Forum Post: Occupy Wallstreet Preaches Equality and Practices Inequality
Posted 11 years ago on Nov. 28, 2011, 4:54 p.m. EST by DisillusionedActivist
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
I went to occuppywallstreet NYC specifically Zuccotti Park. I was enthusiastic and had been following the movement closely on a daily basis. I do work and can not attend often. I met a lot of great people and some not so great but generally everyone was informed and polite. However, I asked a "facilitator" what exactly she was doing and why are there moderators etc. She then went on to say they are needed to provide structure to conversation as people go off on tangents. She then said the only rule is that a white male can not go first in discussion. She further explained that the logic was that this is forum to get the voices out there that are typically marginalized. This turned me off to the entire movement. I didn't even want to speak first or at all but the fact this movement has adopted antiquated ideals of affirmative action which is just reverse discrimination under the guise of it being progressive practice made me loose faith in the people who established the framework for this movement. We are all people and we should look at one another as such. You can not look at a person and tell by their gender or skin color if their voice has been marginalized if the rationale is based in historical terms that white males are the only people in the US not to have their voice marginalized that doesn't hold up. Aren't we all there to get rid of the old system and instead it's just an inverted system that marginalizes my voice based on the sins of my demographic history. The OWS movement adopts the idea of let's punish white males because they created this mess and they've had it so much easier with in the old system. Let's not punish anyone and not pay attention to who is speaking in terms of demography but instead shift our focus on their voice and message. The fact the movement looks at people in demographic manner is disturbing, because it demonstrates how little unity there really is with in this movement because instead of being viewed as part of the 99% I am viewed as a white male. To say white males haven't been marginalized or their voice hasn't been is ludicrous and ignorant. This is almost as ludicrous as the idea that the white males in power are representing me or are an outlet for my voice. I have never been discriminated against until that day which ironically was the first time I went to protest the inequity and inequality of our current system. It's ironic because I sacrificed a day off from work to show support for a movement that discriminates, views my voice as inferior, and can be marginalized under the false rationale that my voice has already been heard; because the leaders of the system (that same system we all joined together to protest) are white males. For a movement that is filled with progressive ideas it takes political correctness to a jihadist extreme. Why suppress anyone's voice I thought this movement was for equality? That is why I supported the movement until I became labeled as white male first and part of the 99% second. This movement was supposed to be about uniting people who have ideals for a better future but instead it labels “white males” as a 2nd class activists. I can not support a movement that does this even if I agree with 99% of its message. Please I implore all you facilitators out there drop this discriminatory practice because you need all the voices you can get and it makes you look like hypocrites by preaching unity and equality while practicing segregation.
this is something i noticed early on. it's a symptom of career college kids running the show. the people they claim to represent are people they have never been.
Well it's been established that career adults sell out to the highest bidder, so I'm comfortable letting the college kids format the discussion.
nice blanket thinking. the same type of thinking kept women and blacks oppressed for how long? way to go. what should be assumed of you?
This would be a valid argument if there was already a level playing field, but simply saying ;'everyone is equal' doesn't make it so. Women, indigenous people, people of color and others are marginalised groups. That is a fact borne out by history. Some OWS sites have had problems with white males dominating proceedings even with these measures in place. It's not a personal insult or attack, it's simply designed to redress an imbalance that already exists and has existed historically. Take it as an opportunity to learn something about how racism, sexism, homophobia etc. impact on people's lives in different ways. I don't think it's an immature, 'undergrad student' mentality to step back and allow more marginalised perspectives to be heard. It shows maturity, humility and respect.
I didn't get that you were stopped from speaking; only that a white male could not speak first. I don't consider that punishment. Often what we have to say is modified by what we hear from others. We are all imperfect individuals, and any large group of us will have people we disagree with. To denounce a given movement because it contains imperfect people, and those imperfect people come up with imperfect ideas to deal with a given situation, indicates pretty high expectations on your part. It is your absolute right to argue with their position, or walk away, or stay and listen. I do hope you expressed your response to her discrimination so she would at least think about it.
thats true, you may be interested in looking up "iron law of oligarchy". entropy in social systems - they always tend to devolve into oligarchy. Occupy movement is making an EFFORT, but its failing, because of its lack of organization and failure to listen to people outside of closed loops.
