If I may, let me restate an obvious fact of conflict: divide and conquer. Do you think that the powers that be have forgotten this axiom of warfare? As we descend into literal class warfare, as the rich slurp out the last dregs of your milkshake from the cup that you have held your entire life, before pitching us all into the trash; do you think they don’t know how to play this card?
Look at how the Republican debates spend so much time discussing the illegal alien problem, as if solving that is the most important problem of our day? Do you yourself, point fingers at those people who have gone into foreclosure due to a “liar’s loan” gone bad, saying “they should have known better, they have themselves to blame”? Are feeling superior about your own housing situation? Are you blaming yourself for the recent performance of your investments within your retirement plan? Are you feeling alone, ashamed, or inadequate, because you can’t see how you can afford to buy a car that gets better gas mileage, or to move close enough to work or a bus line that you don’t need a car?
Even as you pray that you can keep your job, and accept long hours, increased workload and mandatory work on days that used to be your days off all in order to stay employed, do you point to the folks who have been unemployed now for a year or more, and say that they are “just taking advantage of their government benefits”? Do you complain that the young people coming out of school and into entry-level jobs are making it harder for older folks like yourself to keep working?
And even harder to admit, do you still feel uncomfortable in one-on-one conversation with someone of another race? It may be that you haven’t quite assimilated the understanding that we are all One, or it may be the reverse: that you feel some amount of guilt for the way other races have been treated in the past by those of us who are white and unenlightened. Either way, though, we are still separated by the establishment into little compartments of race, creed and class.
This is why we cannot succumb to making demands of the system at this time. We all have been hurt by the system. Demands that appeal to one may not address the primary issue of another. Demands make it appear that we have room for compromise, that a deal can be struck that pleases no one and that allows the injustices to continue, just at some abated level, for a short amount of time. Demands mean that this system is repairable when it clearly is not. Demands drive people away; people that are just as unhappy, just as hurt, just as exploited, as you have been, but in different ways. We need to come together as the 99%. We need to find those issues that speak to all of us: corporations are not people, our money system is beyond repair, we need to find ways to end war and care for one another. This is simple. It is not easy. But it can be done. Don’t get sidetracked into a myriad of details or a long list of demands. And don’t let one disagreement get in the way of you giving your heart and soul to helping this movement. Open your heart and speak from that place deep inside. Have meaningful conversations with those you love and with those you meet. Know that we are all struggling; this is really hard, right now. We are past meekly accepting “no” for an answer when we suggest solutions. It is time to say “YES!” Yes to life, yes to caring, yes to enough, yes to sharing, and yes to seeing our similarities, not just our differences.