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Forum Post: I Think OWS Should Move to Harlem For Awhile

Posted 2 years ago on Nov. 5, 2011, 6:21 p.m. EST by GypsyKing (9727)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

If OWS moved to Harlem for awhile, and forged real links with the African American Community, that might bear a lot of positive fruit! This separation must simply end someday if we ever really want a more just nation.

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89 Comments


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[-] 2 points by MJMorrow (419) 2 years ago

What separation would that be? It is my understanding that there is no racial requirements for joining OWS.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

No, but the racial issue is a moral issue that has yet to be healed in this country, in spite of Obama's election, which I think helped. The point being, if we intend to push our cause against the corporate structure on moral grounds we need to get our own house in order.

[-] 1 points by MJMorrow (419) 2 years ago

No offense, but my Russian people have been through slavery, segregation and genocide, all in one, right in the 20th Century. Remember, in one year, there were more slaves in Russia, under Stalin, than there were slaves in the history of US slavery. Blacks do not have a corner on the market for pain and suffering. If Russians can get past the Nazis and the Communists in the Soviet Union, surely Whites and Blacks, should be over segregation and certainly past slavery.

It is not like any White, living today owned a slave and segregation, next to genocide....well, please, if I can feel genuine affection for Germans and Georgians, while Nazis and Communists still walk this Earth, you must not want to get past slavery and segregation and you are not trying hard enough, if you can not get along with Blacks or Whites. You should put more effort into it and stop acting like I should stop my life and address your hang up, for things that I have no responsibly for, such as slavery or segregation. This stuff may fly with silly White ultra Liberals, but I know that there is slavery going on in Haiti, right now and there are people being killed, just because of the way they look, right now. The same White Liberals, claiming that I owe Blacks for the actions of other Whites, simply because I am White are not saying to Dominicans and Haitians that Dominicans and Haitians, living today, are collectively guilty for the Haitian slave trade, benefiting some Haitians and Dominicans and why would they?

If you are from Generation X or Y, you don't know what segregation was like and you are not entitled to hold all Whites accountable, because that is idiotic and Essentialist. All Whites should be held accountable for the actions of some Whites, because Whites share incidental physical characteristics? I don't have to help you heal, because I did not cause your pain. I don't believe in guilt transmitted through genes, that is the biggest bullsh-t this county ever fell for. The Whites responsible for slavery, are the slave owners and the Whites responsible for segregation are the ones that were running the USA, during segregation. I don't fit either category. I owe Blacks absolutely nothing for the actions of evil Whites, absolutely nothing.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

There is much truth in what you say, especially regarding Stalin, who was a monster, and discredited communism for all time. But as Faulkner said "The past isn't dead, it's not even past." The point is that we carry our history in ourselves and in our outllook on life. The only way to get beyond it is through an active process of healing.

[-] 1 points by MJMorrow (419) 2 years ago

What I think is most accurate is that our past effects are still with us. For instance, while the majority of poor are White, Blacks are disproportionately poor, due to two things:1)The legacy of past systemic racism 2)The fact that the rich and politically powerful have created a situation where the working class and the middle class do not have the mobility to take advantage of their education and or skills. The result is that, to some extent or to a substantial extend, we tend to be not as well off as our parents and this leaves people in a time warp, where we are no better off as a society, than if we lived in the racist past.

There is racism though, no doubt about it, but it is not as systemic, as before. Now it is trendy to just discriminate against someone for not being rich. In the workplace, HR professionals have no shame in suggesting that it is all about who you know, as if that was ok or something. The fact is, that even in the absence of systemic racism, we see the same effects of systemic racism, since there is no social mobility, due to the widespread class discrimination.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

I think this is about half the case. As a white, it would be convienant for me to deny the existance of active racism, but I know that that is not true. I am not emplying that you deny it, just that you may be understating it.

