Quoted: Jelani Cobb on #OccupyAtlanta

Had [Mayor Kasim] Reed gone forward with his threat to evict the protesters we might’ve seen a photo negative of the civil rights movement, one in which a black police force arrests white protesters who are demanding that the nation heed its own conscience — and doing so just two days after the Martin Luther King Memorial was dedicated on the National Mall.

That Bull Connor moment might still be in the offing, but Mayor Reed did issue a statement saying that civil disobedience was a crucial part of the city’s history. The activists got to put one in the win column.

Yet for all the symbolic importance of Occupy Atlanta remaining in the park, their victory managed to underscore the reasons for my basic distrust of the movement. Five years ago, the city enacted stringent laws directed at the homeless population — most of whom are black — downtown. Had any of the homeless who mingled among the activists on Troy Davis Park attempted to sleep on the grounds out of necessity, not political symbolism, they would have been quickly evicted or arrested.

Thus, there are a few ways to look at the (mostly white) Occupy Atlanta, but it can’t be overlooked that much of their success lies in who they are, not what they stand for. No big city mayor wants news cameras showing images of labor organizers or white college students being dragged into police cars. I suspect that a movement that is purportedly about chastening the over-privileged has itself banked on that very privilege.

- From Loop21, Oct. 19

  • Keith

    “But then the same could be said of any number of ethnic, gender, or
    class sub-sets of the movement – everyone is, to some extent, after what
    they see as rightly theirs.”

    And the common denominator is that they are not white. They do no benefit from white supremacy. If you look at the tract record of white liberals for the past 30 years, it proves my point. If you honestly believe going along to get along is “YOUR” best option, more power to you. But that doesn’t benefit me or anyone else that’s non white.

  • Keith

    “But then the same could be said of any number of ethnic, gender, or
    class sub-sets of the movement – everyone is, to some extent, after what
    they see as rightly theirs.”

    And the common denominator is that they are not white. They do no benefit from white supremacy. If you look at the tract record of white liberals for the past 30 years, it proves my point. If you honestly believe going along to get along is “YOUR” best option, more power to you. But that doesn’t benefit me or anyone else that’s non white.

  • http://www.facebook.com/prince.campbell Prince Campbell

    Using their white privilege to their advantage to advocate a cause most people (Black & white) can agree with isn’t wrong by any stretch. It’s Malcolm X. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/prince.campbell Prince Campbell

    Using their white privilege to their advantage to advocate a cause most people (Black & white) can agree with isn’t wrong by any stretch. It’s Malcolm X. 

    • Keith

      No it’s not. Just because I group is fighting for a cause that everyone else is going through doesn’t mean that they are advocating for anyone but themselves. The problem with many white liberals is that they bought into the post racial America myth. If their are any gains made without dealing with the legacy of white supremacy then POC don’t gain a thing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/fragglera Rachel Kantstopdaphunk

    break it down.

  • http://www.facebook.com/fragglera Rachel Kantstopdaphunk

    break it down.

    • rainbow peacock

      i just read a piece by lorenzo kom’boa ervin that was emailed to me.  i couldn’t find it online but i wanted to quote from it because it’s really relevant to this discussion:

      “[The white-led left movement is] the Left wing of the white middle class, no matter what
      rhetoric they use to describe themselves and their goals. The OWS is a
      perfect example, but before that, the anti-globalization movement, and
      even further back Socialist and Communist parties have all succumbed to
      racism and white supremacy. More specifically, it all raises this
      question: after a new society is created will it be another unjust
      white-dominated one, with only political or economic differences from
      the previous capitalist society, but still maintaining white supremacy?
      After we have shed blood, sweat and tears in response to this white-led
      revolution, will Black/POCs have to fight all over again for their
      liberation, because we will have once again been betrayed? We are not
      fighting to replace one white master for another, nor to be put back
      into the ghetto.”