Saturday, October 29, 2011

My response to the Color of Change "Occupy Survey" that was too long to fit in their comment field.

So I just filled out your Occupy Survey and was disappointed-- I think you are asking the wrong questions. I am a white girl, btw, so I could be wrong about that. :)

I've been visiting my local Occupation (Wall Street) since the first week, and it has been transformative. But enough about me:

People of color helped start OWS, and Hero Vincent has been arrested four times for it. Cornel West was one of the first intellectual luminaries to visit us, and he keeps coming back. Your survey makes it sound like people of color have to shove their way in-- but the door is open-- people of color are holding the door open.

We are not perfect, and there is room for improvement. But I human mic'd a a Sankofa Day  celebration a couple of Saturdays ago. Shouting so that speakers of color could be heard further than they otherwise would was a deeply moving experience. Ok, so me (short, white, mom) shouting, "I am a Latino man!" got some giggles from his audience-- but they heard him. They heard the young man who wanted us to get arrested with him and Dr. West against police brutality. They heard the homeless advocate whose voice was rough and they heard the young woman who lead us in chants.

And then we marched to the African burial ground monument. I have never felt like I was entitled to shout about "the people," especially, "The people united will never be divided" because I am too young and too white. On the way to the monument, some people shouted about reparations, others shouted about banks getting bailed out. But I walked together with people of color of all ages, their words went through my body--and on the way back, we *all* shouted, "Can't stop the power of the people 'cause the power of the people don't stop!"

Come see. Come speak. Come shout.

No comments:

Post a Comment