As the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement inches closer to its second month, I am intrigued by the differences in opinion shared by people across the country. Being Latino has talked about the Latino community’s role in OWS and OWS after its first month. I am more concerned, however, with the backlash coming from the very people that OWS is meant to benefit.
In fact, it seems that the biggest criticism is coming from people within the “99%” (people that make less than $380,000, based on the IRS database). That’s right, the very people that the thousands of OWS protestors around the world are fighting for, are the main ones discrediting OWS efforts. You would think that the people making over $380K would be the most vocal, but they’re not. Why would they worry at all? They’ll just sit back and watch the 99% defeat themselves.
(Actually the 1% aren’t silent…the media speaks for them. Don’t forget that the mainstream media is owned by major corporations, the 1% themselves. How can you fully trust a source that is owned by the people that OWS is targeting?)
It’s yet another case of the tried and true, divide-and-conquer strategy. We’ve seen it worked to perfection by the Spanish Conquistadores, European slave traders, and the elite of pre-1776 United States’ society (to be fair its been used by various dominant groups, not just Europeans/Whites). And we’re falling for it again…
Let me be clear, I don’t want anyone to read this and think that they automatically have to agree with OWS. We are all entitled to our opinion(s), in this country especially. What I am saying, however, is that we should all examine the role that we play in the entire process and the surrounding influences. As one of my mentors implores, “Question everything.” And that’s exactly what this OWS movement is encouraging all of us to do, question.
Why does a select group of people in this country dictate how everyone else lives (keep in mind we live in a “democracy”)? How does 1% of the population account for 40 percent of financial wealth? How is it that about 1 in 7 Americans go hungry? (We could feed everyone in the world if we wanted, but I guess it’s OK for 29,000 children to die every day globally. I’m eating filet mignon and lobster, what do I care?)
I’m sorry but the “I work hard and am fairly well off and if you aren’t, it’s your fault” argument deflects attention from the real issue at hand. Newsflash: in capitalism not everyone can “make it.” And no, don’t assume that I’m advocating for another economic system, but why can’t we take what we have and make it better?
Again, not saying you should take a particular stance, just recognize the forces at play. While we fight to determine who’s in the 99%, 53%, or whatever, the elite are sitting back and laughing. “It’s working again,” they’ll say. Divide-and-conquer never fails.