Michael Moore has a message for Republicans: just because he's wealthy doesn't mean he can't stand with those angry with America's economic system.
The documentary filmmaker, who has been active and vocal in the Occupy Wall Street movement since it began in September, posted on his blog on Thursday a response to conservatives who criticize the seeming inconsistency between his personal wealth and his involvement in a movement that seeks to balance financial inequity in the United States.
Noting that he was once an unemployed striver in Flint, Michigan, Moore laid out a basic set of guidelines that he has followed since the success of his film "Roger & Me" in 1989. Included were paying his taxes, giving a large chunk of his money to charity and avoiding ownership of stock on the principle that he'd make money from work, not on the financial wrangling of Wall Street that hurt so many members of the middle class.
Moore then defended his views in an historical context:
"I make my money the old school, honest way by making things. Some years I earn a boatload of cash. Other years, like last year, I don't have a job (no movie, no book) and so I make a lot less. 'How can you claim to be for the poor when you are the opposite of poor?!' It's like asking: 'You've never had sex with another man -- how can you be for gay marriage?! I guess the same way that an all-male Congress voted to give women the vote, or scores of white people marched with Martin Luther Ling, Jr. [sic] ... It is precisely this disconnect that prevents Republicans from understanding why anyone would give of their time or money to help out those less fortunate.
The blog came after Moore squared off with Piers Morgan the night before, with Morgan also going after Moore's wealth in an attempt to discredit his activism.
"I am devoting my life to those who have less and who have been crapped upon by the system," he said. "And that's how I spend my time, my energy, my money on trying to up-end this system that I think is a system of violence, it's a system that's unfair to the average working person of this country."
He also noted that, given that the 1 percent made over a million dollars per year, he was not a member of that group.
Moore on Friday visited Occupy Oakland, where he paid tribute to Scott Olsen, the Iraq war veteran who remains hospitalized, having been injured by a projectile shot by authorities.
"We've killed despair across the country and we've killed apathy," he told the crowd there.
To read the entire blog, click over to Moore's website.
Clarification: An earlier version of this story stated that Scott Olsen was assaulted by police. We have clarified the circumstances of his injuries.
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