[-] 1 points by MJMorrow (419) 2 years ago

In all seriousness, we may identify the dominant and privileged members of society by observing how they fair during a time of scarcity. Identify the people with the most highly prized and scarce resources and opportunities. It is not enough to have more opportunity, for the opportunity must be of such nature that the most privileged members of society could not elect to take it from your exclusive dominion and control. Jews may be disproportionately doctors, but anyone in the middle class could go to medical school, if they study and take out loans.

Not every Jew can be a US Senator and get a train station named after them. {Cough!....Senator Lautenberg.} Senator Lautenberg is dominant and privileged, while most Jews are not, although Jews tend to fair well in representation, for professional careers, Jews are still not dominant and privileged, generally so, the way Lautenberg is, on account of his vast wealth and political connections, so it is not his Ethnicity, but his access to the most scarce and desirable resources and opportunities that defines his privilege and dominance.

These scarce opportunities include top political positions, top careers in institutional investment companies and such resources may include mansions, private jets and access to the most attractive mates; but this is certainly not an exhaustive list. That way of evaluating privilege and dominance is a better and more objective indicator of a persons standing in society, than skin color. This is why I don't bother starting with race. I don't need to know what you look like, just how you live, work and play, to determine if you are dominant and privileged. [giggle]

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

Perhaps, but in UNITY those cut-off from societies benefits can seek redress, in division lies failure. That seems easy enough to grasp.

[-] 1 points by MJMorrow (419) 2 years ago

Well, I don't know if all Blacks would feel cut-off from me. There is no single Black point of view or identity. I may have a great deal more in common, with a given Black person, than with a given White person. I can't simply Unite with any race. This is a great issue for Stuart Hall. He is an expert, on these issues, related to Essentialism, particularly. I am certainly not an expert. [giggle] It is a good idea for OWS oorganizers to consult with Stuart Hall, to help with increasing diversity of person and position.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

And they have little or no bearing on the issues at hand.

[-] 1 points by MJMorrow (419) 2 years ago

I am sorry, it is late, I am tired and really sleep deprived, due to insomnia, so I did not follow your point. In my opinion, it is not enough to just have Whites and Blacks, get together, unless there is a really well designed approach, geared toward reaching, to its breadth and depth, the nuances and differences of opinion and background, within each community. You need a guy like Stuart Hall for that. Incidental physical similarities and sociological understandings of racial identity can be very misleading indicators of meaningful similarity or divergence, with regard to other aspects of a person; their political views, views on child rearing, attitude toward money, etc.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 2 years ago

I think The Fire Next Time is very relevant to this discussion and the Occupy Wall Street movement in general. Please take a look at this link:

http://www.occupywallst.org/forum/the-fire-next-time-why-did-the-white-house-and-the/

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

Ghandi, I think, understood this issue very well . . . that until a society really practices equality it can never be free. I would also say that the road he walked was a hard one. Yet the painful truth is that we must really confront ourselves to find freedom. That's where our attempts to change have really brought us to; a place where we must confront ourselves and grow through the painful legacies of our long quest to simply survive. Only then can we strive towards our full potential.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 2 years ago

Right on. I think this self refection is key and it is stressed time and time again by both King and Gandhi. Authors like Mingyr Rinpoche and especially Thich Nhat Hanh (engaged Buddhist movement) would definitely agree. Thich Nhat Hanh, internationally renowned Vietnamese monk and peace activist was nominated for Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King, Jr.

[-] 2 points by EricBlair (447) 2 years ago

I would support this with some reservations. Going to Harlem could be a good thing, but it could also be perceived as paternalistic white-guilt. If we are serious about planning this it should involve the visible participation and direct invitation of the local community. I believe some local organizers are already working on something like this within Harlem--- just not shifting a large part of the occupation from liberty square.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

Fine, but I really think we must somehow move in that direction. Unity can't just be a matter of words, and this issue can't just be thrust in the closet. About white guilt - although I personally don't believe I have ever done anything to diserve to feel guilty, how can I not feel guilty. Guilt is also a human feeling, and a better one than the alternative. Anyway, I'm glad people are looking this in the face.

