as clear. The techniques are not as simple. So we have a tough job and we are fighting a powerful enemy – the people who control. Ten percent of the people control 90 percent of the money. They’re very powerful and they’re not giving up without a fight. So we have to continue to fight and understand the nature of the struggle. It’s difficult and challenging but we have to meet the challenge and understand that we have a tough fight.”
Lowery explained that what Dr. Martin Luther Jr. launched with the Poor People’s Campaign could be done today.
“There is some kind of movement emerging now in the country on Wall Street, which is not calling it a Poor People’s Campaign, but it’s similar with overlapping objectives. The financial community has to accept a great deal of blame for what’s happening in this economic crisis we’re having – corruption, greed, insensitivity to the needs of the poor. Matter fact, they would rather the poor [be] invisible. They’re not willing to share the tax cuts that Mr. Bush gave the wealthy for a certain period of time and before that time expired they were not willing to relinquish it and they’re still not,” said Lowery.
Lowery also expressed hope that President Obama would continue to address ending tax cuts for the wealthy. ” I think the wealthy ought to listen to Mr. [Warren] Buffet. I think they ought to listen to him because he’s right. He advised that the wealthy ought to pay a more appropriate share of their income and not be so greedy. That’s an issue we’ve got to deal with. The greedy gets more greedy. The more they get, the more they want. That’s a real problem in the country. I say when you have 10 or 12 percent of the people owning 88 to 90 percent of the wealth, that’s a terrible imbalance.”
Lowery said that a solution to help create change is to vote and elect individuals who support equity. “The older I get, the more I like equity better than I do equality. We get confused with equality, [but] we understand equity because it’s spelled with a dollar sign. We’ve got to find ways to make things more equitable in this county. The people on Wall Street are doing us a great service because it reminds us that we’ve come a long way, but we have a long way to go.”
As Lowery reiterated in his closing remarks that America will “come to herself,” he also made a prediction in a recent interview.
“I think that before the election that the America people are going to come to themselves like the prodigal son came to himself. I think the American people are going to realize that we must not listen to the people who care more about their own agenda than they do the welfare of this country. They care more about their personal good than they do the common good.
“Too much of this is based on racial bias. I’ve never seen a president attacked so viciously in my lifetime. I’m certain that race is a part of what’s happening,” said Lowery. I think the American people are not going to tolerate it. I think it will be reflected in the election,” he said.
Lowery’s birthday celebration, directed and produced by Kenneth Green, will benefit the Joseph E. Lowery Institute for Justice and Human Rights at Clark Atlanta University. Others who participated included: the Rev. Dr. Cameron M. Alexander, pastor, Antioch Baptist Church, North; Shirley Franklin, former Atlanta mayor; Isaac Farris, president, SCLC; Vernon E. Jordan, Sr. managing director for Lazard Freres & Company LLC; Dr. Bernice A. King, founder, Be A King Enterprises LLC; Martin Luther King III, president and CEO, The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change; U.S. Congressman John Lewis, Georgia, 5th District; Rev. Herman “Skip” Mason, general president, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.; the Rev. C. T. Vivian, founder, C. T. Vivian Leadership Institute Inc., and Ambassador Andrew Young of Goodworks International.