Washington Post: Hey, Why Is Occupy So Darned Whitebread?

by William Teach | November 26, 2011 8:44 am

The Washington Post’s headline is actually Why blacks aren’t embracing Occupy Wall[1], but, it might as well have asked why the Occupiers are 98.4% pale faces

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[2].

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[3] 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.

Maybe they don’t feel welcome amongst the far left, because they would be treated simply as a voter block, rather than individuals. Or, perhaps they do not want to squat in filth, rarely take showers, be raped, sexually assaulted, etc. Perhaps Blacks have more self respect than the WASPS camping out in city parks (instead of their parents basements).

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?

Good question

“Occupy Wall Street was started by whites and is about their concern with their plight,” Nathalie Thandiwe[4], 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.”

It was started by Canadian whites, but, that still isn’t the answer. After some filler about past inclusion by Blacks in protests, we find out that the Black church leaders are not telling the Blacks to get out there, and that there are just no leaders to tell Blacks to join….hey, isn’t that kinda racist, saying Blacks aren’t smart enough to figure it out themselves as to whether to join the Occupiers or not? There’s also a lot of “hmm, maybe this is the reason” yammering in the article, which doesn’t really come to a conclusion, leading to

Black America’s fight for income equality is not on Wall Street, but is a matter of day-to-day survival. The more pressing battles are against tenant evictions, police brutality and street crime. This group doesn’t see a reason to join the amorphous Occupiers.

That’s about as close to a good reason as you can get. Blacks realize that it’s not simply a matter of those Evil Bankers holding the man down, so, let’s squat in our own feces. My own theory is that Blacks are smart enough to realize that squatting in city parks, sitting in one’s own urine and feces, surrounded by the truly unwashed, being exposed to rape, sexual assault, regular assault, theft, violence, and an absurd amount of “Working Groups” is a Bad Idea.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove[5]. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach[6].

  1. Why blacks aren’t embracing Occupy Wall: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-blacks-arent-embracing-occupy-wall-street/2011/11/16/gIQAwc3FwN_story.html
  2. Pew Research Center: http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2011/07/26/wealth-gaps-rise-to-record-highs-between-whites-blacks-hispanics/
  3. Fast Company survey: http://www.fastcompany.com/1792056/occupy-wall-street-demographics-infographic
  4. Nathalie Thandiwe: http://wbai.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=9786&Itemid=135
  5. Pirate’s Cove: http://www.thepiratescove.us/
  6. @WilliamTeach: http://twitter.com/WilliamTeach

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