By William PLEASANT
Why aren't Latinos and Blacks embracing the OWS movement?
Well, because we have been occupying the sewers of US society for several centuries and resisting, while most cornfed white liberals and social dems have stood aside and watched. The very question is the essence of offay narcissism. Try this answer: The OWS Movement is not a revolutionary activity. White folks deciding to do open-air marshmallow roasts in defiance to Monopoly Capitalism just has very little social attraction in The 'HOOD.
To the extent that Latino and Black and Native and Asian peoples' expressions of political resistance are currently INSTITUTIONALIZED in the US, those expressions are more radical and more sharply defined than anything articulated by today's bands of white park sitters so far. Why should so-called People-of-Color go RIGHT?
On the operative level, why should we colored folks believe that non-violent civil disobedience can produce structural change in America's current ruling order (overthrow) when we have already torched cities on behalf of justice, fairness and human rights (mild reform)? Do not forget that the teargas and rubber bullets and other machines of militarized policing were quality tested on colored flesh first--from The West Bank to Chicago's Westside.
In OWS, we see White Middle America embracing mass street theatre. That is a good thing. We applaud that, as anyone who would do so upon witnessing a crawling child taking its first steps. Bravo! But the child had to learn from those who can walk. Will the OWS follow the leadership of the organic US political resistance? The answer to that question will determine the movement's failure or success.
The question is not whether we will join OWS but whether OWS will join us. We are already in motion. OWS is either standing still or going home to the suburbs to lick its wounds in perfectly white excepitionalistic fashion. OWS simply has no means to lead People-of-Color. No pseudo-sociological, multi-culturalistic moralizing can avoid that fact. There is simply no way of attracting Blacks and Latinos to OWS by promising a more comfortable political (and military, by the way) cul-de-sac. Nope, we homeboys and homebettes are smarter than that.
For example: The OWS folks have failed so far to even articulate a strategy that challenges America's two-party electoral political mindfuck. There is nothing attractive about that for Black and Latino people who live in fear every day in their living rooms (if they are lucky enough to have a living room). They see no utility in facing the same terror on a city hall lawn. There is NO POWER in the Occupy Wall Street Movement. And there never will be power until it ( the un-colored) follows the fury of the historical resisting and rising class.