al’s show, because I always felt I was being yelled at by him.
Something has changed though, in the last few weeks I have looked forward to and avidly watched Rev. Al’s show. Chris Mathews nailed it when he said tonight, “There is something in the air.” That something is obviously Occupy Wall Street, which is growing every day, and is now an international movement, and has actually come to my relatively small, kind-of upstate New York, Community College Campus:
Now suddenly strident rhetoric seems totally appropriate. I find myself just as angry as Reverend Al, and everyone else. Not just from all the corruption, manipulation, capitulation and exploitation of the last decade or so, but also from the reaction of the establishment to the protesters. I just witnessed two or so years of Tea-party bullshit, and I can’t believe they are treating these protests with mindless repression and violence. But this hero, Sgt. Shamar Thomas, who served two tours in Iraq has totally shamed the powers that be and has captured the feeling in the air.
Finally people are saying enough is enough. I was starting to think back in September that things had to get even worse than they already were before people demanded and voted for change. I feel much better about that now.
Tonight on Hardball Robert Reich talked about his economic plan and the fact that people in Washington D.C. are actually discussing ideas like his, such as the WPA, public works and taxing the hyper-rich. This is a seismic change, and I can only hope and pray that all this the atmosphere of energy, anger and frustration translates into votes in the upcoming elections.
So Reverend Al, Robert, Sgt. Thomas, 99%, keep up the good fight! and for God’s sake and everyone else’s, VOTE!!!!!!