Why African Americans aren’t embracing Occupy Wall Street

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 26, 2011 4:42 PM GMT
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-blacks-arent-embracing-occupy-wall-street/2011/11/16/gIQAwc3FwN_story.html

    Occupy Wall Street might seem like a movement that would resonate with black Americans. After all, unemployment among African Americans is at 15 percent, vs. almost 8 percent for whites. And between 2005 and 2009, black households lost just over half of their median net worth compared with white families, who lost 16 percent, according to the Pew Research Center.

    However, these numbers have not translated into action. A few prominent African Americans, such as Cornel West, Russell Simmons, Kanye West and Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), have made appearances at Occupy protests. “Occupy the Hood,” a recent offshoot, has tried to get more people of color involved. But the main movement remains overwhelmingly white: A Fast Company survey last month found that African Americans, who are 12.6 percent of the U.S. population, make up only 1.6 percent of Occupy Wall Street.

    African Americans share white Americans’ anger about corporate greed and corruption, and blacks have a rich history of protesting injustice in United States. So why aren’t they Occupying?

    “Occupy Wall Street was started by whites and is about their concern with their plight,” Nathalie Thandiwe, a radio host and producer for WBAI in New York, said in an interview. “Now that capitalism isn’t working for ‘everybody,’ some are protesting.”

    From America’s birthing pains to the civil rights protests of the 1960s, blacks have never been afraid to fight for economic or social justice. Crispus Attucks, a former slave and the first person killed by British soldiers in the Boston Massacre of 1770, is considered the first martyr of the American Revolution. Frederick Douglass, a slave turned abolitionist, stressed in the 19th century that black and white laborers’ fortunes and freedom were intertwined, saying that white labor “was robbed” of fair wages so long as it competed with unpaid black slaves.

    In 1969, James Forman, former executive secretary of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), a civil rights organization, called on blacks to not perpetuate capitalism or contribute to the exploitation of blacks in the United States and elsewhere. He urged black workers to take over America by sabotaging U.S. factories and ports “while the brothers fight guerrilla warfare in the street.” And Huey Newton and the Black Panther Party renounced the American Dream as defective and called for the destruction of the capitalist system.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14395

    Nov 26, 2011 6:00 PM GMT
    If the OWS movement is to gain more public credibility than it needs to be more inclusive of all people who are struggling against the odds. For some strange, unknown reason African Americans have never really been encouraged to participate in Occupy Wall Street protests and never really have been embraced by the movement. This is very sad.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 26, 2011 6:29 PM GMT
    Here are some thoughts. But where was your article wondering why more African-Americans weren't participating in the Tea Party movements? I am starting to get the impression that you only mention African-Americans when you feel that liberals and/or Democrats are slighting them.

    Read this response:




    In other words, as the predominantly white youth of Occupy Wall Street complain about corporate greed and financial woes, actual social and racial factors that go beyond economics have gone unchecked and have been debilitating factors for poor communities in Harlem for years.

    When faced with problems that are inherent within the community — such as housing and gang violence — movements like Occupy Harem have taken a far more narrowed focus on problem solving.

    As Craig Schley, executive director of Voice Of The Everyday People (or VOTE People), a Harlem-based community advocacy group bluntly said, "Our problem in northern Manhattan is more moral and principled and not purely financial or financially driven. We don’t Occupy Wall Street. We Occupy Prisons. Once the protestors in Zuccotti Park get jobs the protest ends."

    These are real problems and community officials are looking for concrete solutions in Harlem.

    The first meeting of Occupy Harlem took place in St. Philip’s Church on October 31, with 100 people attending. Notables involved in the protest included Kanye West, Al Sharpton, Cornel West. Such luminaries have brought media attention, but they’ve also served as leadership for a movement that isn’t just a flash in the media spotlight, but an ongoing struggle.

