Thursday, October 27, 2011

thoughts on Occupy Wall Street protests

so here's a synopsis of whats happening with Occupy Wall Street et al. - recently, a bunch of folks have decided to "occupy"/protest certain areas of the country. there are a slew of various cities that have been occupied, such as New York City (Wall Street), Philadelphia, Oakland, Boston, etc. they all have issues with how the system is being ran, being forced to fund wars, being led to believe that a college degree will ensure economic stability when in reality it means nothing when the economy is a mess, accruing thousands of dollars of debt just by simply obtaining a degree, and other issues concerned with corporations and rich people having tax breaks and basically shitting on all non-rich people.

let me just say that all of these issues are legitimate issues to be concerned with enough for a protest/urge to change certain laws. i think it's very backwards the way this society pushes everyone to obtain a college degree, only to learn once you try to obtain it or actually succeed in getting it, that you will more an likely only be able to find a job that only requires a high school diploma or some type of non-academic training. i believe the biggest concerns are those with an unaffordable education and issues with health insurance. all of which have valid oppositions.

with that said, i don't necessarily support the OWS (acronym for Occupy Wall Street which i'll use for the duration to refer to all Occupy movements).

for one, it seems as though the protesters feel as though there is no power in being a consumer. but there is. it seems as though Americans want to be able to buy all they want, from whatever company, and then be able to tell that company they don't support their...wages, or occupation in certain countries, etc. we have to start looking for alternative ways to live in this system (with an aim of breaking it down) and those ways may not be the easiest or the most comfortable. maybe this involves learning to make your own clothes, growing the majority of your own vegetables, opting out of eating meat, buying from thrift stores and second hand consignment shops for some time/permanently (or bartering), opting out of the new video game/ipod/flat-screen tv/Jordans/Louboutins/hybrid automobile/human remy virgin yaki weave/any type of gold or diamond, finding different ways of transportation that don't rely on petroleum, using less electricity in your home, washing clothes by hand, finding other means of entertainment besides television, and the internet. we have buying power, and on a mass scale we can have a large impact. it can be done, we just have to be creative.

second, the rich are not the problem. Wall street is not the problem. predatory lending agencies and vicious student loan corporations are not the problem. Obama is not the problem. Republicans are not the problem. Democrats are not the problem. wars overseas are not the problem.
the ENTIRE SYSTEM is the problem. the design, the implementation, the maintenance, the philosophies that garnered it are ALL the problem. the more i have been learning about other cultures, with an emphasis on pre-colonial indigenous groups, the more i realize just how philosophically bankrupt this system is and always will be.

for example, the Third Genders i spoke of in the previous post are individuals that are ostracized in our society. but, in their own pre-colonial societies, they were accepted. my teacher suggested that this was a way of maintaining the balance; the well-being of the society. this person that may have been born a male but chooses to take on the role of the female is still someone that can contribute to the society; they're still humans; they're still someone's child. how can it be that our ancestors worked maybe 5 or 6 hours a day, yet everyone in the society was clothed, fed, and generally happy? there is no fixing little issues and "working within the system". there needs to be a complete breakdown and rebuilding of the system. a number of us right now are working 40+ hours a week and there's still thousands of homeless or near homeless people in our society and the rest that still need assistance to feed themselves. the issue is the ENTIRE SYSTEM.

third, i believe these protests that seem to be some universal trend, are planned.
how is it that some of the most stable nations in the world are the ones rioting as if they're the worst of the worst? Libya and Egypt, who have just overthrown their governments, with one leader shot dead, are two of the most stable countries in Africa (see charts here). the most unstable countries in the world have no OWS or protest to speak of. i hear about civil wars in Liberia, Sierra Leone, The Congo, Rwanda, and parts of south east Asia, Mexico and Central America yet the US and Egypt are rioting? Mubarak and Qadaffi weren't the best, but they weren't Hussein and Charles Taylor. and BOSTON is protesting? for real? yet black folks in Brownsville BK are no where near protesting their shitty conditions?? and we now have white folks in the US calling themselves refugees. ??? come on...
if anyone in the US has the right to be protesting it's people of color living in ridiculously low-income communities. oh wait, we have been doing that and no one has given a shit about it til 20 something year old hipster white kids started feeling the weight of our mess of a system on their backs. like it has been said at numerous OWS, black and brown folks have been the 99% since the inception of this country. the black male unemployment rate is at least 10% nationwide, and white folks are coming out en masse upset at the system??

this shit is planned. i'm not saying they don't have legitimate issues. i'm saying it's very skeptical that all these protests are occurring at this point in history and all at the same time with no consensus on the purpose or objectives of these movements.

think. comment. criticize.


