I don't often hang out with white Liberals. Any student of African American history will know that coalitions between black activists and white Liberals, many times, have been problematic. As Kwame Ture (Stokley Carmichael) said during the '60's, even the most Liberal white folks are fighting for power but we are fighting for survival.
But I respect the grind of Occupy Wall Street. Anybody who is organizing it to stick it to "the man," I'm down. So, that's why I headed to downtown Durham for the Occupy Durham rally.
I do, however, think that the few black faces in the crowd in Durham, probably represent the demographic makeup of other Occupy rallies across the country.
I gotta admit. I like the way that the Occupy Wall Street people are taking care of business. They have latched on to a concept that black folks have yet to grab, a virtually, leaderless movement that organizes around ideas instead of personalities.
For years, black folks have frantically looked for a messiah to lead us into the Promised Land and the "powers that be" in this country have been all too happy to pick one for us.
Starting back with Booker T. Washington during the eraly 20th century, we have let outside forces choose who was going to be at the front of our march to Freedom. Those in power need one person with whom to negotiate, instead of of dealing with 30 million black folks with issues.
If black folks get upset and start a riot, no problem. They just get on the phone with Rev. "What's his name ," cut a deal and the riot is over. The leader gets a new sponsor for his next event and the masses of black folks get nothing but a speech.
Fortunately Occupy Wall Street hasn't fallen into that trap as the theme was echoed in Durham today "we are the 99% opposing the 1% who control the resources of this world we live in." So, it is hard to pinpoint a leader. In theory, as long as the poverty remains, the movement remains.
As it is said, absolute power corrupts, absolutely. Already we have seen, nationally, how filthy rich celebrities have started giving props to what is supposed to be a poor people's movement. Next politicians will try to turn the revolution into a glorified voter registration drive.
If you can't beat 'em; join 'em.
So, will the Occupiers stick to their guns or will they become like others and switch from being vocal social revolutionists who are going to change the socio-economic dynamics of this nation to mild mannered political reformers who are only good for putting "Voter for me" signs in people's front lawns.
Time will tell.
But for now, I join them in their collective chant of:
Power to the People!
Paul Scott writes for No Warning Shots Fired.com He can be reached at (919) 451-8283 or firstname.lastname@example.org