Obama says ‘rich people are all for nonviolence, they want to make sure people don’t take their stuff’
posted at 5:21 am on October 4, 2012 by Matt Vespa
On January 21, 2002, then-State Senator Barack Obama gave some remarks at a church during a Martin Luther King Jr. memorial service. Obama uses Martin Luther King as a means to make class warfare quips. He says, regarding King’s doctrine of nonviolence, “I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but rich people are all for nonviolence. Why wouldn’t they be? They’ve got what they want. They want to make sure people don’t take their stuff.” He then goes on to slam accountants who, in Obama’s eyes, find tax loopholes to “keep people down.”
The philosophy of nonviolence only makes sense if the powerful can be made to recognize themselves in the powerless. It only makes sense if the powerless can be made to recognize themselves in the powerful. You know, the principle of empathy gives broader meaning, by the way, to Dr. King’s philosophy of nonviolence. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but rich people are all for nonviolence. Why wouldn’t they be? They’ve got what they want. They want to make sure people don’t take their stuff. But the principle of empathy recognizes that there are more subtle forms of violence to which we are answerable. The spirit of empathy condemns not only the use of firehoses and attack dogs to keep people down but also accountants and tax loopholes to keep people down. I’m not saying that what Enron executives did to their employees is the moral equivalent of what Bull Connor did to black folks, but I’ll tell you what, the employees at Enron feel violated. When a company town sees its plant closing because some distant executives made some decision despite the wage concessions, despite the tax breaks, and they see their entire economy collapsing, they feel violence . . .