    Rapper Ness maintains that there has been less participation by African-Americans in the Occupy Wall Street movement because they’ve felt this sort of disenfranchisement from the beginning, and only recently has the economy reached such a precipice that the white middle class is finally feeling it. "That layer, the middle class and whites still have that sense of entitlement, that sentiment like, 'This can't be happening to me.'" Poor African-American communities have been feeling that economic strain all along.



    http://www.policymic.com/articles/2518/while-whites-occupy-wall-street-african-americans-occupy-harlem
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 26, 2011 7:36 PM GMT
    Balljunkie saidHere are some thoughts. But where was your article wondering why more African-Americans weren't participating in the Tea Party movements? I am starting to get the impression that you only mention African-Americans when you feel that liberals and/or Democrats are slighting them.


    That's a somewhat fair criticism. It's the hypocrisy that I think is ridiculous when it comes from liberals on these issues. It is markets that have done far more for the plight of the poor and minorities than liberals and governments every have - there is no system that has done a better job and bringing economic equality and prosperity to those that liberals purport to defend and support. It's this demagoguery plain and simple that I find irritating and generally revisionist.

    Do I criticize the tea partiers for not having more African Americans who participated? No, but I don't think liberals have any standing to do so either - especially since there are a number of high profile African Americans like Herman Cain - who racist liberals denigrated from the beginning as an "uncle tom" (as is the case with practically any high profile African American who isn't a liberal). Further, it anything I think the economic issues that the tea partiers champion will do more for minorities than liberals or Occupy ever will.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 26, 2011 8:08 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    Balljunkie saidHere are some thoughts. But where was your article wondering why more African-Americans weren't participating in the Tea Party movements? I am starting to get the impression that you only mention African-Americans when you feel that liberals and/or Democrats are slighting them.


    That's a somewhat fair criticism. It's the hypocrisy that I think is ridiculous when it comes from liberals on these issues. It is markets that have done far more for the plight of the poor and minorities than liberals and governments every have - there is no system that has done a better job and bringing economic equality and prosperity to those that liberals purport to defend and support. It's this demagoguery plain and simple that I find irritating and generally revisionist.

    Do I criticize the tea partiers for not having more African Americans who participated? No, but I don't think liberals have any standing to do so either - especially since there are a number of high profile African Americans like Herman Cain - who racist liberals denigrated from the beginning as an "uncle tom" (as is the case with practically any high profile African American who isn't a liberal). Further, it anything I think the economic issues that the tea partiers champion will do more for minorities than liberals or Occupy ever will.


    Just the usual "free market" bullshit from riddler that has no basis in reality. Please tell us, riddler, with details please, how "markets" have "done a better job of bring economic equality and prosperity" to minorities? Particularly, with respect to the US being one of the economically unequal countries in the world right now and how African Americans have the highest unemployment rate in America right now.

    In terms of Herman Cain, there is nothing racist about pointing out that he is selling out his community for his own personal gain. Even the fact that he isn't actually running for president but engaging in a very long-winded book tour and has argued that blacks will vote for him based on his being black, despite every poll indicating that he wouldn't get even 10% of the African American vote in a match up against Obama.

    The fact that Cain courts the Tea Party, which is a racist movement in many ways, just serves to prove that the Uncle Tom designation is accurate.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 26, 2011 8:18 PM GMT
    Christian73 said
    riddler78 said
    Balljunkie saidHere are some thoughts. But where was your article wondering why more African-Americans weren't participating in the Tea Party movements? I am starting to get the impression that you only mention African-Americans when you feel that liberals and/or Democrats are slighting them.


    That's a somewhat fair criticism. It's the hypocrisy that I think is ridiculous when it comes from liberals on these issues. It is markets that have done far more for the plight of the poor and minorities than liberals and governments every have - there is no system that has done a better job and bringing economic equality and prosperity to those that liberals purport to defend and support. It's this demagoguery plain and simple that I find irritating and generally revisionist.

    Do I criticize the tea partiers for not having more African Americans who participated? No, but I don't think liberals have any standing to do so either - especially since there are a number of high profile African Americans like Herman Cain - who racist liberals denigrated from the beginning as an "uncle tom" (as is the case with practically any high profile African American who isn't a liberal). Further, it anything I think the economic issues that the tea partiers champion will do more for minorities than liberals or Occupy ever will.


