Tag Archives: Racism

What UC Davis Pepper Spraying Tells me about the racialized politics of sentimentality, by Occupy White Supremacy

By now we’ve all seen the John Pike memes lampooning the officer who pepper sprayed protesting UC Davis students. Pike deserves no sympathy, but as a ‘flashpoint’ moment in the Autumn of Occupy, the sister in the above video, also a UCD student, asks some very important questions and offers important analysis. The post comes from a Tumblr site that puts a new twist on #OWS by calling itself ‘Occupy White Supremacy.’ In another commentary, since celebratory appraisals of Occupy in the left media say that it has achieved victory by putting the issue of wealth inequality at the forefront, the site asks in that discussion, what is being left out? What is left being unsaid?

So, let’s talk about another OWS….

Occupy white supremacy… and the machinery of whiteness…and structural racism…

When are we going to start talking about why the mainstream media is so ‘horrified’ and concerned, when certain people are ‘victims’ of police violence over others?

Check out the Tumblr site here!

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Occupy the Ghetto, by Bryan K. Bullock

In this piece, lawyer Bryan K. Bullock takes a look at how the “Occupy” movement has failed to articulate a racial justice agenda on behalf of its own contradictions. The frame is “Main Street” vs. Wall Street, but what about King Drive?

I went to a meeting of a local “occupation” group, which was, predictably, attended mainly by liberal whites. I walked in just in time to hear a young white man suggesting that confrontation with the police was the logical next step because drastic measures were needed. He obviously has had a different life experience than I have had in dealing with the police and therefore didn’t know what he was asking for. I spoke and expressed my sentiments to the group, namely that we in poor black communities need grocery stores, economic investment and jobs, and that the “occupy” movement was not addressing these fundamental issues. I told them that unless they were willing to address these issues, I personally, would not want to “occupy” with them. They listened. Most, though not all, agreed with my thoughts. Then they began to say that they were concerned about the “big” issues like Wall Street and wars and that they probably needed to also be concerned about the people who live in places like Gary. I was insulted by their arrogance. Living in a food dessert IS a big issue. Living in an economic wasteland IS a big deal. Having one’s school system privatized IS a big issue. Rampant crime, underground economies and police brutality ARE big issues. Not having jobs that one can walk to or that are located in one’s hometown, IS a big issue.

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Occupy Wall Street’s Race Problem, by Kenyon Farrow

Speaking of Percentages...

An article in the American Prospect lays bare the stark race problem of the “Occupy” movement. Writer Kenyon Farrow analyzes the problematic frames in addition to other manifestations of white privilege.

Comparing debt to slavery, believing police won’t hurt you, or wanting to take back the America you see as rightfully yours are things that suggest OWS is actually appealing to an imagined white (re)public. Rather than trying to figure out how to diversify the Occupy Wall Street movement, white progressives need to think long and hard about their use of frameworks and rhetoric that situate blacks at the margins of the movement.

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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.

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BLACK OUT! At Occupy Philadelphia, by Complex Brown

Over the weekend, two black women were called the N-word by two volunteers at Occupy Philadelphia (and that’s not all!) A Black Out protest was organized in response to the hateful racial epithets. The participating activists were actually derided as being divisive and told by people who came up to them that racism is a thing of the past. Forget that Blacks and Latinos have been the hardest hit by the recession.

We spoke out about RACISM IN THE 99 percent. We spoke out about how nobody was talking about the racist foundation of corporate greed. How do we talk about classim without taking about racism? American wealth can not be discussed without mention of free African slave labor, the rice, tobacco, sugar and cotton industry. We were called racist because we empowered ourselves and stood up for what was right.

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