I have to say that at the beginning of Occupy Wall street I was feeling it! I thought wow now here is a protest that goes right to the issue. Not necessarily wall street but corporate greed and exploitation of middle class, working class and working poor individuals. I thought …How can i help? Where is my place in this movement. Am I the 99%? Stories began to come out of OWS about unmitigated police harassment, beatings and pepper spraying and I thought…oh wow! Why would the police be treating citizens this way if they weren’t doing something good!? Peaceful protest and bank ins…….but here is my current issue with this movement and why I cannot join it..but I do wish it well.
it looks like right at the heart of this movement is a hatred of poverty…..OWS protesters are fighting because of unemployment spawned by corporate greed but the end result is that they are experiencing poverty…..Throughout American history it seems that the only time poverty and unemployment mattered was when it affected white people, the middle class and the upper class…the depression, natural disasters….Hurricane Katrina, Irene and the current recession, all of these situations have changed the face of poverty from a dirty poor White (im talking Appalachian poor), Black, Hispanic,immigrant to a lily white one. The broad idea of poverty in the United States is that if a person is poor it is because they have flaws in their character, they are lazy, they dont have enough ambition or drive or they would rather be dependent on the government their whole lives….this view of poverty is functional because it requires the culture at large to do nothing on behalf of it’s poor….it blames the victim while simultaneously making the upper class feel like they are superior…it’s an ego boost …but suddenly the upper & middle class are beginning to feel the weight of poverty …why? Recession, they are beginning to have to dip into their savings accounts to pay for bills because their income is not covering them….they are being laid off and finding themselves on unemployment and they begin to say omg…I’m poor….but I’m a hard working individual, how can it be! they don’t look for internal answers because they know damn well poverty was never about poor character but restricted opportunities….they look for external answers and those answers are …..Wall Street…for a person of color or just a PERSON who has been living in poverty all her life the call to end corporate greed is a slight to the generational poverty many immigrants, black people, poor white people, hispanics etc. have experienced…why now? and what happens when the recession is over?….Well…what happened when the depression was over? What happened when Hurricane Katrina was squared away? those poor who had previously been poor, continued to be poor and passed poorness on generations…..the issue of poverty…when it is situational is not one that I can get behind….I cannot occupy wall street when no black issues are being addressed, when black women go there and get turned away or given orders to advance a cause that is not their own and does not cover their issues…..I cannot occupy wall street when it is predominately being run by men….the face of occupy wall street is that of a white male….the cause of Occupy wall street is that of the white male…….CNN went so far as to print a paper saying that OWS knew that black people and other minorities literally couldnt afford to join the movement, go out and sleep in tents etc. so that the OWS protesters were going to be the voice of black people…..really? These are white middle class MEN they are a part of our oppression…if not directly than via tradition, and privilege…..our fights are separate and if they are trying to give a voice to black people it will be their own voice and the word black somewhere at the end! And where was the white man’s voice for black people say….a year ago? NO one was trying to rep the hood on the behalf of poor blacks and hispanics…..my suspicious is that OWS needs us….they need us to back them, to join them…that is why they are screaming solidarity …..but….the problem is ….they are not addressing the issues that affect us corporations are not our only enemies….the prison industrial complex is our enemy, poor education is our enemy, segregation via race and class is our enemy and has been our enemy before OWS and the recession…..lowly jobs that do not pay a living wage are our enemies, rape, domestic violence and patriarchy are our enemies…..all of these will not change when OWS has either won or faded into complacency.
Someone suggested I go to OWS myself and bring these issues to the forefront…grand idea…..except for black people have already tried that….this is why I’ll be making no NY trips (besides the fact that I can’t afford it)>>>http://www.facebook.com/notes/reena-walker/a-black-woman-who-occupied-wall-street-why-i-wont-be-going-back/10150312808361786 …..I was also in complete agreement with this post at Womanist Musings >>>>http://www.womanist-musings.com/2011/11/occupy-movement-is-not-as-progressive.html#more…… only I am not so eloquent or so angry about it…..I understand the protest..I truly do but it is not mine. ..I have seen other occupy movements that I am completely loving like occupy Chile where the students have to pay for school so they have broken into the schools and begun to live there until they can get a meeting with officials …the state has to feed them and teachers are voluntarily coming in to teach theses kids….they are fighting for poor girls to go to school…..they are being EFFECTIVE! There are branches of the occupy movement that I would willingly join….Occupy White Patriarchy for example. ….if it becomes more than a blog…..the women who are occupying….but the general movement is not black, poor white, hispanic or immigrant friendly or woman friendly…shit it isnt even POOR friendly