I have my own hesitations about the Occupy Wall Street and Occupy (everywhere) movement - mostly, that both mainstream and independent media seem only to be concerned with violent police assault on young white bodies, not brown and black bodies. That the brown and black activists detained and arrested are risking far more than their white partners-in-struggle. Furthermore, even truly radical rhetoric around Wall Street, corporate entities and political parties severely lacks a real and critical analysis of the role race and racism plays in this nation’s economic, domestic and foreign policy.
But if we as people of colour make sure we participate in every way we can, it will provide us with the opportunity to emphasize anti-racism in this movement. Yes - we will be tokenized. Yes - we will be silenced by some of the very people we stand with. Yes - our faces will not appear in the media, our perspective as people of colour will not be taken into account. BUT, we have a small opportunity to get in early and strong and maybe even make real change WITHIN local activist movements. It is NOT the responsibility of people of colour to educate white people on why their methods potentially uphold white supremacy and silence us, but realistically in this situation, we need to make sure we’re influencing those around us as much as we possible can. I wish this were not the case, but it is. And I hope you all are gathering up all the love and strength you have to continue what I know is a long and exhausting struggle for many of us.
This is a call for almost unimaginable optimism, I know. But watching and listening and learning from my Puerto Rican friends, Chilean colleagues and my own friends and family throughout the African continent, I KNOW we all have some pent-up energy that’s looking for somewhere to go. And even if it’s not Occupy LA or Occupy Wall Street, there is something that even those of us who have been organizing for years despite no concrete victories have left in us. Keep going!
Essentially, I am asking that we INFILTRATE (with love and [as much] patience [as we can muster]) predominately white radical groups and events to better our chances of OVERTHROWING (impatiently!) capitalist and imperialist agendas in the future. Small steps! Great steps! Spread the word.