As the Occupy Wall Street protests gain steam and spread across the world, many are wondering how race will or will not play into the movement.
Yesterday we mentioned the Occupy the Hood movement, and their goal to carve out a space for young Black/Latino youth in the “Occupy” movement. Many of you wondered why a separate group of protests were necessary and if they distracted from the larger movement. However, there have been pockets of resistance within SOME in the Occupy Wall Street movement against including Blacks and other minorities.
Recently, a Clutch reader forwarded us a tidbit about the Occupy Philadelphia protests over the weekend. During the demonstrations, two Black women were called “niggers” and told to go back to Africa by two White Occupy Philadelphia protestors.
The tumblr blog Complex Brown recounts:
Saturday, two sisters were called Niggers by two of the volunteers at Occupy Philadelphia at the cell-phone charging stations. They were also told to go back to Africa, and that each white man should own a slave. When the sista’s called security, security asked them to leave the premises because they thought they were apart of the UHURU movement. Even if they were a part of that movement, they should not have been asked to leave. Especially without any mention of their verbal and spiritual abuse.
Another blogger, of Bergin & Water, reports a similar incident involving Hispanic women at an Occupy event in Austin, Tx:
A group of hispanic and white women (and two men) were there to speak on behalf of the Indigenous population in order to better include their communities in the OccupyAustin and OccupyWallStreet movement. However, the “protest leaders,” who are overwhelmingly white, didn’t want them to speak. At one point, the guy with the mic screamed at the women to “STOP TALKING!” like a fucking fascist. That’s when the majority of the crowd turned their backs to the platform, and I left shortly thereafter. While I still support the movement, I’m deeply disappointed in OccupyAustin. YOUR PRIVILEGE IS SHOWING.
While the Occupy Wall Street movement cannot possibly police each of its protestors, the lack of minority voices seems quite prevalent. If these protests are to be a true success, they must include ALL people who are affected by corporate greed, many of whom are minorities.
What do you think? Are minorities being excluded from the Occupy Wall Street movement? Will the protests help black/brown folks?
*Photos courtsey of Complex Brown.