|I guess they had no Black people as friends on Facebook|
And the latest cause that is all the rage among the perpetually progressive Stuff White People Like (SWPL) white people class of American people is the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement. Many of the participants in this nationwide movement are aging white leftists. Many more are young SWPL's looking for another cool cause to rally behind, since that half-Black dude in the White House has run out of change.
It's all the rage and highly fashionable to pitch a tent in a public park (or private) and design homemade signs denigrating Wall Street and promoting some DWL cause, all the while tweeting from an iPad or iPhone and Facebook-ing away on a Mac Book. Hope no one engages in unwarranted theivery at these makeshift refugee camps for SWPL whites who apparently got tired of blasting corporate America and fat cat CEOs on social media from their local Starbucks.
Sadly, these SWPL circles and their online meet-up groups of DWLs lacked any Black members as the national media is beginning to notice a paucity of dark faces at the OWS's Starbucks refugee tent city's. Notably, Atlanta appears to be an OWS gathering of odd DWLs and SWPL whites that resembles the racial makeup of Forsyth County from 20 years ago:
Rep. John Lewis accused a Tea Party (another all-white cause/movement reflecting watered down right-wing sensibilities) member of calling him the-word-that-must-not-be-named (a nigger); watching this strange video of aging - legitimately batty - DWLs refuse to allow Lewis to speak is a hilarious reminder that no only was his accusation erroneous, but the OWS people in Atlanta basically did everything BUT call him the-word-that-must-not-be-named.
Ronaldo Sobral came to Woodruff Park not to be heard but to listen, to watch and to judge the appeal of Occupy Atlanta. One thing he noticed, moving through the crowd, listening at the edge of conversations, was that white faces far outnumbered dark ones such as his.
That is a reality, both in Atlanta and nationally: From the beginning, most movement participants have been white. Over time, more and more people have taken note, giving rise to a swelling national debate about the whys and so-whats. Some people see the lack of diversity as a failing, others see it as irrelevant.
But economic facts lend a certain irony: A movement born of anger over the gulf between the rich and the rest is only gradually attracting the very groups who have felt the brunt of economic inequality, both historically and as a result of the Great Recession.
The upshot is simple, says Tim Franzen, an organizer of Occupy Atlanta: "If we are going to say we represent 99 percent of the people, then we have to represent them."
Otherwise, he and others said, the lack of diversity could undercut the Occupy movement's ability to spur change in the country, and particularly in a city with as strong an African American presence as Atlanta.
"In order for them not to come off as spoilers who are just complaining, they need the moral authority of the black and brown community," said John Hope Bryant, founder of the Atlanta-based Operation Hope, a nonprofit that educates low-income people on financial issues.
"It's disappointing that there haven't been more [African American] people there," said Bob Holmes, former director of the Southern Center for Studies in Public Policy. "Maybe it's got to do with cynicism or that people have given up hope."
Sobral, who works as a designer, said he suspects that many minorities are too consumed by their own economic tribulations to participate. “They’re dealing with their own survival,” he said.
But the protesters in Woodruff Park also stumbled early on, affronting some African Americans by telling civil rights icon U.S. Rep. John Lewis on Oct. 7 that he would have to wait his turn along with everyone else to address the group. A video of the protracted debate over his request to speak has received almost 500,000 hits on YouTube.
And it's all on film. BusinessWeek published an article on the lack of Black people at the OWS Starbucks refugee camps across the country; something called Autostraddle.com published this piece on sincere attempts to enhance the diversification of the OWS movement with a People of Color infusion. Obviously, Organized Blackness hasn't found a way to monetarily benefit from involving itself in this movement, but once a steady revenue stream can be assured Black people will start to trickle in to score some easy loot.
Just give it time, and The Blacks will come running to join the OWS movement. The question is if the SWPL whites and DWLs decide to pack up their REI tents and head back to Starbucks before that happens.
Update: Didn't see this hilarious article by Unamused, noting that "diversity" and "inclusion" of Black people with the OWS SWPL Starbucks movement hasn't been a smashing success. Instead, it's been a case study in what happens when you introduce the Black Undertow to Whitopias (and the OWS tent city's are mini-Whitopias): racism toward whites and high crime rates.