Today’s USA Today carries a letter from a member of Occupy Wall Street in response to that paper’s editorial, headlined “‘Occupy’ movement fading out in a whimper.” The letter’s author — a “self-employed massage therapist” from Austin, Texas — suggests that the movement should turn to violence, rendering their “occupation” a little more akin to those we’ve seen historically:
USA TODAY’s editorial is right to say that Occupy might lack clear goals on how to move forward, but the movement has accomplished its main original goal: to protest these injustices, not by simply holding a rally and going home, but by keeping the rally going to underscore the seriousness of this problem. Your piece accuses the protesters of sitting around and doing nothing. So maybe they should take up their Second Amendment-sanctioned guns and storm Wall Street and our nation’s capitals. If our country doesn’t change, it could very well come to that one day.
The media responses to the tea party rallies and the Occupy movement could not be more different. When a black, law-abiding citizen who was complying with the law turned up to a healthcare town hall in Arizona, MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer flew off the handle, seeing insurrection in the air: “There are questions about whether this has racial overtones…white people showing up with guns,” she said. (The man was actually black, but why let the facts get in the way of hysteria?) Her colleague, Toure, added, “there is tremendous anger in this country about government, the way government seems to be taking over the country, anger about a black person being president…we see these hate groups rising up and this is definitely part of that.” (This is definitely part of that?) The story was cycled hour after hour.
But when a young man writes a letter to a national newspaper predicting a revolution in which the government and the banks are overthrown by gun-toting “occupiers” — then, what? Earlier this month, the FBI warned of the threat from “anti-government extremists.” From Reuters:
Anti-government extremists opposed to taxes and regulations pose a growing threat to local law enforcement officers in the United States, the FBI warned on Monday.
These extremists, sometimes known as “sovereign citizens,” believe they can live outside any type of government authority, FBI agents said at a news conference.
Based on my time in Zuccotti Park, “sovereign citizen” is a perfect description of the Occupiers’ conceit that they can live outside of the law. Where is the outcry?