Occupy Wall Street: #americanproblems

A response to this clip from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Photo: Colby Minifie (Hunter)

Why are broadcast journalists being so ignorant about this, especially those at Fox? They’re completely making this situation black-and-white. There are protestors who fight for what they deserve, and they deserve the right to question and be angry about the careless actions of corporations, banks, etc.

There are protestors who fight because of lost homes, unemployment, low pay, student loans up the kazoo, and other things that they deserve, but don’t have at the profit of big corporations. There are protestors who may not suffer from such losses and grievances but support their fellow Americans. However, there are also protestors who protest for the sake of protesting. There are protestors who revolt for the sake of revolting and to spark controversy. Regardless, I don’t think the cause should be disregarded or seen as idiotic and pointless because of those protestors.

Some of the journalists’ comments brought up by Jon Stewart are ridiculous; I hate to be dramatic, but they disgust me. The protestors have a right to question and to fight. As American citizens, that is their inalienable right. They have the right to express their sentiments and their anger over how they’ve been cheated by big businesses. They have the right to speak for America — maybe not all of America, but for America. By expressing this right, they ARE Americans. Enough with the “This isn’t American of them” bull.

The one thing I firmly disagree with is whole idea of the 99% vs. 1% because it is vague; by clumping together everyone wronged by corporate forces, it implies that everyone has been wronged to the same degree. There are people in debt, there are people who earn small pay but still have salaries, as well as homes, cars, and other things, and then there are people without any of those things. To compare one with those who are homeless and unemployed when one has a job (even though it has a minimum-wage pay) and has a home (even though it may be a fixer-upper) is wrong.

Sure, people can support those who have been wronged even worse by corporations, but they seem to put emphasis on wrongs that mostly refer to those in the middle-class. For example, the first grievance the protestors intentionally put on their declaration is that “[t]hey have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.” I don’t need research to say that the 99% does not fully consist of homeowners. It seems like a good amount of these problems are “#whitepeopleproblems” or “#americanproblems”, and not “#everyonesproblems”. This slogan assumes the 99% has been equally victimized when that’s not the case. In order for this to work, it has to equally represent everyone who has ever been wronged by corporate forces.

There are different levels of people being victimized by big businesses, and I don’t think it’s fair for one person to cry about student loans when there are people who have it much worse. Sure, you have a right to your education, but there are people who are losing rights that are necessary for their survival. They don’t have basic necessities to survive when this is America, the richest country in the world. It’s crazy how there are people with no money, no jobs, and no homes in this country, and it’s because of the unequal distribution of wealth thanks to big businesses. Plus, I hate to say it, but education is now considered a luxury for many people today. Although it’s wrong, it’s the truth. I admire those fighting against student loans because an education is something that everyone should have and be able to have access to, but at the same time, you can’t keep up with this “We are the 99%” slogan because it’s not an equal and fair representation of everyone.

Both sides of the argument are making things seem much simpler than they are, and they are making the sides more clearly divided. It seems to be an “It’s us against them” situation when things aren’t that simple. Despite the over-simplification of the protest of both sides, and though both sides’ arguments seem to be a bit muddled and unclear, one thing is clear — this is a step towards the right direction because these protestors have the right to speak and to fight for their rights and what they deserve. As they’re making the people in Wall Street sweat, the protestors are doing their job. A government should fear its people, and if these people are bringing fear to corporations. If these corporations are reacting just as how a government would, then it is one step towards bringing democracy to the economy.

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