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Esoterica

tranqualizer
So one year after Occupy was launched, while lots of exciting media was generated, massive resources were spent, a great number of people were supposedly politicized and the world started to listen to the concept of the %99, the same number of black, brown, poor, disabled and migrant folks are being incarcerated, policed, and deported in the US. The racist and classist Sit-lie laws, gang injunctions and Stop and Frisk ordinances still rage on and we are still being pushed out of our communities of color by the forces of gentriFUKation and poverty. So, I wonder, how have these political gentrifyers changed things for black and brown and poor people? Not at all, actually, but then again, Occupy was never really for us.

Occupy Was Never 4 Me - 1 yr later, tiny aka Lisa Gray-Garcia (via tranqualizer)

(via eshusplayground)

inthesetimes.com

Harlem Gives #Occupy Tense Reception

ladyatheist:

There are two parts of the article that need to be highlighted.

First:

It seemed as though the protesters confidently marched into Harlem without taking into account the city’s tense race relations, particularly in Harlem, which has been undergoing a radical demographic shift for the past decade, or so, leaving black households sometimes in the minority. 

But where the protesters stood, 6 in 10 residents are black, and many have long witnessed the president weather attacks, some valid, but others rooted in ugly, undeniable racism (see: Show Me Your Birth Certificate).

There was little room for nuanced debate at the Apollo protest, and to many Harlemites, it appeared as though a bunch of people, most of them white, had shown up simply to give the first black president a hard time. The Obama-as-Hitler banner seemed to seal the deal. After all, calling one’s political opponent “Hitler” doesn’t really leave much room for intelligent debate.

Second:

[…] whenever America congratulates itself on becoming post-racial, we should all enjoy a good, collective laugh. There are deep, profound racial injustices in this country, which ironically, OWS was hoping to discuss at the protest. Stop And Frisk, widespread unemployment in the black community, and the subprime disaster are all byproducts of institutional racism.

However, when a majority-white group plans to march into Harlem, site of arguably the most important black cultural renaissance in US history, and “educate” its citizens about the poor decisions of the first black president, there needs to be some community outreach done beforehand. Otherwise, there’s zero room for discussion, the whole thing dissolves into a screamfest, and if the LaRouchies show up, man, it’s over.

Side-note: Accusations of the white, male hijacking of Occupy have been prevalent for a while, and the issue is complicated. The media did a very poor job of highlighting a variety of OWS voices, particular those of women of color, leading many to believe there simply aren’t Occupiers of different races, which is patently false. However, as one long-time OWS supporter told me last night, white men do have a habit of deeming themselves facilitators at Occupy meet-ups, which gives the false impression that OWS is led by white men simply because, in that moment, a white man chose to seize power and lead. In his words, it’s “like witnessing the mindset behind colonialism.”

Second, there is a direct correlation between Occupy’s popularity and the timeline of Obama’s reelection bid. Everyone loves dissenters when they don’t threaten the system’s normal state, but as we near election time, Occupy’s presence at Obama events will be less a novelty and more a very real threat, especially in the minds of diehard Obama supporters (in Nov 2011, black voters gave Obama a 91 percent approval rating).

Last night seemed a failure of imagination: failure on the part of Occupy for underestimating tense race relations and Obama fervor leading up to the re-election, and failure on the part of some Harlem residents to imagine that maybe - just maybe - Obama hasn’t made stellar decisions at every turn.

I strongly suggest that you take the time to read the whole article. It brings up some good points.

You know I don’t understand this idea that people have of Obama as New Jesus or this idea that people who support can’t also be aware of where he falls short. That’s before we get into the Obama as Hitler thing which is frankly so pig ignorant I don’t quite know how to discuss. That’s not just a misstep on the part of OWS, it’s a complete rejection of reality, history & social context. Just saying. Here’s the thing, President Obama is a human being working within an incredibly flawed system. Is he perfect? NO! Is he likely to be a better choice for many people than any of the Republican candidates? Yes. I don’t always agree with him, but I am aware that I’d rather see him in office than Santorum, Gingrich, Romney or Paul. I think many of Obama’s supporters are looking at their options & whether they really like all of his policies or not, they are willing to compromise for the greater good. At least that’s where I stand. As for OWS? Y’all keep tilting at that windmill if you want to, personally I’m not even going to pretend OWS is about improving my life or the lives of people like me.

