Saturday, November 26, 2011

Why African Americans aren’t embracing Occupy Wall Street

Don't Ignore Us!

The title of Stacy Patton’s article in the November 25, 2011 Washington Post, implies that the reader will learn why blacks haven’t embraced OWS, but after reading the article twice, I’m still not sure why.

Statements like the next two support the idea that blacks are “punishing” whites by not joining the protests.

“Perhaps black America’s absence is sending a message to the Occupiers: ‘We told you so! Nothing will change. We’ve been here already. It’s hopeless.’”

"Why should [blacks] ally with whites who are just now experiencing the hardships that blacks have known for generations? Perhaps white Americans are now paying the psychic price for not answering the basic questions that blacks have long raised about income inequality."

But the following statements imply that African Americans simply lack the courage to protest the corporate oligarchy.

"We can’t expect our civil rights organizations and political leaders to help blacks rage against the corporate machine when they are part of it."

"[Blacks] are not willing to risk what little they have for change. Those who are wealthier are not willing to risk and lose.”

Perhaps Patton means to suggest that some blacks are sneering at the protests and others are protecting their turf. However, she leaves out another group of blacks like me who are, in fact, firm supporters of OWS. This article, in effect dismisses us, but we are African Americans too.

What magic number of blacks needs to support OWS in order for African Americans to be seen as “embracing” the movement?

The OWS movement is not yet six months old; why are we already declaring that blacks aren’t supporting it?

Or, is this article, like so much that picks at our racial wound, meant to support the 1% by stirring controversy and promoting divisiveness?

No comments: