I've been reading blogs like Racialicious, and other people who have been making criticisms--LEGITIMATE criticisms--of the Occupy Wall St. protests. One of the biggest is how white the protests are. I read this post by Nudemuse. It sucks that this movement really only came into existence now that a lot of middle class or formerly middle class white people are feeling the pain. Jessica Yee at Racialicious made the point that making this about "taking our country back" is hypocritical because the country was stolen.
But I have my moments of idealism. I want to think that it's possible to make this a movement that truly gets at the root of the problem. I want a world where no one succeeds at the expense of others. I want a world where we all can easily have a life that doesn't totally suck. Part of wanting this is merely desire for survival. Having a small elite while everyone else suffers WILL lead to extinction of humanity. Martin Luther King, Jr. put it well: "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." You can't have a movement that throws people under the bus and expect it not to lead to something horrific. The slope is always slippery in these things.
This country was founded on theft and slavery, and it will take a radical solution to make it a country that actually doesn't suck. The problems that are now affecting large numbers of white (formerly?) middle-class people have been going on for poorer white people, non-white people, Indigenous people, and so on since the beginning. All of the poorest countries have a history of being conquered (to put it euphemistically) by other nations. We have to address this stuff if we want to survive, to thrive, if we really want to get anywhere. We have to come together without excluding people, privileging certain voices, etc. We have to listen, really listen, to everyone, and be willing to admit we're wrong when we're wrong. We have to pursue true justice and fairness.
I do think OWS is important. We do need to step up to those with the most power, and say "Enough is enough." Unfortunately, here in the U.S. it's primarily white (formerly?) middle-class people who are most likely to be listened to, to be agreed with. And that's stupid, because many of these people are least equipped to deal with the root problems, and have the least personal knowledge of these problems.
I'm not 100% sure what I'm trying to say here. I think a lot about this lately, and I'm trying to learn. I do know that until we get at the root of the problem no real, lasting change will happen, and humanity will go extinct. Of course, how do we get at the root? It's nothing that can happen quickly, but that's all I really know. But I hope humanity can evolve into something that's actually civilized before it's too late.