(via womanistgamergirl)

womanistgamergirl

ladyatheist:

Every time I point out a flaw in #ows and mention that it is one of the many reasons I just can’t bring myself to fully support it, someone always says “well, one person isn’t reflective of the whole movement”. This is one case where I have to call bullshit. The problems of sexism, racism, and privilege denial within the movement are way too rampant to be attributed to “just a few people”. What also bothers me is the fact that very little is being done to address and/or change that. If anything, most people are just making excuses for it. There is a major case of “I agree with the movement therefore it is above criticism” going on in #ows.

womanistgamergirl
ladyatheist:

Regarding this Naomi Wolf bashing- she has addressed it. She’s not seeing the tweets because the posts are being sent from her Facebook, so she’s on FB, not Twitter. (via capncaptian)
——————————————————————————
I do like that she apologized for the statement. (However, the whole “playing the victim” thing is not cute. Admit you were wrong and move the fuck on.) I would not say that I was “bashing” her. I pointed out a problematic statement that she made and, in the process I happened to uncover a much bigger problem in the movement.
Instead of recognizing that the statement made was problematic, a few people decided to tell me and others to “chill the fuck out” or “get over it.” That is a very big problem. These are the same people who don’t want the 1% to tell them to “get a job.” Aren’t they expressing the same type of sentiment when they tell people who are offended by something to “get over it.” This is why a good number of people find it hard to support occupy wall street. 
A good number of protesters feel as if they are above criticism. If you are a liberal and you dare to question the movement, you are simply brushed off. I firmly believe that if occupy wall street wants to accomplish anything, they really need to start taking these criticisms seriously. It does not bode well for the movement for them to continue to ignore and/or downplay the problems they have.

It’s not bashing to say that she said something fucked up. The fact that it came from her FB feed actually doesn’t help her case since FB doesn’t have a 140 character limit.

ladyatheist:

Regarding this Naomi Wolf bashing- she has addressed it. She’s not seeing the tweets because the posts are being sent from her Facebook, so she’s on FB, not Twitter. (via capncaptian)

——————————————————————————

I do like that she apologized for the statement. (However, the whole “playing the victim” thing is not cute. Admit you were wrong and move the fuck on.) I would not say that I was “bashing” her. I pointed out a problematic statement that she made and, in the process I happened to uncover a much bigger problem in the movement.

Instead of recognizing that the statement made was problematic, a few people decided to tell me and others to “chill the fuck out” or “get over it.” That is a very big problem. These are the same people who don’t want the 1% to tell them to “get a job.” Aren’t they expressing the same type of sentiment when they tell people who are offended by something to “get over it.” This is why a good number of people find it hard to support occupy wall street. 

A good number of protesters feel as if they are above criticism. If you are a liberal and you dare to question the movement, you are simply brushed off. I firmly believe that if occupy wall street wants to accomplish anything, they really need to start taking these criticisms seriously. It does not bode well for the movement for them to continue to ignore and/or downplay the problems they have.

It’s not bashing to say that she said something fucked up. The fact that it came from her FB feed actually doesn’t help her case since FB doesn’t have a 140 character limit.

womanistgamergirl

(via squeetothegee-deactivated201111)

womanistgamergirl
ladyatheist:

While what happened was indeed tragic, it is in no way, shape, or form the first death in the US caused by police violence. I strongly suggest you pick up a history book.

…Somebody come educate their cousin.

ladyatheist:

While what happened was indeed tragic, it is in no way, shape, or form the first death in the US caused by police violence. I strongly suggest you pick up a history book.

…Somebody come educate their cousin.

so-treu

so #OWS’s book list of “essential reading” has no POC authors on it

tooyoungforthelivingdead:

karnythia:

tooyoungforthelivingdead:

so-treu:

at all.

if i wasn’t done before i’m done now.

this is a reason, especially if you’re white and socially conscious, to engage with the movement and point out its flaws

holding your hands up and publicly divorcing yourself from a movement (which you may not have even had much engagement with, I dunno) seems kinda petty, and definitely lacks the kinda responsibility that movements like this need to drive them

note: I’m not saying that everyone should have to be engaged with every movement that happens no matter how privileged it is. just that when a statement is put out from a camp that was brutally destroyed only hours before, maybe a small element of good faith can be assumed, with constructive criticism given instead of “oh fuck you guys then” sentiments

They haven’t acted in particularly good faith yet, so why assume they’ve suddenly developed some? Especially when several OWS supporters are running around insisting that police brutality = war crimes. If they can’t see the problem with statements like that? I’m not going to waste time & energy on reminding them that are books written by POC about POC.

