The Revolution was Televised

Where do I start in verbalizing the pure disgust I feel after watching the institutionalized racism, sexism, classism and power issues of what I just saw before me? I don’t know where to start so I will first start with a picture of the faces of Occupy Oakland.

by Michael Macor of the Chronicle

These are the faces of a community that showed up to represent the rights of those who have fallen into the traps of a money hungry, capitalistic society that takes away from the masses and forgets the poor. Oakland is such a place.

The inner cities of Oakland know what it is like to have disparity, to live it daily and continue to exist in a society that is unfair, not empathetic and absent in the everyday struggle of the underserved. They often are the forgotten.

The fight of Occupy Wall Street across the nation represents some of the very struggles that minorities have suffered with for generations, often we are conditioned to believe this is “just life” for us. Is it something you protest to change? This is a question that Black people will continue to have to ask themselves, our history tells us a story that is very similar. When do we settle for what we are handed and when do we look at the desensitization that has happened to our people? Now might just be the time.

It makes news coverage when there are non-minorities that are fighting for the same rights that Black people have had to and still fight for. Would this be news if it were just the Black faces of our Oakland communities? Would the public assume that these were just out of control thugs that were rioting and need to be controlled? The coverage and opinions of the Oscar Grant demonstrations would tell us yes; is that because the face on all the posters made it easier to dismiss the brutality that was caused in the streets from law enforcement? Is it different today because those faces were a little more diverse in the crowd? I think so and while it brings attention and understanding to sensitive issues that need to be exploited, it is quite painful to know and come to terms with.

I do not know how to walk in a society where we continue to treat others as second hand citizens and without the basic rights of safety inside of our own community. Police threw tear gas, flash grenades and rubber bullets into a mostly peaceful crowd because they wouldn’t follow orders and did not know their place. We were only missing the big water hoses to spray them down with, like they did in the 1960′s.

Maybe it is time to have the needs of all people help to make change that we alone have not been able to institute, we are larger in numbers and brothers and sisters of all races are feeling the incredible disparity of today’s society. I honor all the struggles of people here and I also honor that this has been the struggle of my ancestors for a very long time. I am not different and this struggle is mine as well.

What the law showed us last night in the streets of Oakland was that there is no tolerance, no human rights and no such thing as protection under the law. It is comfortable to think that things have changed but have they really or is it wealth that determines basic human rights in this society instead of pigment now. How about both? Can you deal with that? I can’t.

by Michael Macor of the Chronicle

Last night we got to see a glimpse of the war that we have been struggle to overcome in live, violent, unbelievable action. Last night they were not fighting the establishment, we were all fighting ourselves; looking in a mirror and throwing a tear gas container at the reflection of our children. We have to fix this and this cannot be acceptable for my community, my Nation and my children.

To wrap this up, I think it is fitting to look at the images that are circulating the news and reflect on where we have come from. I hope it is not a reflection of where we are going. And we must remember, the revolution will now be televised; lets make it count. The struggle continues….

  • http://hellenicpolytheist.wordpress.com/ Pythia Theocritos

    I am very glad you wrote this blog post as it does highlight why I’m a bit bothered by the amount of attention, and fervor, the OWS movement is gaining. I appreciate the message and the real need, but it bothers me that these inequalities weren’t considered “dangerous” or “wrong” until they were effecting middle, and former middle, class whites.

    The “face” of Occupy Wall Street is socially acceptable by American standards. White, mid-late twenties, college educated- “worthy” of decency, while the brown, red, and yellow faces that have been saying that same thing have been brushed aside as biased and whiny.

    Sadly, this topic won’t be brought up in a movement that’s fueled by hipsters, and by extension, the hipster mindset that co-opting “the struggle” is fine until that struggle actually involves people of color. Then it’s a little too extreme.

    It will be interesting to see how this movement pans out and whether the occupiers will, once again, return to their worlds of white privilege once the battle is over, or actually attempt to help the “others.”

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lamyka-L/649965363 Lamyka L.

      While a pessimistic side of myself agrees with you I’d like to give the people involved at least a little credit. I can’t sit here and complain that Hawaiians never get this kind of coverage when protesting for our freedom from the US, OR I can stop for a second and say good on them!

      I just hope that all of us put our baggage, understandable or not, aside and see the humans standing next to us. This might very well be the 3rd chance America gets since JFK & RFK’s campaigns for people of all different backgrounds to put useless differences aside and work for something better.

  • http://hellenicpolytheist.wordpress.com/ Pythia Theocritos

    I am very glad you wrote this blog post as it does highlight why I’m a bit bothered by the amount of attention, and fervor, the OWS movement is gaining. I appreciate the message and the real need, but it bothers me that these inequalities weren’t considered “dangerous” or “wrong” until they were effecting middle, and former middle, class whites.

    The “face” of Occupy Wall Street is socially acceptable by American standards. White, mid-late twenties, college educated- “worthy” of decency, while the brown, red, and yellow faces that have been saying that same thing have been brushed aside as biased and whiny.

    Sadly, this topic won’t be brought up in a movement that’s fueled by hipsters, and by extension, the hipster mindset that co-opting “the struggle” is fine until that struggle actually involves people of color. Then it’s a little too extreme.

    It will be interesting to see how this movement pans out and whether the occupiers will, once again, return to their worlds of white privilege once the battle is over, or actually attempt to help the “others.”

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lamyka-L/649965363 Lamyka L.

