the philosophactivist

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Occupy Oakland

So a lot of people seemed to be a little confused as to the point of Occupying cities. Some have even gone on to say that we are just complaining about life being too hard or too tough and that we need to pull ourselves up by our boot straps. Be silent. The most disappointing part about these comments is that people really don't get why so many people are organizing, collaborating and raising their voices. People really buy the notion that we all have equal opportunities in this country. Smart people. People with a lot of influence. Even people who have been discriminated against in the past. It is so important that we continue to educate ourselves on privilege and the decolonization of our minds. Assimilation and colonization is what fuels POCs against POCs. For instance, Herman Cain. Here is a prime example of the perfect, assimilated black man who is blind to the plight of many people of color. Sorry if 50 or so years wasn't enough time for those of us who couldn't even drink out of the same water fountain or attend the same schools to become equals. Jeez, we brown folks are really messing up. Now that racism isn't overt, we should be able to deal with its vestiges. Out of sight, out of mind- right?

I keep seeing these folks who write these letters, take photos, and post them on facebook talking about how they don't complain..that they've earned where they're at through hard work as if immigrants and people of color never worked two and three jobs to provide for their families or put themselves through college. Most of these folks posting these letters are white. White people have historically decimated and appropriated. The systems in place in this country were created by, for and to uplift white folks. The boot straps they want us to pull ourselves up by...are provided by white folks. That's just how it is. White folks are the colonizers, though we are all affected by colonization. We have to know this in order to change it.

This movement is about the People finding their voice and challenging a system that says that our rights aren't as important as that of corporations and the wealthy. It's also about the People rising up and taking back our communities. Having more influence- more say- in the decisions made in education, housing, restorative justice, etc. We've let the plutocracy make the calls for far too long.  This our land. (Actually- it's native land and we need to respect and acknowledge that first and foremost).  Collectively we have the power to stop these wars, keep schools open, receive fair wages, put an end to racism,sexism and homophobia...the sky is the limit.

I'm sure there were plenty of people who thought that the civil rights movement was annoying and that people of color should just accept their "lot in life". That things couldn't get any better.  We can DO something about this broken system. Let's not sit idly by and swallow propaganda and falsities when we know the truth. Oakland has a very radical past. The antagonism between law enforcement and communities of color has been a major factor in the organizing efforts that have shown that the people of Oakland can and must provide for themselves. I will always respect Oakland for always finding a way with its free school lunches, community gardens, and focus on its youth and respect for the wisdom of the elders.'s completely understandable if some of you don't want to get on board. But, if you won't get behind least don't stand in front of us. The revolution is already happening. Please help ...not hinder. We need everyone involved if we are going to rebuild this society in a way that respects and values everyone regardless of race/ethnicity,class,gender, sexuality or ability.

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