  1. I'm wondering the Occupy movement, is largely bodied by white people in the USA. I have not attended any of the protests. The closest and biggest ones are in Oakland, CA, near where I live... It would be interesting to see the statistics on that. Does the movement get so much attention because it is largely white? (I'm not saying it is, but your post implies that). I'm also wondering, if it is largely white, how Occupy would have been received if, say, ONLY black people went out into the street to protest.

    I do hear what you're saying, though.

    I cracked up when I saw that kids at Harvard were doing the whole 'occupy' thing as well... except a significant number of them are or will be that 1%.


  2. i do think the movement gets the amount of attention in part because of its large portion of whites. one some level, Blacks have done a number of things, and even protests, however, we have not protests en masse in a similar way. we protest here, there, on MLK day and during Black History Month. but most Blacks have become complacent, i think and gave up on protesting.

    in any case, i don't think this movement would have received as much attention as it has were this movement the majority of Blacks or other people of color in the US. i feel as though whites often have to give credence and validation to a number of movements; opinions; political stances in order for them to be taken seriously.

    i think if mostly Black and Brown people took to the streets, we would be seen as separatists, lazy individuals who don't want to work for a decent living, and ungrateful. the cops would spraying bullets as opposed to pepper spray, and the major news networks would get to covering it around 2 or 3 months after it starts.

    on another note, though, i think this shows just how revolutionary it would be if the idea of racism, racial stratification, and racial hierarchies were tackled by whites as strongly as it has been by people of color.

  3. The ocw movement has a misplaced focus. Instead of banks they should be focusing on a government that does not support the taxpayers who fund it. Our legislators propose higher taxes and less services for everyone. This will help to continue their very generous compensation packages ( base salary of $174,000 for our esteemed legislators--and that doesn't reflect costs for their generous medical and retirement benefits.)
    Today employers in the private sector rarely provide 100% medical coverage or pensions to their employees in the 99%, but the American taxpayers provide them to our high level government workers. Most American workers in the 99% are now effectively earning less as they pay increased costs for medical benefits and fund their own retirement. Why aren't high level government workers doing this as well? I cannot afford to provide my employees in the government with these luxuries.
    Government leaders make grandiose statements about cutting the number of government workers, yet only government jobs at the bottom of the "food chain" get cut ie. teachers, firemen, police, transit workers, postal workers, etc. These are the very people who directly provide services to taxpayers. Additionally Those workers who survive the cuts are often furloughed for periods of time without pay and have contribute more to their medical insurance expenses. These measures need to take place at the top of the "food chain" as well. How about furloughing our disfunctional legislators and telling them to pay for medical benefits. They can use some of the money they get from lobbyists or preferential investment deals.(For those of you who watched 60 Minutes, you know what I'm talking about.)
    I suggest that any cuts proposed by governments(whether to their own workers or to programs such as social security and medicare) apply to all government workers from the top down. Getting rid of one high level government worker would probably save four jobs at the bottom, thus keeping valuable services in place for taxpayers.
    I'm not expecting much to happen with regard to the ideas I present. Our government has always been geared toward the 1%. Remember, the original requirment for voting priveleges in America was that you be a white male who owned property. I can remember my father complaining about these same issues 50 years ago, and it's only gotten worse. At that time he advised me to go into politics because that was where the "real money" was. Stupidly I didn't listen.
    In conclusion, please think about this. If banks are your problem, you do not have to patronize them. put all your money in a credit union or under your bed. You don't have to patronize corporations with policies you don't like. Just don't buy their stock or their products. Unfortunately we all have to patronize the government whether they are doing a good job for us or not. We are a "captive audience" and will be seriously punished if we don't participate with our tax dollars. Our only hope is that somehow, someway, someone with a conscience will wind up in government and make it what it claims to be: a government of the people, by the people, for the people.

  4. @ Anonymous
    um...did you read any of what i wrote? i never said banks are the problem (not solely or even most importantly), nor did i prioritize them in any respect. nor did i say anything about corporation, or...."patronizing" them....

    yea, i'm not going to spend any more time responding to this because its obvious you didn't read my post in full.

    good day