    Just the usual "free market" bullshit from riddler that has no basis in reality. Please tell us, riddler, with details please, how "markets" have "done a better job of bring economic equality and prosperity" to minorities? Particularly, with respect to the US being one of the economically unequal countries in the world right now and how African Americans have the highest unemployment rate in America right now.

    In terms of Herman Cain, there is nothing racist about pointing out that he is selling out his community for his own personal gain. Even the fact that he isn't actually running for president but engaging in a very long-winded book tour and has argued that blacks will vote for him based on his being black, despite every poll indicating that he wouldn't get even 10% of the African American vote in a match up against Obama.

    The fact that Cain courts the Tea Party, which is a racist movement in many ways, just serves to prove that the Uncle Tom designation is accurate.


    Figures you'd find that it's ok for liberals to use racially charged terms while it's just plain racist for anyone else to use them. You're just a bigot plain and simple.

    As for economic equality, there was much hay of the fact that the average African American has a greater buying power than that of the average Swede a few years ago and I would bet in very specific terms that this has not changed significantly. You put more emphasis on issues like equality over opportunity and mobility because your ideology requires the politics of envy in order to even be taken seriously considering the economic gains.

    In any objective light, the economic progress of minorities in the US should be celebrated rather than the denigrated. But that's just you trying again to justify your life's work when taken objectively it can't be seen as anything other than failure especially when it comes to economic issues.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 26, 2011 9:59 PM GMT
    We can not expect to much from rent a thug, in this case rent thugs. They just want to put their hand out collect the spoils, and not work for it. No they can live rent free occupying public space, prohibiting the public free and safe access to this land. Boot them out, the grown ups have called time.
  • creature

    Posts: 5197

    Nov 26, 2011 9:59 PM GMT
    I've seen more diversity at Occupy protests than I have at Tea Party Protests. Just do a Google image search for Occupy Atlanta and Occupy Oakland. You would never see as much ethnic diversity at a Tea Party rally.

    Nice attempt at race baiting, riddler. You do it so well.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 26, 2011 11:24 PM GMT
    Well I am about to go out for brunch in Melbourne, were I'll have diversity all around me, and not one mob of protesters in sight.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 27, 2011 12:39 AM GMT
    riddler78 saidFigures you'd find that it's ok for liberals to use racially charged terms while it's just plain racist for anyone else to use them. You're just a bigot plain and simple.

    As for economic equality, there was much hay of the fact that the average African American has a greater buying power than that of the average Swede a few years ago and I would bet in very specific terms that this has not changed significantly. You put more emphasis on issues like equality over opportunity and mobility because your ideology requires the politics of envy in order to even be taken seriously considering the economic gains.

    In any objective light, the economic progress of minorities in the US should be celebrated rather than the denigrated. But that's just you trying again to justify your life's work when taken objectively it can't be seen as anything other than failure especially when it comes to economic issues.


    Nope. What you're upset about is that I won't let the right-wing douche bags get away with using either obvious or coded racism in their messages. Or let a douche bag like Cain get away with selling out his community to line his own pockets through a "free market minstrel show" without calling it what it is.

    There have been virtually no economic gains for the majority of Americans over the past 40 years. What seemed like gains were based on easy credit and African American were hurt more than any other group by the fraudulent "liar's loans" and other tricks that companies like Countrywide used to suck upwards of 50% of African American into sub-prime mortgages even when they could have gotten a regular mortgage.

    Finally, I'm not sure what you think my "life's work" is but it's "denigrating economic progress by minorities." I hazard to guess that you have no idea what my "life's work" is or what motivates it. If you did, you might have to confront how ridiculous you sound to people like me who actually work in minority communities, know people who have used welfare to improve their lives, and don't presume to think that one huckster (Cain) is representative of African Americans. Or, you might have to recognize the hypocrisy of being a Canadian who has benefited mightily from socialist policies and still does but would deny them to others.