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Black folks and OWS

My friend Denise Oliver Velez has written a wonderful front-page story at Daily Kos about people of color and the occupy movement. In it she links to this fabulously written article by Greg Tate titled Top 10 Reasons Why So Few Black Folk Appear Down to Occupy Wall Street.

Like The French, radical black folk are genetically predisposed to support all signs of insurrection, insurgency, and revolutionary suicide wherever in the known universe they rear their lovely and indignant little heads. That said, some observers of the current American progressive scene have accurately noted OWS's paucity of participants proudly gleaming signs of African descent and dissent. Herewith a few of our idle speculations as to wherefore art thou anti-capitalist Negroid rabble-rousers riled up over any of the causes now being featured at Zuccotti Park.

He goes on to write about his top 10 reasons. You should read the whole thing, but here are a couple that stood out to me.

THE OWS BEST GO GET A LATE-PASS THEORY The sudden realization by OWS-ers that American elites never signed the social contract and will sell the people out for a fat cat's dime—hey, no news flash over here. Black folk got wise to the game back in 1865 when we realized neither 40 acres nor a mule would be forthcoming. Also, as one sharp strapping ready for whatever you got youngblood recently put it, "I ain't about to go get arrested with some muhfuhkuhs who just figured out yesterday that this shit ain't right."

THE PRISON INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX CRICKETS THEORY The predominant age range of OWS's paler male participants is roughly 18-29. This age group among African American cats accounts for 40 percent of the country's prison population—a national crisis which predates the bailout by several decades. This disgraceful disparity could likely continue after every OWS-er has been gainfully reabsorbed into the American workforce. Although Wall Street profits from our brothers' massive enslavement by incarceration, so does Main Street. Perhaps OWS should ponder putting prison abolition on their unformulated list of demands. Until then, some black progressives, though duly sympathetic, might not hear a roar coming from Zuccotti but simply crickets.

THE ISM SCHISM THEORY Simply put, capitalism is not the "ism" whose evils tends to motivate most American Negroes to radical action, per se. Experience shows that racism can trump even greed in Amerikkka—especially in the workplace. White dudes with prison records get hired over more qualified bloods with not even jaywalking citations. You don't have to be as high up the food chain as banker-scum to benefit from white supremacy or profit sideways from the mass povertization of the Negro.

I don't have much to add. He nailed it with both punch and humor as far as I'm concerned.

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  1. I loved his article! and he nailed it on ever point

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