Whatever demands may come, I hope the final “99 Percent Declaration” comes to include a bit more about the persistent racial divide in America, and its role in the economic injustices that people of color have suffered for centuries.
There was much to heed in Tim Wise’s words on last night’s Maddow show.
While warming to it, many of my PoC friends (and those I observe on Twitter) are still fairly wary of OWS. They fear that they are once again being asked to get onboard with a movement, and once over, they’ll be right back where they were before: near the bottom rung of America’s economic ladder, many levels below white America, as they always had been.
The current draft of the “99 Percent Declaration,” isn’t helping. It is so devoid of any discussion of racial inequality and injustice that there really isn’t much there to assuage their fears. The word race or color doesn’t even appear in it. Whether deliberate or not (I assume it was), the document still sends a troubling message for non-whites.
For me, and I think many of them, to set forth a declaration that tries to address every major social and environmental ill that we have, without even a brief mention of the enormous social injustices that indigenous peoples, and most people of color experience every day in America, seems almost indifferent to a clear and present historical truth about race in this country. One that is a very big problem now, and one that only gets bigger as Wall Street’s handiwork impacts PoCs with almost twice the impact it’s had on white America.
And it’s not a problem that should be waved off with patronizing gestures, or casual assertions that “Oh, this is all about our common interests first.” They’ve heard all of that before.
Hearing some of my friends go on about it has been quite the eye-opener for me. I strongly feel it will flower as an even more serious issue if the movement doesn’t take real steps to adjust to their concerns. The promise of #OWS is far too important to leave any one sector of America behind. Well… except billionaires. :)
This was sitting on my desk all day, and I only now just read it after making my post above. Clearly the issue is on some people’s radar. But I feel it’s important that the wider public knows that it is, as well.
Call out to people of color from the ows poc working group