01 November 2011

For Want of Money or Need of What?

Occupy this and occupy that are all over the news.  The Occupy Wall Street demonstrations protest economic inequality; corporate greed; and influence over government.   It’s all about who has it and who doesn’t.  It is interesting that some people are finally upset enough to protest the inequity of American democracy.  Now that jobless and homeless do not commonly define people of color, suddenly these are major problems that need address.  Oh, but where were the protests over last hired, first fired; Diamonte can’t get an interview; wealth disparity; and sentencing unfairness?  Oh, so when the loss of lifestyle affects folks who have the fearless freedom to protest, it’s big news.  They are comforted in the privilege of knowing that an arrest would not crush their financial futures.  What is the difference with the occupiers?  Are they too good to be poor; don’t deserve to be losers in the great society?
Many people of color do not define themselves by their pocketbook or social strata.  We recognize America’s monetary strategies and despite the constant economic beat down, we have survived and prospered.   We are stronger for overcoming economic challenges, whether we like it or not.   Sure, there are many families of color in economic distress, but they make do under circumstances that are their norms.  There are also many families of color who are more financially stable and who have obtained riches.  Fine, great, excellent; for all have survived American historic economic mistreatment.   Now that that the beneficiaries of American style privilege are finding themselves financially stressed, the war is on.

The fight against the bad apples of the 1%ers is unseemly; the protesters want more money to come to themselves via debt forgiveness or closure of the income gap, as well as changes in government policies.   Money, money, money … now, we all know that these changes would not trickle toward folks of color.  The occupiers are protesting about money, which has its own merits, but you can’t breathe stocks; you can’t eat coins; and you can’t drink dollars.   Do they recognize that as long as a small group holds treasure and influence that our future is in their hands?  The moneyed interests do what they want to do in order to make more money.   People, animals, plants and our ecosystem are worth less than the almighty dollar.  The protests should be less about getting money and more about what the chase for money does, not to the people who can afford to protest, but to everyone.   Our environment has suffered tremendously because of the pursuit wealth.   It is cheaper to pollute; less expensive to do things safely; and economical to leave a mess behind.  These things are done because of money.  The protesters should be out there discussing tactics to improve the environment for everyone; clean, air, water and lands for all.  I’d rather us be a poorer and healthier nation than a richer and sicker one.   It’s not about the money people; we need to get our priorities realigned with environmental justice far ahead of economic fair dealings.  Otherwise, our offspring will not only be broke, but gasping for air, thirsty, hungry and soon enough, extinct.  It’s time to liberate Earth from the money chasers.  That is change we should all accept.