I have been active here since the very beginning, and since the very beginning I have been trying to make some core points. These points clearly have not been digested or fully understood by the mob, and so I'm going to try to make a further attempt here again.
For these reasons, I beg of you to please immediately join me on the wiki. We need to have all of these details and all of these ideas put together in an organized fashion, rather than posted in a long scrawl which will never be read.
the issue here is how does one organize and run a non violent campaign. with untrained humans --------------------- the female is better suited to the task. she finds it easier to , stay calm, when subjected to force and oppression. where the male wants to get violent.
-----------------------------with training - such as is supplied on thrasymaque's web page- the human male, is great because he can cause the cops to response with force- as cops don't like clubbing females. -- the purpose of demonstrating is to get the system to forcefully respond-- training web page http://tinyurl.com/7rvpv43 thrasymaque
"I have never been discriminated against until that day which ironically was the first time I went to protest the inequity and inequality of our current system."
Wow lucky you; and instead of experiencing this, and seeing how it plays out upon you as a human being, and others; you decided you would take your marbles and play elsewhere. So essentially you weren't going to experience what could be an eye opening realization, not even for a few minutes; what others live for a lifetime. Well there you go lol
Why should I experience it. The only eye opening thing for me was that OWS is a bunch hypocrites who talk about unity and being Discrimination while practicing it. Also I didn't want to speak I was there to listen, a quality that maybe 1% of the protesters possessed. You can't preach unity and equality while practicing discrimination and justify it on the basis that its ok because past inequality. Your no different then them. I don't need be discriminated against while I'm protesting inequality to learn that its wrong. I mean Jesus I'm out there protesting that its wrong. It seems like u don't want equality or a new system the only change you want is to be the one discriminating and not discriminated against.
It doesn't feel good. But your missing the central point if we are trying to change the old system of inequality. This policy just continues inequality and it adopts the old way of view one another into sub groups of race, religion and gender. We are all 99% and should view eachother as the same not in any other terms. Fighting past discrimination with discrimination just creates more of it. If your angry at white males for past inequality and want retribution and think that discriminating against all white males is good your no better then the people you are fighting in fact ideologically your the same. You seem like your angry not at inequality in the system but rather who the inequality targeted. Yes it was eye opening but I don't need to be experience discrimination to know its bad and certainly not when I'm trying to stop it by protesting.
I was hoping you would respond to my question, what occured in the civil rights movement; wherein women were marginalized, and put in their place. Since we're all socialized within circles of injustice, and WILL subconsciously re-create what we have lived, even in a social movement...how will you stop that process ?
I had to reflect upon this as I am some what ambivalent. Yes, I understand your thoughts and feelings in this; but I think it unfortunate that such an exercise is deemed wholly unacceptable and intolerable. Usually groups socialized and issuing from the staus quo, subconsciously implement the status quo; so it's conceivable, such a exercise would awaken receptive people, and be transformative.
In the civil rights movement, it's been documented, that women were often treated severely as second class citizens, and the status quo, asserted itself. So how do you prevent people from subconsciously re-creating in a movement what they have been socialized and conditioned to, all their lives ? Regardless of the intent of the movement; everyone has been socialized within a system of injustice and they will re-create that system; in varying degrees; even while protesting against it. Your question why should I experience it, is quite remarkable to me; as it's my belief activists actually should experience these things, for knowledge and awareness...but yes I understand that within your belief system you think that you should never, have to experience that.
If you talk like an anarchist about direct democracy and egalitarian societies, they'll listen better. Their ears will all perk up like dogs when you say the word "treat", and you'll have their full attention.
I didn't even want to speak I just wanted to show support, but how can I support a group of people who think changing the system means discriminating against a different group of people. There's no change in its principles only its practices.
I've heard more than one negative comment about the experiences down at Zuccotti Park. I would like to think their mindset is not representative of the movement as a whole. If you believe in the message or the goals of OWS I would urge you to stay in the fight here on the web. One bad experience at one camp shouldn't be enough to dissuade a true believer.
I understand. I totally sympathize with your feelings - I think this is a minor point though. It's probably based on some sort of anarchistic principle of equality or something. Its all the other anarchy stuff that worries me more. I was actually being serious about the dog treat thing. This whole movement was started by an anarchist, its based on anarchist principles and practices.
I'm glad I could make you laugh today!
