Legendary comedian, activist, dietary guru and best-selling author Dick Gregory has said that the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations remind him of the 1960’s civil rights movement of which he was very much entrenched. And in the spirit of that movement, Gregory believes this modern uprising may even result in increased mass protests, and progressive change.
In reflection Gregory warned political leaders not to underestimate the wave of anti-corporate rebellion that is literally enveloping the nation. Speaking to a sold-out show at DC’s Riot Comedy Club, the 78 year old comedic pioneer said,
“Listening to this is like listening to the early days of the civil rights movement. What’s going to really tip it off, is a cop is going to make a mistake. The difference between this movement and our movement is that white people — rich, poor, educated — are born with 300 years of white privilege.” Gregory continued, “So there are certain things that you don’t do to me when you’re born with privileges. When it was us, the cops could do anything they wanted to. You can’t do these children like this.” An interesting statement from the veteran comedian/activist, just as the Daily Mail reports a growing number of offspring of the elite 1% joining the remaining 99% in the OWS protests.
Gregory, who continues to strive for African American equality, said he had talked at length with demonstrators at the Stop the Machine protest in central Washington – which is separate from Occupy Wall Street. “Young folks is coming through now, they are saying, there’s something wrong with this. They have this sense of fairness … they have a new mentality,” he said. A social and entertainment icon himself, Gregory cautioned folks against looking to a celebrity to affect social change, especially in these critical times: “People like glamour. That’s what messes up America.”