If the Occupy movement is to succeed this year, it needs to become more diverse.
The movement is predominantly composed of white low-income and middle-class individuals who are protesting to denounce corporate greed. Feeling frustrated due to the inequities in our economic system, activists have led months of protests throughout the United States. The Occupy movement needs to recruit minorities not only to accurately reflect the ethnic diversity that does exist in the United States but also to respond to the fact that economic injustice falls most heavily on the backs of minorities.
“The median wealth of white households is 20 times that of black households and 18 times that of Hispanic households,” according to the Pew Research Center.
For their part, Latinos, African-Americans and other minorities should join the Occupy movement. It offers a great opportunity — especially for younger people — to participate in a nonviolent social justice struggle.
But we need to feel welcome. And there is no reason we shouldn’t be.
White Americans and minorities are all in this together. The U.S. Census recently released statistics that designate half of the U.S. population, 146 million, poor or low income.
The Occupy movement has done a great job shedding light on the economic disparities in our country. Now it needs to find common cause with the labor, civil-rights and immigrant-rights movements both to broaden its base and to build the kind of political force that can make our economy fairer for everybody.
A movement that is seeking economic and social fairness must not exclude minorities.
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