Is Occupy Wall Street Encouraging Bigotry?

Who are the one percent?

Does anyone pay attention to what is being said when this ‘1%’ thing is thrown around?

Here’s a direct quote from the About page and must therefore be the definitive statement of the movement’s intentions:

‘The movement is inspired by popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, and aims to expose how the richest 1% of people are writing the rules of an unfair global economy that is foreclosing on our future.’

If you replace ‘richest 1% of people’ with different words like ‘Muslims’ or ‘Jews’ or ‘Whites’ or ‘Blacks’ or ‘Poor People,’ wouldn’t you have a serious problem?

Why is it that Occupy Wall Street can define a 1% minority out of a population and engage in open hostility and bigotry toward them? Bigotry against a part of a population is bigotry no matter what the rationale for it happens to be. Occupy Wall Street is not talking about corrupt rich people. It is not talking about criminals. It is talking about ALL rich people. It is equating wealth with villainy.

It should be obvious that not all of the richest people are in fact helping to write unfair rules. Michael Moore is rich. Is he writing some of the unfair rules?

Why is Occupy Wall Street unable to confine its hostility to actual policy?

In Germany, during the buildup of Nazism, people grew increasingly angry toward the wealthy and then turned that anger toward Jewish people.  Angry crowds, encouraged to chant mantras and direct hostility toward groups that they define as evil become extremely dangerous when exposed to a charismatic leader who is willing to exploit them.

I do not oppose constructive change of policy to make the economic situation more fair and to prevent the corporate control of government.  But I do oppose the fundamental and defining aspect of Occupy Wall Street which is to associate a particular group of people with a generic and unspecified evil.

3 thoughts on “Is Occupy Wall Street Encouraging Bigotry?

  1. Pingback: Is Occupy Wall Street Encouraging Bigotry?

    • I do not think one can call the OWS protesters communists. They are not that. Most of their goals or demands seem pretty common sense and positive. Insisting on the reduction of corporate influence over government is in general legitimate. Wanting the government to put jobs programs in place is totally valid. Pushing companies to hire is also valid. Criticizing corporations for taking financial assistance from the government and then lavishing huge bonuses on upper management is just fine with me. The problem is the continued focus on this message of a 99% versus a 1%. It amazes me that so many intelligent people decide to flip the switch and support the movement with a completely uncritical abandon that is actually the hallmark of stupidity.

      You can support something in general and still exercise caution. You can still point out the failures and the dangers. You can support a movement and warn about its dangers at the same time. It’s called critical thinking. In general parlance it is known as ‘having a brain.’

      I feel that the continual harping on this corrupt 1% of the population signals great danger. I don’t give a good goddamn how many people with Phd qualifications call me an idiot. My warning stands.

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