A strange thing happened on the way to achieving the “American Dream”. The descendants of slaves have finally been offered an invitation to join the white, middle class seekers of the dream. If you’re not a part of the 1%, you’re a part of the 99% and therefore finally invited to seek your “American Dream”. Historically, the former slaves and their descendants have made basically two demands to the “United States powers that be”; grant me freedom and fairness.
Freedom for white America was a grant they received through the founding documents of this great country. The fairness that is at the core of the demand of OWS, has always been promised under the theory that anyone that works hard can achieve the “American Dream”. Needless to say, the pursuit by Black America, of freedom and fairness is now and has always been impeded by the powers that historically brought us slavery and Jim Crow and contemporarily predatory lending, voter suppression and double-digit unemployment.
Don’t wait to join. Speak now against the voter suppression laws being promoted by politicians, the ongoing foreclosures occasioned by predatory lenders and the unfair burden of unemployment in black communities. If blacks aren’t a part of the process, their interest will not be protected in solutions.
As a black publisher, I can speak from personal experience of the widespread corporate practice of sending press releases to black publications and advertising dollars to the so called “mainstream” publications. This practice promotes the underdevelopment of the “Black Press” and by extension, our black communities. Two black publications that I am aware of that have been systematically excluded from paid advertising by Bank of America and Wells Fargo are The Wilmington Journal and Greater Diversity News.
Recently some friends and I were discussing the OWS concept and movement and there was much lamenting about the messengers, its lack of leadership and its future. Personally, I believe that if you find value in the movement but are lamenting what might be missing or what the movement ought to look like, your answer is the “man in the mirror”. Help OWS be all it can be. •