Right now the encampment occupiers are at least 80% white. It reflects its source base: the GA's I attended in August were closer to 90% white and 0% black.
It's not a tech issue. Unions and CUNY students, for example, bring diversity to their protests because their source base is diverse. Their program, issues and slogans speak directly to their own source base.
OWS has not targeted racism and is not speaking specifically to people of color: its program, issues and slogans have targeted not race but class and political structure-- banks, economic injustice and the perversion of democracy in our politics. OWS hasn't even widely targeted immigration so far as I can see, judging from the homemade posters at Liberty Plaza.
Here are a few issues OWS might be able to glom onto --Banks
The foreclosure crisis was a disaster for the US, but it is worse for black people in America
:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/04/post_541_n_749319.htmlThe recession, jobs and health care
Recession disproportionately impacts people of color in jobs and health carewww.kff.org/minorityhealth/upload/7953.pdfPublic sector austerity
Tuition is outrageous everywhere, but tuition hikes in public higher education, the only low-cost option, impacts people of color disproportionately: 74 percent of CUNY students are people of color.
Public transit hikes disproportionately impact people of color:http://www.citylimits.org/news/articles/3970/some-see-racial-impact-from-mass-transit-funding-crisis
Black unemployment is not just twice the rate of whites, but it rose in August, while white unemployment fell:http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/article/661121/black_unemployment_hits_highest_in_27_years/Development and real estate
Gentrification continues to displace people of color throughout Manhattan and now in Brooklyn too.
OWS might be able to handle race without divisiveness. I hope this movement can be all things to all peoples and all issues. That may be possible, or may not. Maybe featuring spokespersons of color will help. But you can't digitally airbrush every photograph and video to put color into the 80% white occupiers. OWS needs to bring more diversity in as positive a way as possible. In any case, I hope OWS will keep a dynamic of positivity and newness and openness.
On Sat, Oct 8, 2011 at 10:06 PM, <email@example.com>
actually laughing out loud!
On 10/08/11, gail zawacki<firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
How's this for diversity?
On Sat, Oct 8, 2011 at 12:36 PM, Jon Good <email@example.com>
Might a call be put out for artists of color to get more diverse, multicultural representations out there? Or to all artists to get specifically non-white people representing this movement? I have the visual art ability of a two-year-old, otherwise i'd practice what I preached myself.
On Sat, Oct 8, 2011 at 10:01 AM, rob hollander <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Even the ballerina served well, too -- it was praised in one of the first serious articles on OWS when most media were calling OWS muddle-headed and naive. The image and text implied something new and smart. So, yes, many, many, many more...
On Sat, Oct 8, 2011 at 7:40 AM, grimwomyn <email@example.com>
Hopefully there will be many many many many many many images and posters that circulate-- that is the point, right?
On Sat, Oct 8, 2011 at 12:58 AM, shaista husain <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Yes you are right 100% no stereotypes--so why do we always need one woman or one individual for a poster? we are leaderless organization so we claim why are we establishing icons that do not reflect this claim?
On Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 7:07 PM, <email@example.com>
Becareful with native Amercan or other ethnic/racial cliches. Just add an obvious mix of people so that it is obcious that all are invited.
On 10/07/11, shaista husain<firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Yes, she did look indigenous, but perhaps we can add another signifier to make sure there is no confusion--perhaps a feather (i am just giving an example) or some other blatant signifier will illustrate that further. We are multicultural. Please in all we do and say, let's please please be inclusive--love each other-- i did make a very strong polemic with some people of color who were complaining about young white protesters who wanted to fight the police, and these people of color were complaining that immigrants and folks can't always do that and its dangerous to put people of color in that kind of situation. But i told them, when the police are attacking us, as they are wont to do, its those same courageous white youth who will put their bodies in between you and the police. So shut the fuck up.
On Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 3:55 PM, Thadeaus <email@example.com>
I totally agree. and think we all need to be very aware of what kind of face(s) we put forward to represent this movement and attract new supporters. I noticed an otherwise wonderful tri-paneled hand out that welcomed people to the occupied space had a number of illustrations but only of yuppie looking seemingly white people. I think this was meant as satire of vacation brochures, but even so companies that seek diverse customers have been incorporating people of color into their promo materials for years now.
As for the image in the poster in question: I am pretty sure that it was originally a panel in Eric Drooker's wordless graphic novel Blood Song. It's a amazing and beautiful book. The main character of the book and who is pictured in the poster is I think of South-East Asian origin. The art was not created to represent our protest.
On Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 3:49 PM, shaista husain <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Well I prefer to be behind the camera, but i can help in addressing this issue.. thank you
On Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 3:48 PM, Matthew Presto <email@example.com>
Agreed with Shaista. Let's move as far away from the ballerina poster that a lot of us had issues with way back when.
On Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 3:44 PM, shaista husain <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A huge backlash is coming against this movement by those powerful people of color minorities who have been protesting their whole lives, that this movement is white and middle class. It is important to us that is is not ALWAYS represented that way, taking issues of representation in our "official" campaigns, a little sensitivity to diversity is what demarcates us clearly from RIGHT WING movement that is also against Wall St.--we are multicultural ----that has to be emphasized always, as you know the IDF across britain, the islamophobes all the racist haters are also up in arms against wall street. What differentiates us is our MULTICULTURALISM. Breivnik by killing students in Norway has ushered in the neo-fascist hatred for white people who stand in arms with people of color and immigrants. All of you white comrades in this movement stand together with historically oppressed people as brothers and sisters. Please take this seriously in love and comradeship, we need to protect each other. Our language needs to reflect this on every level. We need to be politically savvy inclusive and sophisticated.
On Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 3:37 PM, shaista husain <email@example.com>
Some more people of color "speaking for this movement" in the media team--you know who go out to mainstream media, also would not hurt us.
On Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 3:33 PM, shaista husain <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Can you put some dreadlocks on her, does every female the represents this movement have to be visibly white? Perhaps just one poster with illustrating some sensitivity to people of color who make up the majority of THIS CITY???? This movement is not all white people and if there is NO leadership, then it becomes important to be sensitive about images of individuals who come to signify the movement as a whole. PERHAPS and now im begging you comrades, its so real it fucking hurts, can we get some people of color visibility.. ATLEAST ONE poster that reflects this? I bet you it will be so celebrated!!! Perhaps an indigenous woman? PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE> folks.. Thanks!!!
On Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 3:05 PM, gail zawacki <email@example.com>
It's fantastic and uplifting! I ended a morbid blogpost with it, here...http://witsendnj.blogspot.com/2011/10/catastrophe-map-says-goodbye-to.html
On Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 2:51 PM, grimwomyn <firstname.lastname@example.org>
this would be an awesome sticker as well!
On Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 2:29 PM, Sarah <email@example.com>
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Eric Drooker <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 4:40 PM
Subject: Occupy Wall Street . . .
To: Eric Drooker <email@example.com
--PLEASE FORWARD WIDELY--
Friends & Fellow Occupiers,
To help our powerful, new Occupy Movement spread to other cites, I've created a powerful new poster (attached).
Please help circulate this poster image (e-mail, facebook, twitter, print, etc.), and help build momentum in the streets!
Now is our time.
P.S. And please pass along this URL, where people can downed hi-res versions of the new posters in many languages:
Lower East Side Residents for Responsible Development
622 E 11, #10
Lower East Side Residents for Responsible Developmenthttp://savethelowereastside.blogspot.com/
622 E 11, #10