Highly recommended reading. Thanks to the anon who sent me the link. I read Racialicious, but hadn’t seen this yet.
The story illustrates problems OWS has yet to do anything about, even though it claims it’s working on it, (which is a shitty excuse.) First, it has leaders. White people who believe their calls for social justice make everyone equal and allow them to speak for everybody. Second, it’s becoming a brand. A bad brand. “The 99%” is troubling because it assumes an equality between all US citizens that never has existed. Of course, “Occupy” is a terribly ironic and shitty brand name for what should be obvious reasons.
I am not going to use the 99% brand. I never liked it anyway and only used it to talk about the protesters. And I really hope that any of you involved with OWS can figure out ways to work on this. It should be being addressed everyday. This story infuriates me and illustrates the concept of possessive whiteness I addressed yesterday.
From the article:
As marginalized people in this country rise, new forms of oppression are at work – those who have not experienced systemic oppression are claiming it anyway, turning social justice on its head and diluting the messages and movements that have been our hearts and souls. I think this quote from the New Jim Crow sheds a lot of light on why OWS emerged the way that it did: “Following the collapse of each system of control, there has been a period of confusion—transition—in which those who are most committed to racial hierarchy search for new means to achieve their goals within the rules of the game as currently defined. It is during this period of uncertainty that the backlash intensifies and a new form of racialized social control begins to take hold.”