The following post was contributed to RevolutionTruth by Brett Leben. Brett is from a small, rural town in North Dakota, USA. He works for a small masonry company, and previously was an income tax preparer, which was recently given up to return to college. Relations with the local Native Americans, experiencing their discrimination and hardships first hand has shown him the necessity of equality. The internet gets credit for an understanding of how important information is to everyone. Logic tells him the truth is all that matters. He is planning to pursue a greater understanding of Political Science and of writing ability.
The Occupy Wall Street movement has been sustained for nearly two months now. Very little violence or destruction has occurred. It is inevitable when people are angry, oppressed and feeling hopeless that actions turn destructive. But, somehow, they have kept it under control. A new way of thinking might be manifesting through the collective despair. A way of thinking that might just be the key to advancement of world relations and equality.
I played high-school hockey growing up. One ideal that was inflicted upon our team was that the basketball players are your enemy. We were told to not go to their games, or associate with their acquaintances. It’s a common occurrence in high school; friends of a different clique are your enemy. I never understood why, but I was too young and dumb and proud to say anything. I just went to their games and talked to them, and I still do.
The most controversial U.S. President of late, George W. Bush, in an address following 9-11-2001, and in a manner that is reminiscent of my high-school speech class, took that way of thinking to a grand level by stating; “Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.” Or, to put it another way, a friend of my enemy is my enemy. Look where it has lead us to – constant warfare, where we don’t even know who our enemies are anymore. We do know that we are broke and people are dying left and right though. And who, exactly, ARE the terrorists?
A friend of OWS’s enemy is NOT their enemy.
Thankfully, OWS has shown that is not their priority. A recent attack on a journalist by the NYPD shows it well. She wasn’t any old journalist. She reports for The Daily Caller, which is an infamous right-wing organization that has criticized the movement in many articles. However, that didn’t stop the protestors from immediately coming to her aid. It’s good to see Michelle Fields kept her objectivity when she stated;
“The protesters came up to me right away and asked if I needed any medical assistance. They were actually very kind and helpful. It was the police officers who were very aggressive.”
I can only wonder if this is the real change we need, and why the movement has stayed peaceful. A complete shift from being the exclusive nation of “you are either with us or against us”, to something more mature and tolerant. I still enjoy talking to those old basketball players from high-school and their acquaintances. I think our nation would enjoy letting the Middle-East be our (USA) friends too. After all, we don’t even know who our enemies are at this point.
A friend of my enemy is not necessarily MY enemy.