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View Diary: The Washington Post Asks "Why Aren't Blacks Embracing Occupy Wall Street?" (92 comments)

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  •  Interesting commentary @ Angry Black Lady (21+ / 0-)

    Chronicles:

    For every OWS encampment there have been hundreds of unarmed black men have been shot by police, sometimes in the back for occupying little more than their own skin. For every OWS participant that has been pepper-sprayed there have been hundreds upon hundreds of African American who have been beaten by police often within their own neighborhoods. For every OWS participant that’s been zip-tied and carted off to jail legions of African Americans and Latinos have been unfairly prosecuted and excessively sentenced by local, state and even federal courts.

    But until Police Brutality was visited up on OWS protestors it was a complete and total non-issue for the Occupy Movement. There was no outrage from current OWS supporters when even the most famous of police injustices occurred. Unfortunately it has taken the faces of victims of police brutality to become Whiter, seemingly more educated, seemingly more “mainstream” for police brutality and injustice to even register as blips on OWS’s radar. (And don’t think that this obvious and observable fact has been lost on the millions of people of color who have yet to join the occupy movement.)


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    •  That is a ridiculous allegation (6+ / 0-)

      directed at OWS.  Yes, it is true that OWS has not addressed every ill in our society.  To deride them for not doing so serves only to divide.  If AA's (although I reject the notion of any demographic being a monolith) choose to highlight differences as a basis for not joining the movement, that is their choice, of course.  However, it does not delegitimize in any way the goals of OWS.  We all always have the option of seeing our commonalities with others fighting the good fight or we can focus on the differences.  The former brings us together to force meaningful change; the latter merely divides.

      •  dang (4+ / 0-)

        it. those pesky colored folks trying to bring their issues up and causing all sorts of "division!"

        be careful, the normativity of whiteness has got you.

        •  yeah but chauncey (5+ / 0-)

          there are some colored folks that would love to have that wedge created so as to deflect from their complicity in the financial crises that afflicts the black community (remember, banks went through some black churches to push the subprime bullshit).

          Let's not get reeled in by notions of "normative blackness" (oh, but we colored folks loves our church and our churches would NEVER lead us astray!) either.

        •  Two Thoughts For Angry Black Lady (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          caul

          1) Better late than never

          2) When you're right, you're right.

          ____

          I view OWS in purely discrete terms: to expose how patently and overtly corrupt our system of governance is in the USA. As usual, the government is doing a fine job of exposing itself for what it really is.

          Remember that old Thomas Jefferson chestnut about people not fearing the government, but government fearing the people? Guess what time it is, folks?

          I understand ABL's sentiment, but an opportunity is still an opportunity.

      •  Except that... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        poco

        ...issues of race aren't just some random "every ill in our society."  Issues of race are, in fact, the elephant in the collective American room that most folk not of color would, if they can avoid it, really rather not talk about.  And if OWS is really about, among other things, income inequity (and I do believe that it is, which is why I support it), you can't deal with income inequality in America (or really, across the world) without confronting race.  The sooner the have that conversation, the sooner OWS becomes even more powerful.

        PW

        "No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream." --MLK

        by Progressive Witness on Sat Nov 26, 2011 at 08:36:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  OWS has also not addressed gay equality! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jwh87, Aspe4, caul

      Nor has it addressed global warming, the ethical treatment of livestock, or the categorization of pizza as a vegetable in school cafeterias!

      OWS sucks!

      Regards,
      Corporate Dog

      -----
      We didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one. -- Eugene Robinson

      by Corporate Dog on Sat Nov 26, 2011 at 06:59:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  this quote is wrong twice over (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      caul
      But until Police Brutality was visited up on OWS protestors it was a complete and total non-issue for the Occupy Movement. There was no outrage from current OWS supporters when even the most famous of police injustices occurred. Unfortunately it has taken the faces of victims of police brutality to become Whiter, seemingly more educated, seemingly more “mainstream” for police brutality and injustice to even register as blips on OWS’s radar. (And don’t think that this obvious and observable fact has been lost on the millions of people of color who have yet to join the occupy movement.)

      first of all, because a lot of the occupy movements grew out of clusters of local community activists who have (among other things) worked explicitly on police brutality in their communities long before the #occupy incarnation caught fire (see also: oscar grant). and second because the police brutality shows up the moment anyone tries to occupy much of anything.

    •  As usual she gets it exactly right (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TFinSF, indubitably, poco, FrankAletha, fou, askew

      but I think some people are misinterpreting her.  She is not saying that there was an OWS movement that did not address these issues, because OWS is pretty new.

      She is saying the OWS demographic, the people who would become OWS, for the most part never gave much thought to these issues until it began to affect them.

      Where were young white people protesting against the killing of Sean Bell or Amadou Diallo?  

      That was considered a "black issue."

      Look at how Al Sharpton is discussed on DK, which is demographically racially similar to OWS.  He's considered a clown, buffoon or worse.  Sharpton certainly has had a checkered career and is a deeply imperfect person, but from the local NYC perspective, it's hard to deny that he has had more impact on bringing attention to police killings -- and changing police procedures -- than any politician in the region.  Yet most DKers seem to hate him or at best dismiss him.

      OWS's demographic is angry because the problems of communities of color have finally begun to affect them.

      I think we also know that if fortuitously the economy turns around and unemployment drops for the larger demographic, those people will go right back asleep and protesting over inequality and police abuse will just be a fond memory of their youthful idealism and indiscretions.

      •  Yep. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HamdenRice, askew
        I think we also know that if fortuitously the economy turns around and unemployment drops for the larger demographic, those people will go right back asleep and protesting over inequality and police abuse will just be a fond memory of their youthful idealism and indiscretions.

        Exactly.  They slept during the Clinton and Bush years when everyone was fat.  When unemployment comes down, they'll be the first in line to benefit, and they'll go right back to bed.

        •  True, but didn't black communities sleep too (0+ / 0-)

          well, through the Clinton years, anyway?

          •  not really (0+ / 0-)

            even at the height of the boom, black unemployment was still twice that of whites; black employees still made ~ 70 cents for every dollar that whites made;  blacks were still less likely to get credit and when they did it was far more likely to be at exorbitant interest, etc...

            While a rising tide did float all boats, black boats did not float nearly as far or nearly as fast as their white counterparts... and started to sink  far earlier than those white counterparts.

            Fear doesn't just breed incomprehension. It also breeds a spiteful, resentful hate of anyone and everyone who is in any way different from you.

            by awesumtenor on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 10:11:03 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Yep. Dead on. Everything she said. n/t (0+ / 0-)

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