According to a new study from sociologists at the City University of New York, more than a third of activists in the Occupy movement in New York City had household incomes above $100,000, placing them at the cusp of the top quintile of income distribution in America. Researchers surveyed 729 people who participated in a May 1 rally last year and were involved in the “occupation” of Zuccotti Park in the fall of 2011, and found that they were more affluent, whiter, younger, much more highly educated, and more likely to be male than the average New Yorker.
Liberal, Racism, Narrative, Oops, Protest
A few prominent African Americans, such as Cornel West, Russell Simmons, Kanye West and Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), have made appearances at Occupy protests. “Occupy the Hood,” a recent offshoot, has tried to get more people of color involved. But the main movement remains overwhelmingly white: A Fast Company survey last month found that African Americans, who are 12.6 percent of the U.S. population, make up only 1.6 percent of Occupy Wall Street.
Hypocrisy, Liberal, Funny, Racism, Protest, Tolerance, Sexism, Diversity
A woman announced at this moment that she was a new-comer, and began expressing her views on Occupy D.C. when another woman cut her off: “This is not time for comments! We are brainstorming de-escalation.” Protesters agreed that the de-escalation committee would seek non-violent methods to protest. They requested that the committee be diverse and specifically discouraged too much participation by white heterosexual males.
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“It’s amazing to see that the ‘occupiers’ of Wall Street are basically white kids, and they’re dressed fairly well — there are some out there who are kinda scruffy — but I don’t see the media bringing up the fact that there are no black folks in it,”
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A white suburban participant who lists her occupation as a grocery deli clerk posted a comment expressing frustration at what she said was reverse racism. The resulting outcry from other activists included more than 600 Facebook comments, including claims that white people, by virtue of their birth, are guilty of historic race crimes. White Progressives are recoiling in horror. Committee meetings on racial sensitivity and concerns about “white privilege” were also on the movement’s docket this week.
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This suspicion of mainstream ideas or groups also extends to white protesters. On Oct. 9, organizer and New York activist Rob Hollander complained on Occupy Wall Street’s restricted email list that New York protesters were “at least 80 % white.” That high percentage, he said, “reflects its source base: the [General Assemblies] I attended in August were closer to 90% white and 0% black.”
Some activists were outraged, however, that the survey results and the infographic show Occupy Wall Street to be 81.2 percent white, and only 1.6 percent black. By comparison, the U.S. population is 77.1 percent white and 12.9 percent black, according to the U.S. Census Bureau–making the Occupy Wall Street movement disproportionately white.
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While one Occupy DC protester spoke to The Daily Caller about what he called the downtown camp’s mistreatment of blacks and women, another interrupted the interview by yelling “Michelle Fields is a c—!” into TheDC’s microphone. The interviewed protester, an African-American, said he was disappointed with how some of the encampment’s white males treat females and minorities.