The majority of white males in the past and some in the present have earned this attitude. How does it feel to be denied certain rights just because you were born a certain way. A lot of suffering by women and people of color has been brought on by their selfishness, egos, and brutality. You're just going to have to wait it out until the the tables are equal. Are you aware American women are not permitted to engage in battle in our military? Who the hell gave the white males the right to tell another adult what they can and cannot do. Yeah, it's unfair to a white guy who doesn't have any prejudices towards women and minorities, but they are few and far between. Now you know how we women and others feel, this kind of thing has been going on our wholes lives.
You gotta admit that is a bit funny; can't handle 30 sec of preferential treatment and has never experienced discrimination....NEVER...and can't handle what others live day in and day out...BUT he's there to correct what he has never experienced, and won't. This and this alone has caused him to be disillusioned . I say if you're going to be an activist...try some role reversal for at least 30 seconds.
So it is ok for them to discriminate as long as they only discriminate against a group that historically is rarely discriminated against?
This is all that needs to be said.
Since OWS has a consensus process; it needs to be established if this was; arrived at by concensus. Additionally I have some ambivalence regarding this. I wouldn't have implemented this, knowing the resentment it would create in those who have experienced privilege throughout their lives; but I find it incredibly interesting that this would be experienced as intolerable. It makes me wonder what would happen if one had to live it.
Further, I wonder why a person who had NEVER experienced preferential treatment, wouldn't want to experience it for a few seconds. How committed can one be, as an activist, if you resent a enlightening role reversal for a few seconds of your life.
I am not resenting it, I just thought it was funny.
I am a white male who went to dental school in New England. Getting into dental school is not easy - the year I applied only about 1 out of 35 applicants got in. We had a black guy from Alabama who got in only because he was black. It was obvious because his test scores were not even close to everyone else and he was not very personable. As a result, he struggled through all 4 years of dental school yet he was giving numerous opportunities to re-mediate failed exams because the thought of flunking out a black guy was just too much for the school to handle. So he was pushed through all the way to graduation with his hand held the entire way and now there is a completely incompetent dentist somewhere in Alabama. I truly do not resent it though because it didn't really cause me any harm. I am sure that other applicants who were more qualified, students who weren't giving the numerous re-mediation opportunities, and maybe even his patients may indeed be resentful though.
Obviously it is not only white males who receive preferential treatment in this country.
Was the black male the only student in the class; and history of the school whose test scores were not even close to everyone else and was not very personable; who struggled through all 4 years; had numerous opportunities to re-mediate; who was pushed through ; had his hand held...clearly not; but due to the indoctrination of a stratified system..he will be perceived as the only inadequate one, in the course of the school's entire history. Years later, he will be represented as THE ONE, and only one, who was unjustly pushed through in the entire history of dental training. It never occured prior to the acceptance of black students. Until then all, virtually ALL, students excelled at their academic and professional pursuits. Clearly this is what you have decided to believe. My hope is that reincarnation from human group to human group exists..it's the only real cure. lol
Mooks this may be a moot point : ) ....kinda like debating the tonage of the titanic after it has sunk. What's being engineered before our eyes will position both black and white males as serfs, even prisoners. Given my experience with being threatened with arrest, years ago, in a open public park, because I yelled out the voting record of the politician who was speaking; and recently where I was threatened by a doctor, who said seriously, he'd like to place me in a psychiatric facility; for "vaccine paranoia", because I refused the mandated flu vaccine, and mobilized others against forced vaccination; I know we're all in danger.
Police depts. are being given tanks and drones; and legislation is in the works to make even American home soil a "battlefield"; wherein Americans can be detained forever without due process; my concerns lie elsewhere.
I'll leave my fellow Americans to fret about race and preference; I'm going to try to make plans for what is coming. As a supporter of OWS; our efforts may be a little too late; especially since many of us are going to get bogged down by inconsequential points of process as a prison is built around us.
What alarms me, is the fact that I can't rely on my fellow Americans, neither black nor white, as tyranny descends.
Indeed, this is racism plain and simple. We have to stop advocating decisions based on skin color. The past is the past, it's time to let it go and move on towards a peaceful world where we are all considered equal. Let's not forget the past, but let's not use it to excuse racism whether it be positive racism or reversed racism, or whatever else kind of racism.