Thursday, December 22, 2011

Quote Of The Day

Image credit: OWS/Tumblr

In an article discussing a letter from The Council Of Elders, a group of leaders from "social justice movements" of the 20th Century, to the Trinity Episcopal Church of New York concerning Occupy Wall Street, Joyce Arnold wrote:
“This moment of deep social crisis” and “The pursuit of justice in America.” That’s one of the best summaries of why the Occupy / 99% movement came into existence and continues to evolve that I’ve heard. There is a deep, wide, expanding crisis for millions. Lose your job, be unable to find another one within six months or so, and you have a mark against you in the job market. Be unable to find full time employment for a year or two, and the marks are bigger and probably permanent. Trust the professionals who assured you the mortgage you were being offered was good, find out how wrong that was and join the millions foreclosed upon, and you have a mark against you. If you were fortunate enough to have health insurance to begin with, but lost it along with your job, and you have a mark against you. Graduate from college at a time of high unemployment, be unable to get a job in your field, and you have a mark against you. Bump into the racial, gender, economic, orientation and other existing prejudices, and you have a mark against you, and “the pursuit of justice” becomes a bigger uphill climb.

“This moment of deep social crisis”: Council of Elders and Occupy
That puts where we are and why the Occupy movements exist about as succinctly as anyone has. It's also why I, among other people, have little use for the Democratic Party or many so-called progressive organizations. They've stood by as all this happened, fooling themselves, and many of us, into thinking that they were actually going to do something about all this Real Soon Now.

And here we are, looking up at what we were a generation ago.

There's really nothing constructive I can add to that thought, come to think of it.


stanchaz said...

Re Occupy & Trinity Church: You don’t need to be religious to understand -and embrace- the idea that "Whatsoever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." But many of the 1%, in blind greed and endless schemes, have forgotten this. They have closed their eyes to what the word "society" should really mean, what it can mean. But due to Occupy Wall Street, we are finally talking less about CUTS and more about BLEEDING. Instead of demanding m-o-r-e budget cuts -to be borne by the middle class and poor- we are FINALLY focusing on the shameful bleeding that the poor and middle class has endured, for all too long. Instead of talking about even m-o-r-e cuts in the taxes of millionaires....we are now talking about fairness and justice - about an economy and a political system that is increasingly run for the rich, and by the rich. Instead of talking about LESS government, we are talking about a government that WORKS FOR ALL OF US, not just a favored few. Thank you OWS, for reminding us that people -ordinary working people- really DO matter, and for helping open our eyes to what’s going on in this country, and why. The attempt by OWS to occupy Duarte Square (the empty lot owned by Trinity Church) is much more than a plea for sanctuary. For like Zuccotti Park, it’s an attempt to carve out a protected space, a living conscience for the city, amid the repression. A a city where control-freaks would sweep us under the rug, and out of the way. In a city where they would pen us in, and permit us to death. In a city that tells us to “move on, move on”..... you don’t belong, you don’t count, you don’t have a right to be here...don’t assemble, don’t block the street, don’t trespass, don’t EXIST! They would deny us, deny our lives, deny our very futures. IF WE LET THEM. But OWS responds, both in word and in DEED: it says we’ve had ENOUGH - we BELONG, we STAND our ground, and we DO matter! This IS our land, and we want it BACK! The word OCCUPY...says it all! That’s why OWS has captured our imagination. That’s why a living breathing OCCUPIED public space is important for OWS. Like Lady Liberty’s never extinguished torch that burns in our harbor, OWS needs to have a concrete, persistent, in-your-face presence.. continually remind us of what we’ve lost, of what we are, and what we can be; a protected place to affirm, to illuminate, to defy...and to inspire. Trinity Church, with its oft-proclaimed ideals (and its huge land holdings), should look deep into its collective soul, do the right thing, and help OWS secure a sanctuary. Not merely a space of refuge, but one of hope, non-violent change, and compassion. And dare I say: a space of love - love of country, love of your fellow man and woman, love for the poor and oppressed. Can thoughtful Christians argue with these simple Christian / human values? For if Christ were physically with us today, as He was 2000 years ago, He would be among the FIRST to climb those fences, and occupy Trinity’s Duarte Square. Of this I am certain. Let us pray that Trinity Church -and others -hear the call, and respond. For the old ways are not working...

Cujo359 said...

"we are finally talking less about CUTS and more about BLEEDING"

I may borrow that phrase someday. Your comment is a link in my Christmas day article. Thanks for commenting.