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Rev. Dr. Lewis E. Logan II
By Rev. Dr. Lewis E. Logan II, PastorRuach Christian Community FellowshipInterim Program Manager AACS Fuller Theological Seminary
The expression ‘timing is everything' could not be more appropriate at this moment in human history, when the opportunity to personally reflect upon the meaning of the Thanksgiving observance warrants a peculiar polemic of historical allegories.
While it goes without saying that I am 100% grateful to my God for the precious gifts of life, strength, health, family, and opportunities to dream and aspire, I am pressed and particularly thankful to witness and participate in an especially dynamic period. This means that I am, we are, alive and conscious at a time when the odious historical antecedent of the modern celebration of what is now known as Thanksgiving was an immanent shift in access to resources and wealth on this continent.
In 1620, European delegations, of what could be considered the 99% in England, braved the North Atlantic to distance themselves from the 1% who were oppressing them and became the 1% on this continent. The 99% native population in North America shared their resources with the 1% foreigners only to find themselves decimated to less than 1% of the U.S. population today.
Thankfully, however, the ‘occupation movement' with its chant, ‘We are the 99%,' has pragmatically, ethically, and analytically succeeded Dr. King's poor peoples' campaign in the sense that it has staked out key visible locations, adopted civil disobedient non-violent direct action, and demanded equitable economic redistribution and enfranchisement.
When Dr. King was murdered for having the courage to speak truth to the U.S. Military Empire and the racist Memphis municipal powerbase, he was calling for a nationwide ‘Occupy Washington D.C.' The Washington D.C. occupation of the 99% in 1968 would have turned the attention of the world to the nation's capital by conducting a massive sit- in until substantive change was realized. This is in the same way that Naomi Klein posits in her book, ‘The Shock Doctrine,' that sociopolitical instability caused by economic crisis set the stage for the opportunistic imposition of restrictive civil liberty limiting and draconian financial policies. The occupy movement has conversely adopted the inclusive class analysis of the poor people's campaign.
Because of the many global uprisings like the ‘Occupy Movement,' this particular Thanksgiving of 2011 is punctuated by an unprecedented focus on the 99% for whom the satisfaction of a ‘Thanksgiving meal' for a day is supplanted by a strategic movement of parity for a lifetime.
Perhaps, when we, the 99%, recognize that this and other holidays ought to focus on the needs of people instead of participating in the hyper-consumerism and conspicuous consumption, which only profits the 1%, we will begin to be the change we are demanding.
Seeing and participating in such a movement in my lifetime is certainly something for which I'm 100% thankful! In tribute to my native sisters and brothers, I say that while our experiences shape us, but our expectations empower us!"
Thank you for your courage!