What if Occupy Nazareth, Occupy Gettysburg and Occupy Washington all performed "mic checks" during some of history's great speeches ...
In the year 30 A.D., an itinerant preacher stood atop a hill in Judea, and began preaching to a large crowd spread out before him.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” the preacher began. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled…”
Suddenly, he was interrupted by a group of young people standing in the back of the throng.
“Mic check!” their leader shouted. “You claim to speak for the poor, the mourners, the meek, and the righteous, but you haven’t said a word to specifically address long-term unemployment, lack of access to quality health care, the foreclosure crisis or the increase in income disparity throughout the Roman Empire since 1 B.C.!”
“Identify yourself!” the preacher said.
“We’re Occupy Nazareth, and we represent the 99 percent of Judeans who weren’t lucky enough to inherit divinity from our parents!” the young man shouted. “Also, we want to talk to you about feeding that crowd with loaves and fishes. Next time, we think you should serve something vegan.”
The group then began to chant: “Jesus, who elected you? Not the people! Not the people!”
Jesus had a longer sermon prepared, but the meeting broke up after that, and he never had a chance to deliver it.
In the year 1863, a tall, bearded man stood solemnly at the scene of a battle, and unfolded an envelope on which he had written a brief speech.
“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal…”
“Mic check!” a voice from the crowd shouted. “We’re here to expose President Lincoln’s real motive for starting the Civil War: to increase profits for northern armaments makers. People not profits! People not profits!”
“Let the president finish!” a soldier shouted.
“We’re Occupy Gettysburg, and we’re going to be heard,” the leader shouted. “We’re going to give the last full measure of our devotion to ensure that government of the people, by the people and for the people does not perish from the face of the Earth.”
In response to his words, a dozen Occupy protestors began marching in a circle, chanting “of the people, by the people, for the people!” over and over again.
Lincoln never got to finish his speech.
In the year 1963, a man stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and delivered a speech his people had been waiting over 300 years to hear.
“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal,’” he proclaimed. “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
“Mic check!” a young woman shouted from beneath the podium. “This is Occupy The March On Washington. Hey, Dr. King, what about women? Aren’t all women created equal, too? This is 1963, not 1863.”
And so she began a chant: “All men AND women created equal. All men AND women created equal. All men AND women created equal.”
Martin Luther King never lived long enough to support the women’s liberation movement.
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