Hardly Dr. King’s formula


To the Editor:

At this time of the year, we reflect on and remember the teachings and philosophy of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He espoused and promoted a dream of a world where everyone would live in mutual respect, brotherhood, love and peace, and where individuals would only be judged by the content of their character. Dr. King’s vision was indeed ambitious and admirable. Unfortunately, and very sadly, as fragile human beings, we continue to fall far short of the greatness of his final goal.

The recent Occupy movement tried to mimic Dr. King’s activism, but departed on a tangent that was ultimately very distantly removed from his dream. The occupiers showed virtually no respect for any property, public or private, they cost taxpaying Americans millions of dollars in overtime pay for law enforcement, they left tons of trash, waste, and filth behind them, fought with police, and in Oakland, California, even attempted to shut down the city’s port by blocking truck drivers and longshoremen from their duties.

Black flags of anarchy flew over some campsites, and in others there were assaults, rapes, and incessant illegal drug activity, with ordinary citizens being intimidated and frightened by the mere presence of the encampments. The leaders of the movement appear to be anti‑capitalist, and yet have taken the inappropriate and hilariously hypocritical step of incorporating the Occupy name, in a contradictory manner of almost schizoid proportions.

The prevailing mindset of the occupiers does not coincide with the philosophy of Dr. King, but runs counter to it, because no one can encourage respect, brotherhood, love, peace, and living in harmony while fomenting class envy, class hatred, and class warfare. Despite the efforts and actions of some people with good intentions, the two philosophies are incompatible and exclusive of each other, with one being the road to peace, and the other being the road to the bowels of the nethermost regions of discord.

Michael F. Fontes

West Tisbury