I saw OWS people trying, not to integrate with but to change the direction of the route. I saw OWS people screaming for everyone to go to Zuccotti Park. After seeing this and then seeing the arguments of people saying that this was not about OWS, only to have the OWS people say that it WAS, I became physically ill. If there was ever a time when you should have worked to keep the focus on the actual cause, this was it […]
He tried to remain calm while he explained what he saw. He saw the same thing that I did. Only in a different form and at a different location. He saw OWS people yelling that it wasn’t about race and that it would be best to incorporate this into the OWS movement.
This behavior is unacceptable.
These are real concerns. They are legitimate concerns. Listen to what people have to say without being patronizing. That people in this movement are acting like this is a serious problem (and don’t think for a second this is an isolated incident) and this blog will no longer turn a blind eye to it.
Including concerns of POC, women, queer folk, etc. does not mean making them take a back seat to what you think the “real issues” should be, and it does not mean making them assimilate into what you think the movement should be. It is a racist, imperialist attitude and it is an insult to the democratic ideals this movement was supposed to have been built on.
In no way is the idea that we should figure out economic issues first and get to everyone else later acceptable. In no way is deriding people’s concerns because you think yours come first acceptable.
I care about this movement and I have since the beginning, but it is worthless - absolutely worthless - while these serious problems go un-addressed, and while we continue to let racist, alienating garbage dominate the discussion. Read this post, listen to other concerns, learn what the fuck intersectionality is, and use your goddamn brains.
These concerns aren’t “divisive,” your bullshit is.
OWS needs to become more POC-friendly and address the issue on wealth inequality amongst racial minorities. A large majority of people at Occupy Wall Street are white and do not realize that the recession has effected POC a lot more than it has effected whites.
That is why Occupy The Hood and POCcupy is essential to the movement. What upsets me is that we have to separated ourselves because the entire movement does not recognize the issues latinos and blacks go through. Our median household income is significantly less than whites and the Stop & Frisk policy in NYC (which OWS has protested) is directed at blacks and latinos.
I repeatedly tried to convince Occupiers to march in Harlem, Washington Heights and Bushwick because we desperately need things to change over here. There are 8 million people living in New York City, why are we limiting ourselves to downtown Manhattan and why are we completely ignoring the issues racial minorities face in America.
We also need to appeal to Asians. In Chinatown there are a massive amount of undocumented people there. They are afraid and often exploited. There is no excuse for not marching in Chinatown because it is only blocks away.
If we’re going to grow as a movement we need to recognize our internal flaws and fix them. There is no reason why OWS is more than 80% white in a racially diverse city like NYC. This is a serious flaw in Occupy and OWS cannot defend themselves by saying all races are welcomed because they don’t feel welcomed. Whites do not face this issue so they wouldn’t understand but it’s time that they do.
If Occupy doesn’t change I have no choice other than to abandon the movement. I believe OWS has the power to change things but if you ignore racial inequality then you are ignoring blacks, latinos and asians. At this point Occupy Wall Street should call themselves the 80% to represent the amount of whites in America.
Just be careful with how you word that and how you present those ideas. It’s way to easy for “we need to include” to end up meaning “we need to lasso their concerns to be part of our concerns and direct their message toward what we think it should be.”
"Appeal to" sounds like politician pandering. Like "we need to get "the Asian vote."" No. What we need is to support their issues, and for their concerns to be our concerns without expecting them to sit down and take a back seat. What we need to do is stop othering.
And we need to stop making excuses for ourselves.
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