It was exactly a month ago the current Occupy Wall Street protests began. The social explosion that first made itself heard in the financial sector of New York City has had reverberations around the world. Not only has the “Occupy” movement spread to different American cities, but now to different countries as well. After a month of protests, mass arrests and public ridicule from the media outlets owned by the very constituency these protests are aimed at has not been enough to squash this long simmering outrage. This looks as if it will be all about economic justice, and is a much welcome thing to have being aired.
However, in all this, it is noticeable that many African-Americans are not present in large numbers at the event. While many famous Black people have co-signed the movement, there is a notable lack of diversity amongst the regular crowds in Zuccotti Park. The thing is, that while many in the Black community express solidarity, many aren’t quite clear about where people of color come in to the entire thing. Its been such an open question, that the group Occupy The Hood has emerged to begin to answer it.
At this point, many questions come to mind. Why does it have to be that People of Color’s involvement has to be encouraged? Given the heavy police presence and behavior, its little wonder why there are few people of color in attendance. Support doesn’t always mean being there in person. This blogger believes as things progress, there will be interesting intersections between Occupy Wall Street and what goes on in the African American community. It’s been a while since anyone has seen a movement of this magnitude. This generation will have to re-learn alot of lessons, and it will not be a neat process. Yes, its true that there is little in the way of a wholesale embrace of issues that effect people of color, but that’s no reason to withold solidarity. Its a reason to take up our own issues without waiting for others to put the stamp of approval on it. I also feel, that is another, one of many lessons we will have to re-learn.
-Marc W. Polite