      While a pessimistic side of myself agrees with you I’d like to give the people involved at least a little credit. I can’t sit here and complain that Hawaiians never get this kind of coverage when protesting for our freedom from the US, OR I can stop for a second and say good on them!

      I just hope that all of us put our baggage, understandable or not, aside and see the humans standing next to us. This might very well be the 3rd chance America gets since JFK & RFK’s campaigns for people of all different backgrounds to put useless differences aside and work for something better.

  • Cara

    Why does the second (in the series of three) images from the civil rights struggle show Fox News logos on it?  Fox News launched in 1996.  The ticker and the CG “Negros attack police” are likewise Photoshopped onto the image.  

    • http://www.patheos.com/community/members/crystalblanton/ Crystal Blanton

      Cara, I think it is more about stamping a time and place on the photo, giving it a point of reference. You ask why, I would answer with saying because it is the emotion that was displayed, the thoughts portrayed and the fears of what we have all seen and hope not to see again. I am not implying that any photos are authentic in that way and do not choose them for that reason. My question to anyone would then be, how easy was it to be distracted by that detail and not see the horror?

      • http://www.patheos.com/community/members/crystalblanton/ Crystal Blanton

        To remove distraction from artistic freedoms of a picture and miss the point of the article, I have replaced the picture. Messages are too often replaced by the focus on things that are not the point. Unfortunately, this happens…..

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lamyka-L/649965363 Lamyka L.

      To show the seeming overlap of circumstances with a new face?

  • Cara

    Why does the second (in the series of three) images from the civil rights struggle show Fox News logos on it?  Fox News launched in 1996.  The ticker and the CG “Negros attack police” are likewise Photoshopped onto the image.  

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lamyka-L/649965363 Lamyka L.

      To show the seeming overlap of circumstances with a new face?

  • Meia

    While I understand the blog here, I think that there is coming a change of how all people are beginning to look at one another…not so much by race, but by who we are as individuals..what we think about, what our experiences are and how we can make a better world not just for ourselves, but also for our neighbors.  I very much used to feel this way, and sometimes it still creeps up on me, but I believe that we have all been here before, as men and women in various cultures.. Yes reincarnation, and because I believe in this, I can’t lump all non-melanated as being insensitive and blind to what is happening all around.  Of course, I am sure that it helps that the faces of this movement are mostly non-melanated people, this is unfortunately a reality in this country and elsewhere, but make no mistake, there is a change upon us.  All of us.  And it is ok for the hipsters, or whatever you’d like to call them to come out and fight for the rights of us all.  They are also fighting for the poor white, who really has no voice in this country.  They are so ignored as though they really should not be.  But they are there.  I took care of a young man for a few months who was living on the street.  He was ill with diabetes and was on the street because he had no parental or supporting foundation.  He lost his job, couldn’t find work.  His story was no different than a poor black man’s story, no father, drugs, poor decisions of his parents.  He had no voice, and when I went around to various “churches” not ONE took a step to help him get on his feet.  They looked down on him…blond and blue eyed.  It made me sick to my stomach, and it also made me see a little clearer the issues of race and poverty.  Truly, being poor has no color, and any society that doesn’t lift up anyone who desires to help themselves, is destined to fail.  I would however, like to see more people of color in the marches…only together can we make change.

    • http://www.facebook.com/RevCrystal.Blanton Crystal Blanton

      Meia, while I agree with much of your sentiment, there is still a difference in this young man’s story and those of a “poor black man’s”.  Historical and generational racism, discrimination, lack of education, poverty…. and so on that have stopped generations from thriving.  That is a bit different although at face value, poverty is poverty for everyone.  

  • Meia

    While I understand the blog here, I think that there is coming a change of how all people are beginning to look at one another…not so much by race, but by who we are as individuals..what we think about, what our experiences are and how we can make a better world not just for ourselves, but also for our neighbors.  I very much used to feel this way, and sometimes it still creeps up on me, but I believe that we have all been here before, as men and women in various cultures.. Yes reincarnation, and because I believe in this, I can’t lump all non-melanated as being insensitive and blind to what is happening all around.  Of course, I am sure that it helps that the faces of this movement are mostly non-melanated people, this is unfortunately a reality in this country and elsewhere, but make no mistake, there is a change upon us.  All of us.  And it is ok for the hipsters, or whatever you’d like to call them to come out and fight for the rights of us all.  They are also fighting for the poor white, who really has no voice in this country.  They are so ignored as though they really should not be.  But they are there.  I took care of a young man for a few months who was living on the street.  He was ill with diabetes and was on the street because he had no parental or supporting foundation.  He lost his job, couldn’t find work.  His story was no different than a poor black man’s story, no father, drugs, poor decisions of his parents.  He had no voice, and when I went around to various “churches” not ONE took a step to help him get on his feet.  They looked down on him…blond and blue eyed.  It made me sick to my stomach, and it also made me see a little clearer the issues of race and poverty.  Truly, being poor has no color, and any society that doesn’t lift up anyone who desires to help themselves, is destined to fail.  I would however, like to see more people of color in the marches…only together can we make change.

    • http://www.facebook.com/RevCrystal.Blanton Crystal Blanton

      Meia, while I agree with much of your sentiment, there is still a difference in this young man’s story and those of a “poor black man’s”.  Historical and generational racism, discrimination, lack of education, poverty…. and so on that have stopped generations from thriving.  That is a bit different although at face value, poverty is poverty for everyone.  


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