The war crimes thing doesn’t hold because of technicalities of the law (in that it covers crimes perpetrated by organised military forces), not because attacking a medical centre isn’t immoral and potentially criminal.

I’m not saying that you should “waste time & energy” necessarily, just that I see the ‘well fuck those people’ mentality as being problematic when being applied to a non-hierarchical movement. I’ve not been involved in OWS as I’m based in the UK, but from my experience of the London occupations, by “assume good faith” I just meant “I’m sure the individual that did this would take your criticism on board if you raised it”.

I haven’t been involved with Occupy Wall Street as I’m in the UK, but I have been involved in the London occupations, so 

Well, I’m here in America where this is happening & our Occupy folks are making comments like this one. You’ll notice that POC mentioning race as an issue is somehow a problem, but OWS ignoring it is a-okay. They aren’t taking criticisms on board, they haven’t taken the very basic criticism that this movement is happening on stolen land on board either. It’s a movement by the privileged to keep their privilege for far too many people involved in it in the U.S.

so-treu

so #OWS’s book list of “essential reading” has no POC authors on it

tooyoungforthelivingdead:

so-treu:

at all.

if i wasn’t done before i’m done now.

this is a reason, especially if you’re white and socially conscious, to engage with the movement and point out its flaws

holding your hands up and publicly divorcing yourself from a movement (which you may not have even had much engagement with, I dunno) seems kinda petty, and definitely lacks the kinda responsibility that movements like this need to drive them

note: I’m not saying that everyone should have to be engaged with every movement that happens no matter how privileged it is. just that when a statement is put out from a camp that was brutally destroyed only hours before, maybe a small element of good faith can be assumed, with constructive criticism given instead of “oh fuck you guys then” sentiments

They haven’t acted in particularly good faith yet, so why assume they’ve suddenly developed some? Especially when several OWS supporters are running around insisting that police brutality = war crimes. If they can’t see the problem with statements like that? I’m not going to waste time & energy on reminding them that are books written by POC about POC.

polerin

You probably all know

polerin:

but the police are attacking Occupy Oakland.

I’ve seen enough.  I know this isn’t new, I know this shit goes on an individual basis everyday. I know there are issues with the movement’s rhetoric and focus.  It’s just that this is the first time I’ve seen this kind of coverage of a left movement or protest in any media.  If Occupy Nashville is anything other than pure fail, I may get involved… but regardless I stand in solidarity with Oakland tonight.

I can’t stand by and do nothing while others fight.  I’ve never been able too.

The police are breaking up Occupy Atlanta & Occupy Chicago tonight too. I don’t know WTF is going on, but this is how you fuck around & give a movement legs in the wider world. Kids are getting hurt by cops & those moments of police brutality will be all over the news for the next few days.

darkjez

Whiteness and the 99%

darkjez:

“No one is opposed to good schools, safe neighborhoods, healthy communities, and economic security for whites. The problem is that in the white democracy, whites often enjoy these at the expense of communities of color. This creates a distorted mindset among many whites: they praise freedom yet support a system that clearly favors the rich, even at the expense of poor whites. (Tea Party, I’m talking to you.)

The roots of left colorblindness lie in the white democracy and the distorted mindset it creates. It encourages whites to think that their issues are “universal” while those of people of color are “specific.” But that is exactly backwards. The struggles of people of color are the problems that everyone shares. Anyone in the occupy movement who has been treated brutally by the police has to know that Black communities are terrorized by cops every day. Anyone who is unemployed has to know that Black unemployment rates are always at least double that of whites, and Native American unemployment rates are far higher. Anyone who is sick and lacks healthcare has to know that people of color are the least likely to be insured (regardless of their income) and have the highest infant mortality and cancer rates and the lowest life expectancy rates. Anyone who is drowning in debt should know that the median net wealth of Black households is twenty times less than that of white households. Only left colorblindness can lead us to ignore these facts.

This is the sinister impact of white democracy on our movements. It encourages a mindset that insists that racial issues are “divisive” when they are at the absolute center of everything we are fighting for.

(via bana05)