Occupy Wall Street: Do they hear us ALL?

by blackwomeninbusiness


We are finally speaking up! You all should know by now the buzz going around about Occupy Wall Street. Occupy Wall Street was a movement started on September 17th to restore the democracy in America (1). Basically, people are tired of the social and economic inequality, the greed of corporate america, and the influence money has on bribing the government. A little statistic to put this in perspective: as of 2007, the top 5% (the upper class) is responsible for 62% of the total net worth in America while the other 95% of America are left to share a whopping 38%, but wait, the bottom 80% are left to share 15% of the wealth (2). This means the rich are making the rules in America. With that said, I am so happy the lower & middle classes are starting this movement to show these horrible companies reality.

This topic doesnt directly women, but many women have found their own connection to the movement and the feminist movement. New women’s rights groups are joining the cause every day. In the video below, different women explain what Occupy Wall Street means to them. Very inspiring, I wish I could go!

Now based on my purpose of the blog can you see why I would be slighty fustrated? Blacks are not being represented properly at these movements. In the article, “Occupy Wall Street Doesnt Adequately Represent Struggling Black Population, Experts Say,” it speaks about this exact issue. The article explains that “nearly 40 percent of the nation’s unemployed are African American or Latino,” but yet little are invloved in the movement. So, how can this movement be fighting for the unemployed but half of the members arent represented? Imagine how powerful the movement would be if they reached out to people of color. It makes me wonder the real goal of the movement. 

*Photo courtesy of Complex Brown

One of the reasons why us little people can never get anything done is because we can’t agree on anything. In an article titled “QOTD: Will Occupy Wall Street Protests Help Black Folks?” they say “there have been pockets of resistance within SOME in the Occupy Wall Street movement against including Blacks and other minorities.” This has made minorities form there own groups which distracts from the large movement. Not everyone in a movement has to get along, but when it comes to descrimating based on race, the common goal gets lost.

There are numerous reasons why black people have been absent from the movement. According to the article, the organizers of Occupy did not reach out to people of color. Julianne Malveaux, an African-American economists, says the little participation of people of color “speaks volumes about how the movement took shape and was publicized.” I mean let’s honestly think about it. If this were a majority group of minorities protesting outside of Zuccotti Park about the inequalities in the districution of wealth would we get the media’s attention for this long? Would the headlines be the same? Probably not. We must come together as the middle and low classes to face the real problem in America.

1. http://occupywallst.org/about/

2. http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html