[-] 0 points by MVSN (768) from Stockton, CA 2 years ago

Well said.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

Is our mistrust of one another greater than our opposition to the system that mutually exploits us? I hope to God that that isn't true.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

Oh well, I tried.

[-] 2 points by hairlessOrphan (522) 2 years ago

I'm just gonna say that, yes, Occupy should eventually move to Harlem. But not in its current state. It is going to have to take this a lot more seriously if it wants to be taken seriously in Harlem. Right now, they're just going to look like a convention of marks.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

Well, we have to start somewhere. I'm very well aware of the tension surrounding this issue of race, and I'm afraid that it is more likely than anything to fracture this movement. If we really believe in the 99% we must stand as the 99%

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

Really, I'm serious. A lot of white people voted for Obama - if educated whites and blacks can unite for a common cause, I think the movement would be unstoppable! Somehow we have to try to put all this horrible history behind us. I know that's easy for me to say, I'm white. But if not now than when?

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 2 years ago

Any way that effectively and respectfully highlights commonality is good by me. We, the 99% have the power. We have always had it. The only problem is that, up until now, the 1% have delighted in our divisiveness. They've encouraged it. John Stewart actually did a great job pointing this out about the show crossfire and got it cancelled after an appearance on there where he told the truth.

Note: I am in no way implying that we should ignore or not respect our differences. We should. I'm not a proponent of the "melting pot" at all. What I am saying is that, despite many differences, there is a LOT of overlap among groups and we should spend a great deal of time looking for ways to harness that overlap into real energy for real change.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

Yes, we must allow ourselves to be different from one another, but not allow ourselves to be divided because of our differences, and I think the races need to comunicate more than they do at the moment.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 2 years ago

Totally agree. Focus on the differences but also the overlap. All will benefit because we really are the 99%.

I think The Fire Next Time is very relevant to this discussion and the Occupy Wall Street movement in general. Please take a look at this link:

http://www.occupywallst.org/forum/the-fire-next-time-why-did-the-white-house-and-the/

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

Thanks for the input, I really appreciate it!

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 2 years ago

Sure. Thanks for writing this post. Important topic!

[-] 1 points by Spankysmojo (849) 2 years ago

No separation there. African Americans are a backbone here. They statistically suffer more than other groups. I like Harlem so okay but it aint up to me.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

agreed

[-] 1 points by sudoname (1001) from Berkeley, CA 2 years ago

MikeyD was talking about something similar.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

Sorry, in some ways I'm really out of it. Who is MickeyD?

[-] 1 points by sudoname (1001) from Berkeley, CA 2 years ago

A poster here on the forums. He was talking about ways to get more black people out at the protests.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

Oh, thanks for the info.

[-] 1 points by MortgagedTent (121) 2 years ago

Michael? Michael Bloomberg? Is that you Michael?

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

Hey, I'm just throwing the idea out there, waiting for the inevitable storm of derision.

[-] 1 points by verdigris (14) 2 years ago

Or YOU could actually do something. YOU could go to 125th st. and hand out fliers. YOU could explain why OWS is something that they should join. YOU could explain that there are already people of color in the movement. But that would require initiative and effort. Trolling is much easier,

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

You think the idea is so absured that I must be a troll, and I think that you're thinking the idea is so absured makes you a troll. Fine conundrum!

[-] 1 points by verdigris (14) 2 years ago

I don't think it's absurd at all. You should do it.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

I would, but it's not possible for me.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

Oh, sorry, I misunderstood you.

[-] 1 points by verdigris (14) 2 years ago

Don't worry, the xxx was a typo. I wasn't hitting on you.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

Wow, that never even occurred to me.

[-] 1 points by verdigris (14) 2 years ago

good

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

Likewise, I'm sure.

[-] 0 points by LoveToLickCum (54) 2 years ago

There is a shortage of Nig hippies

[-] 1 points by Spankysmojo (849) 2 years ago

No, there's a shortage of your mother getting an abortion.

