A History of Georgia’s 1%: Why You Must Face Race to Occupy Atlanta, by Kung Li

Lewis gets blocked at Occupy Atlanta

Last Friday, Civil Rights Activist turned Congressman John Lewis was blocked from addressing Occupy Atlanta’s general assembly. The person who opposed the idea did so on the basis of “kick starting a democratic process where no singular human being is inherently more valuable than any other human being” – you know, the very ideal Lewis risked and damn near lost his life as a black man and SNCC organizer decades before the Occupy movement ever got started. The incident highlights many of the issues Disoccupy aggregates articles on. A news & analysis piece from Colorlines delves into why confronting race is integral to any efforts to take on the 1% and offers historical examinations of Occupied Atlanta in 1865/1906/1960/1996 and 2011 to further shine a light.

Getting it right about race is important for the Occupy movement everywhere, but especially here in Georgia, where there is nothing subtle about the relationship between race, corporations and the government. Georgia’s government was created by and for plantation farmers, the original 1 percent, running antebellum corporations. And that 1 percent has been using everything in its power, most notably the criminal justice system, to hold on to its centuries-old gains.

Full post here!

2 Comments

Filed under DisOccupy

2 responses to “A History of Georgia’s 1%: Why You Must Face Race to Occupy Atlanta, by Kung Li

  1. Natascia Pica

    If we, I mean, we, as in those of us that are white people (I’m white), don’t figure out how to face our white privilege quickly and effectively within the context of this movement, we will lose some of our most precious voices, meaning our voices of color! Racism is alive and well, and if white people think that it checks itself at the door just because this is a just cause and a progressive movement, they are soooo wrong. Come on, white people, let’s wake up and be brave allies that are willing to look at our racism in order to contribute to making this a TRULY inclusive movement!

    • Construction Opinion

      All right guys I’m sure everyone on this site means well but this whole story about Lewis is fabricated garbage. It’s incidences like this and overreaction to them that does more harm, as REAL incidents of race prejudice are ignored because everyone goes around calling out “race problem” at the drop of a hat (crying wolf) and nobody takes you seriously any more. This story WAS about presumed privilege.

      Look if I’m sitting in the crowd of a purposefully leaderless and egalitarian movement during a meeting and some guy pops up out of nowhere asking to cut in front of line during nonspeaking assembly matters in order to make a speech, I would vote to block no too. I don’t care who it is. Jesus Christ himself could show up and I’d block. Imagine this wasn’t John Lewis but instead Joe Shmoe from off the street. Would you make a deal out of it now or not think a block was reasonable, even if Schmoe wasn’t white? Of course not, but why, because of his race or gender? No, because he has no right to as an assumed position of privilege to do so.

      Now think for a moment : do you believe John Lewis has a right to do something like this, but Joe Schmoe doesn’t? Why? If you think Lewis does but Schmoe doesn’t (for any reason, and presumably your reasoning is “because of his history”), then you have just promoted the same type of class-ism that you claim as a movement to abhor. Sexism is presumed prestige based on gender. Racism is presume prestige based on race. And this line of thinking is based on presumed position in society.

      You say that it’s taken for granted that racism and sexism and such exist in society, and they do. Well you need to admit that class-ism exists too but class-ism based on wealth but other forms of presumed prestige. It’s just as insidious as these other isms yet more pervasive, accepted, and even PROMOTED in society (even codified into law: attempted murder and murder of high government officials is punished by law more severely than the same crimes against “common” people, as an example).

      If Lewis had waited his turn during normal speaking just as every other individual (whose name has never been in the paper) must do at these meetings and still people found a reason to block him speaking THEN it should be examined.

      So if you want to have a serious movement, just make sure there’s something to actually speak out against when an incident occurs. Don’t go looking for villains.

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