Who really makes up the 99%?

Harsha Walia brings up some good points about how we actually view the 99% in her article (http://www.racialicious.com/2011/10/15/a-letter-to-the-occupy-together-movement/). The question of “who is the face of the 99%?” comes to mind. Walia says that voices are missing like the homeless, minorities, gay/lesbian/transgender people, single mothers, and other marginalized groups within our society. (Heiss brings this up in her criticism of Beck’s “Cosmopolitan Manifesto”) Their voices are not missing, but have been over looked for way longer than the “new 99%”. These people have been feeling the oppression of the 1% (and some of the 99%) for a long time. So the question is now, “How do we truly unite?” Good question, if you ask me. There are plenty of boundaries dividing the 99% like upbringing, race, gender, marital status, education, and so on that highlights people’s different view and values on the protest and equality issues. If we really want to unite, we have to address these inequalities, and strive to understand one another. So far I think we are on the progressive track finding solidarity through struggles and identifying a common enemy, but I hope that it stays that way. Once restructuring of our society takes place, well have to face these issues sooner or later.

 

One thought on “Who really makes up the 99%?

  1. I agree wholeheartedly that social divisions are a problem regardless of the distribution of economic wealth. I think it’s also important to note, though that many of the the divisions you mentioned- namely upbringing, race, and education- are closely tied to economic inequality. Economic inequality, taken by itself, is a far more formidable opponent than, for instance, racism and homophobia, because the economic interests of the wealthy are far more powerful than the ideological interests of prejudiced and homophobic individuals, powerful though they may be. Economic inequality crosses all of these lines and provides a valuable opportunity for people of different backgrounds to come together for a common cause if they can overcome their differences- and you are absolutely right that this movement requires people to do so.

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