Occupy Movement Cuts Across Racial And Ethnic Lines

November 17, 2011
Written by Janice S. Ellis... in
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Police in riot gear dismantled the Occupy Wall Street encampment in New York City on Wednesday, but after weeks of planning for a day of civil disobedience and marches, protestors were on the streets again today. Information and Photo Credit: www.topics.gannett.com

Today marks two months of a movement whose composition and purpose represent a microcosm of who makes up America and what being an American stands for — a rainbow of people from different ethnicities and racial groups who are exercising their right of free expression about a perceived wrong.

Nothing binds like the perception that the majority is suffering economically because of the control and power of a few. One thing is certain, the “Occupy Movement” that began on Wall Street two months ago and now spread into the main streets of more than two-hundred cities across America has struck a common cord among every racial and ethnic group that makes up the United States.

The unifying theme: There is something rotten on Wall Street and in Washington, where the 1 percent seem to be getting richer, even during this deep recession, while the 99 percent seem to be in a sea of suffering. It really doesn’t matter whether it is the person who has lost a job, and can’t seem to find another, or the small businessman who can barely keep the doors of his business open because the very bank that the government bailed out refuses to give him a loan, or the retiree, who worries that their benefits could evaporate without warning, they are all united in the belief that America is on the wrong economic road.

So America, what are you going to do? Will you choose to ignore a movement that seems not to be abating and hope that winters cold or police force will drive the demonstrators off the streets?

Have the powers that be, whether political leaders in the White House and Congress, the state houses and city halls or executives of the nation’s major corporations, forgotten why and how America was formed in the first place? And, do you not think that the same discontent for oppression in all of its forms still runs warm in the veins of every true American?

There is a quite movement, which is screaming enough is enough. For those of us who work hard everyday trying to support family and country, we will not continue to be exploited, economically disenfranchised, and allow our discontent to be ignored. This sentiment represents a common tie that binds ethnicities, socio-economic status, minority groups, and people of all ages.

The “Occupy Movement” is in the streets of 200 American cities today. How many more cities will join tomorrow, next week, next month, and in the months to come?

The revolution against taxation without representation and freedom of speech and religion formed America. Will the movement against corporate greed and inequality in economic opportunity, which jeopardizes one’s hope of ever achieving the American dream, be the force that reforms America?

We should not test or underestimate Americans’ ability to mount a show of force to bring about change. Our history is replete with examples.