ROLAND S. MARTIN: Occupy Wall Street And The Tea Party Are Exercising Their Rights As Americans

Roland Martin discusses the Occupy Wall Street protesters exercising their right to protest.

Roland S. Martin: : Welcome back to “Washington Watch.” It’s time now for “My Perspective.”

It has been amazing listening to various critics of the Occupy Wall Street protests suggest that somehow what they’re doing is un-American. I’m the same person who said that the Tea Party had an absolute right to do what they were actually doing. In fact, I also said it was a welcome [sight] to see Americans stand up and voice their concerns and mobilize and organize. I might take issue with many aspects of what they’re saying, but there’s no way in the world I’m going to somehow criticize Americans for standing up and taking advantage of a constitutional right. How dare Herman Cain, how dare some of the other Republican candidates, how dare GOP members of Congress actually criticize Americans for actually being Americans. How can they stand here and call themselves patriots, waving their constitution and condemning Americans for actually protesting. Protesting and dissent is at the heart of this country.
That’s how we were started. They galvanized people before we were the United States of America to go against the British. That’s how we led to the American Revolution.

And so it make[s] no sense to me when you see people today somehow suggest that if you decide to leave your homes, if you decide to organize online, if you decide to carry signs, if you decide to sit-in, or sleep-in – even on Wall Street – somehow, that it’s un-American.

The fact of the matter is we should be protesting Wall Street. We bailed their butts out, improved their bottom line, and what do they do to us? Slap us with more fees. That, to me, is offensive, just as it’s offensive for anybody to say they are un-American.

I say, Occupy Wall Street and Tea Party, you’re practicing what it really means to be an American.

That’s my perspective. What’s yours?