[-] 1 points by powertothepeople (1264) 2 years ago

I lol'd in spite of myself.

[-] 1 points by LoveToLickCum (54) 2 years ago

Hahahahahahahahahahahah.....cha Ching!

[-] 1 points by Spankysmojo (849) 2 years ago

You like? I knew you'd enjoy that. Cha Chingedy ching ching.

[-] 1 points by LoveToLickCum (54) 2 years ago

LOL...no my little idiot. Every time I get someone to answer my post and get it back to the top of the forum I make money. Some people have an interest in making this forum seem stupid and irrelevant. Of course you fools would never believe this so keep responding!

[-] 0 points by Spankysmojo (849) 2 years ago

Now that I got you to admit that what you're doing is for money and its at the top of the board I can finally stop responding. Douchie Douchinsky.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

Don't even respond to these Satanists. You're wasting your precious time:)

[-] 0 points by LoveToLickCum (54) 2 years ago

Thanks again....doesn't matter what you say .......it's still a cha Ching! Keep hatin!

[-] 0 points by mickydees (13) 2 years ago

yes lets go live with the black people. I support this idea.

[-] -1 points by roloff (244) 2 years ago

WHAT SEPERATION are you talking about, it is all in your head, this huge race difference does not exist on an individual level, it is more of a political propaganda tool. Wake up

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

I think it really does exist as a real issue.

[-] -1 points by roloff (244) 2 years ago

Normally I just give troll responses, but really I am curious how and where is there this systematic divide between races?

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

Are you saying there hasn't been a legacy of racism and intolerance in this country, or that "that's all over now so we don't need to woory about it?" If the latter, there would be a lot of falsely imprisoned black guys who would probably dispute that case.

[-] 0 points by roloff (244) 2 years ago

Yes, it doesn't exist in our laws or our system. White guys can't be falsely imprisoned too? That is a perfect example of where your logic is flawed. Please provide an example of legislation that discriminates today.

[-] 1 points by EricBlair (447) 2 years ago

The prison population drastically over represents Black people. Poverty rates. College graduation. Those without medical coverage. Just about any socioeconomic metric you can name clearly demonstrates significant racial oppression and inequality is still very much alive. The life experience of black people (or just about anybody who doesn't live in white suburbia and isn't sheltered from the reality of race/class oppression) undeniably demonstrates systemic racism is very prevalent.

Unless you are trying to suggest that these statistics are a result of something inherent to black people or black sub-culture, and not racism within the system itself. If this is what you mean to suggest then you simply aren't worth the energy debating with.

[-] -1 points by roloff (244) 2 years ago

It has nothing to do with individual choices? So under your logic then the NBA and NFL are inherently racist against non African Americans?

[-] -1 points by roloff (244) 2 years ago

Thats your response? Laughable because your not intelligent enough to come up with your own thoughts.

[-] 2 points by EricBlair (447) 2 years ago

I point out your use of the just-world fallacy, and you reply with an Ad Hominem fallacy. http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/ad-hominem.html

Maybe you could try to support your position with, you know', evidence or logically valid reasoning? Just a thought.

[-] -2 points by roloff (244) 2 years ago

Why don't you read your own comment and follow it. Laughable. Please answer me why the African American prison population is racist and the NBA is not.

[-] 1 points by EricBlair (447) 2 years ago

"Why don't you read your own comment and follow it. Laughable."

Once again: You suggested that poverty is the result of poor choices of individuals. I replied by pointing out that this is a common fallacy of logic (blaming the victim) and linked it to you an explanation. You replied with ad hominem attacks and repeated assertions that this is "laughable." Curiously you have yet to actually provide any rebuttal. Do you have one? No? Got nothing?

"Please answer me why the African American prison population is racist and the NBA is not."

The NBA is a basketball thing right? I don't know anything about them, I don't follow organized sports. For all I know they very well could be racist, your gonna have to explain why. I really don't understand sports references. How is this relevant?

