Center for Media Justice home of the Media Action Grassroots Network

Occupying our Imagination

I almost…almost feel compelled to respond directly to all that has been written about the #occupywallstreet movement. But I figure my thoughts should stand alone. And I’ll keep it short.

Race and #Occupy

Real talk: the hijacking of our democracy and economy is impacting young, white people at record pace. So it’s not only understandable, it’s a new development for us all to feel shared sacrifice as we envision a shared, better future for all. Black, white, brown – we’re all hurting from letting K Street and Wall Street run the Capitol. It’s the 99% that have paid while the banks and Wall Street benefit. And as empirical evidence is beginning to show, when we talk about race, we can win big. When we don’t, we lose.

Aesthetics…and Race

So, along with Guy Fawkes masks – made famous by Time Warner’s V for Vendetta – it’s time we see some Zapatista masks in the mix. It’s time we raise our fists like John Carlos. It’s time first nations and allies around the world give us all a lesson in “occupation.” Culture is the meme pool for turning audiences into actors and heroes of our collective story. I am hopeful to see Teamsters, turtles, T-Riders (Shout out to Boston and Right to the City), teachers, moms, firefighters, and, yes, communities of color united again like we were in Seattle in 1999.

The Media…You Got it…And Race

Well, so much for the white/blackout. Use this as an opportunity, as 99 percenters across the country are, to tell your story and occupy public and private spaces of decision making. (Remember, a race-blind approach doesn’t work.) This is a perfect time to use clear action logic to tell a story about what’s happening to all our communities, who’s responsible and what community and people-centered solutions can do to turn this economy around and create jobs.

Yes, from main street to wall street, the democratic occupation of public space has begun. And there may be no turning back until the 99% is satisfied.

That’s it for now. As always, if you feel, me click the “like” button above.

About the Author

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