Is Occupy MN a white issue?

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occupy black.jpg
A recent editorial at MN Spokesman-Recorder, http://www.spokesman-recorder.com/?p=8514, had me questioning the racial barriers of Occupy Wall street. I was intrigued by the occupy movement gaining attention a few months ago because of the obvious message. In recent decades we have been examining the limitations, potentials, pitfalls, and social effects of capitalism. Capitalism and globalization are a new phenomenon that we don't really understand as of yet. Both concepts consist in many feedback loops that it's effects are nearly immeasurable. Although statistically, we have a hard time understanding it, capitalism has a direct effect on social issues. When the occupy movement geared up, it was almost embarrassing for members of oppressed groups. Members of oppressed groups have been dealing with unfair situations such as unemployment for decades. When the unfortunate situation turned into a "white problem", is when media/people payed attention.
The author of this editorial questions the beliefs behind why the Occupy MN movement has not seen a large percentage of black citizens included. One reason could be that Black citizens have come to terms with the system cannot create economic or racial justice, so why fight for it? Another could be that this movement was has white origins and that fact alone drives black citizens away. The author also suggests- "And too many others of us are just clueless or apathetic or have just given up. After all, exploitation is an everyday experience for some of us. So why should they get excited about some people calling out the immorality of it all? And at bottom that is what this is: immoral. A society is indeed immoral that allows some to collect millions in bonuses for having ripped off its fellow citizens and yet allows millions of others so go jobless, homeless and hopeless."

The author also believes that some black citizens feel as if they are not apart of the situation and were not effected. He believes otherwise and uses a supportive statement declaring that black citizens are just as equally effected by our dire situations.

According to Devonna Walker in an article written for alternet.org, "The single most crippling blow [to the Black middle class] has been the real estate and foreclosure crisis. It has stripped Black families of more wealth than any single event in U.S. history. Due entirely to subprime loans, Black borrowers are expected to lose between $71 billion and $92 billion."

I think it is alarming that an issue which effects the majority of the population only comes to light when it becomes a "white problem". However this issue does effect as all as whole. By acknowledging the oppression of citizens before, we can work together to make our country better. I do believe we must change the system, which I believe starts at the consciousness level of acknowledging our desire for material items. Understanding the media's infiltration into our daily lives, fueling the desire to consume is an important advantage. I know the think tank doesn't stop there, but I think it is a start.

1 Comment

This is a really interesting perspective. I do not agree with a lot of what the reporters were saying here, simply because they are making mass assumptions about why they are not attending and applying them to entire populations. It certainly is alarming, but as to why they do not participate in the movement? I feel it has less to do with race and more to do with who feels they have power.

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This page contains a single entry by nicolen published on November 28, 2011 12:45 PM.

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