[-] -2 points by moving69china (10) 2 years ago

Yeah because black people are statistically more likely to commit crimes than whites. Blame, education, poverty or whatever. Blacks are more likely to commit a crime than a white in America.

[-] 2 points by EricBlair (447) 2 years ago

That data doesn't exist. The statistic that we do have solid evidence for is that Blacks are more likely to arrested for a crime than whites. This figure should be considered against the context that blacks are more likely to be falsely arrested than whites and that crimes committed by blacks are more aggressively investigated than crimes committed by whites (thus more white lawbreakers avoid ever being arrested than black lawbreakers.)

It may very well be the case that more black people commit crimes than white people--- for the reasons you mentioned above. We can only assume as there is no objective statistical data like you suggested. However, supposing this is in fact the case, that just further supports the fact that there is systemic institutional racism. No?

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

Thank you for having the patience to point out the obvious. Wow, I really envy that ability. I never really figured out how to talk to these looney, racist types. The don't seem to have either a mind, or a heart.

[-] 2 points by OQPi (162) 2 years ago

Not true. There are lots of different types of crime, and white people commit more crime over all than black people. The difference is that they are sentenced harsher.

For instance a black homeless man robbed a bank for $100 so that he could stay in the shelter for the night, and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

A white woman robbed a corporation millions of dollars and was sentenced to 42 months.

If that isn't racism/classism/corrupt I don't know what is.

[-] 1 points by powertothepeople (1264) 2 years ago

Robbed a bank? I watched a man get sentenced to 8 years for shoplifting a CD player out of Walgreen's. Yes, he was black & poor.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 2 years ago

Great point!

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

It's not a matter of legislation, it's a matter of fact.

[-] -1 points by roloff (244) 2 years ago

With nothing to back that up except your opinion its a matter of fact that you have no clue what your talking about. Give a fact to prove this exist.

[-] 0 points by mickydees (13) 2 years ago

There are like four black people at Liberty Plaza- u colorblind or something?

[-] -2 points by Frankie (733) 2 years ago

Most of the brothers aren't going to put up with that hippie stuff.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

Well, we might as well pack up and go home than. I'm serious, because this country is doomed to endless division.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 2 years ago

There is a LOT of overlap among groups and we should spend a great deal of time looking for ways to harness that overlap into real energy for real change.

[-] 0 points by Frankie (733) 2 years ago

I think that's one of the few areas where there's actually less division.

But you guys really aren't going to be telling blacks anything new re inequality and unemployment. I think the response pretty much would amount to a big "Ya think?" You're way late to that party. lol Because a bunch of middle class white kids are finally waking up to that fact because it's now affecting them isn't going to be particularly persuasive.

Also, despite Democrats claiming rights to them, most black folks tend to be relatively conservative as far as core values go.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 2 years ago

James Baldwin from "Just Above My Head": "I saw some white kids come to freedom on that road. They realized that they could step out of the lie and the trap of their history and be, just be. What they were saying to me is exactly what I'd been saying to them for years and their being recalled to life was a beautiful thing to behold."

The world famous essays "Fire Next Time" and "Nothing Personal" by James Baldwin would be excellent reading for any OWS supporter. Baldwin nails it out of the park.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

I agree with all of that, but if there is a chance of healing this racial divide, shouldn't we take it? People can't change who they are, they're stuck with it - if we could bridge that divide, we coulld take this movements chances A LOT more seriously.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 2 years ago

You are onto something here. Definitely. Not sure what methods would be best. Some are already underway. In general, in addition to sincere and strategic efforts to broaden the base of support, I think eventually tons of good people of all colors, creeds, ages, backgrounds and income levels will gravitate towards this movement if we are articulate, kind, courageous, outspoken and effective.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

Yes, I think so, and above all we must have endurance; be here for the long haul. Humanity is really in crisis, and the same old Darwinian survival instinct, couched in Calvanist values, just won't cut it anymore! Thanks for the comment.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

Thanks for the reply. I'm really very interested in what African Americans think of this movement, and what they are thinking about the state of things in gerneral.