In spite of information constantly streaming online with broader images of Occupy Wall Street in cities and towns across America, Rex seems to have stuck to the bashing distortions of the movement. Yesterday, he overlaid his blog with a pastiche of farcical (in some cases grotesque) cartoon figures, and then exclaimed, "My blog has been occupied." Rex seems bent on continued marginalization of a protest movement and of political disobedience, even as US opinion polls acknowledge their legitimacy.
|Hammock gonna hate: Rex's blog occupied per Rex|
I do not know why Rex Hammock is bent on bashing people who are trying to make our country a better place for everyone. Perhaps we did not sink low enough in this recession for Rex to believe dissent against this market is necessary. If so, that would be confounded logic.
But I also wonder whether issues that belch these attacks go deeper. On the one hand, he honors the memory of Martin Luther King, Jr. leading the March on Washington (no word on what he thinks of Dr. King's radical shift 3 years later to economic justice via abolishing poverty and ending the Vietnam War, which seem consistent with OWS ideas). On the other hand, he identifies "real-life" with families living in the deep south who never had to make a decision between racism or civil rights movement.
So, why isn't Rex sitting this one out? Why does he continue to unleash scorn on dissenters based on scant knowledge of what is happening on the ground? Why does he have to inflate common, rag-tag people into abnormal, misguided fools?
|Seeger with Ms. Roosevelt occupying segregation in 1944|
Over against Hammock's catty caricatures, I would place this video of Seeger performing another civil rights classic, "This Little Light of Mine", with other musicians after marching up Broadway to NYC's Columbus Circle last night:
I probably would not be writing any of this if Rex Hammock were not considered somewhat of a social media guru but, because he is influential, his peculiar ridicule warrants rejoinder. Beyond his standing (or celebrity?), his ideas on social protest are silly.
CLARIFICATION: Both Rex and Laura Creekmore in the comments below express concern or anger that I am accusing Rex of being a racist in the fourth paragraph above. That was not my intention at all. I do want to be clear about my intentions, because I do not believe Rex to be racist by any stretch. Here is what Rex originally wrote in his Amazon review:
Marsh grew up in Mississippi during the 1960s, the only child in a family who were neither racist nor vocal civil rights advocates. Theirs is a story rarely heard because it is not one of dramatic heroism or tragedy. Yet it's the real-life story of many of us who grew up in the deep south during that era.
Clearly, Rex identifies with Marsh in growing up in a family that was plainly not racist. My intention in paragraph 4 above was not to dispute his plain point but to suggest that, because Rex grew up between racists and civil rights protesters, he may not be inclined to support protesters now in the same way that someone like Pete Seeger did this week, even though praising protest icons like MLK, Jr. I apologize for any imprecision on my part in making my point clear. But by no means am I trying to convey that Rex is racist.