Tuesday, December 13, 2011

An open letter to people who dismiss Occupy

Dear person who does not want to occupy,

I see that you are skeptical of Occupy Wall Street.

I see that angry young people shouting makes you dismiss Occupy as angry young people.
I see that cute kids painting makes you dismiss Occupy as crazy parents.
I see that old people being pepper sprayed makes you dismiss Occupy as hippie rejects.

I know that angry responses make you dismiss Occupy.
I am getting angry
And I don’t want to dismiss you.

I think you have a story.
I think you are angry, too.

Are you angry at yourself?
That you can’t work harder?
That you don’t get to see your kids enough?
That your parents can’t make ends meet on Social Security?

Are you angry at the government for using your taxes to fund bankers’ bonuses and there’s nothing you can do about it?
Are you angry that everyone keeps lying about everything?

Go ahead, be angry. Be angry at Occupiers, even. Heaven knows we are not perfect and get a lot of things wrong. And if it isn’t rage, it isn’t even skepticism, it is something inexplicable and grey but yours—that’s fine, too.

Be skeptical.
Be angry.
Be dismissive.
Until you cannot.

Hopefully, we’ll still be here.

But please forgive us if we are sometimes impatient.
We are greedy: we want your voice, we want your story, we want your inexplicable greyness.

Without you,
The center cannot hold.

Without you,
Our solidarity is limited and incomplete.

Impatiently yours,

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