Now I’m not one to infringe on anyone’s right to free speech and peaceful protest; I mean, I’ve got friends who are “occupiers.” However, when you’re not really saying anything other than, “Hey man, look at my red tent,” I don’t really understand what your intended political statement is.If MSNBC wasn’t telling me what you are trying to accomplish, I wouldn’t know why there seems to be a month-long music festival (with no music) outside my office window; and I walk by your encampment every day.
What is the endgame? No one has been able to tell me, including Chris Matthews. Whatever the intent, the time has come to go home, get a job and contribute. If you haven’t figured out yet why those people in the buildings around you seem to be looking with the inquisitive stare of a child gazing through the bars at the zoo, it is because your protest is just as curious as an elephant swatting flies.
You have no objective end goal.
When the “sit-in” protests of the 1960s occurred, they were sitting where they weren’t supposed to, which had a recognizable purpose. You have a permit.
And if your argument is simply that you’re trying to “protest” capitalism, the irony isn’t lost on any of us: You’re squatting in a park named after one of our state’s great capitalists. You see, the guy whose name is on your tent park was born in a log cabin and didn’t come from much. He busted his tail to build something, and when he had to drop out of law school because he couldn’t afford it, he didn’t ask the government for a subsidy. He made his own and built a business. And yes, he wasn’t perfect and had his faults; however, the lesson should be learned that the worst job in the world is one that is simply given to you.
Occupiers without an endgame are simply squatters. You’re never going to give yourself an opportunity for upward mobility camped out in a tent in Kerr Park. You’ll give yourself an opportunity by camping out in front of a computer working to build and create. If you can’t get a job, create one. Sell Amway products, or Mary Kay for crying out loud, whatever it takes. Otherwise, you’re simply a bum, a blight on our community and a weight on our economy.
Occupiers, get out of our way if you’re not willing to join the 99 percent of the 99 percent who are working to make a better future for ourselves, our families and our community. And by the way, be careful in the coming days because that building to your west is about to come crumbling down around you in the name of capitalistic progress. Maybe it’s time the tents came down, as well, and you all got back to work.
Smith is an attorney living in Oklahoma City.