A friend of mine recently expressed a question on a popular social network in regards to the occupation which was a bit on the critical side, and I noticed a few people ‘Liked’ his question/statement, but NONE commented on it, and I highly suspect it was due to their utter deficiency of concrete knowledge on the subject. This is an example of the rampant ignorance so many are bathed in these days. It’s an ignorance which gives them enough courage to make a very safe gesture of ‘Liking’ a simplistic statement, but never the courage to actually make an attempt at having some truly educated and meaningful dialogue on the subject. I offered the objectives of the occupation as a comment on my friend’s page, which was about 2 or 3 minutes of reading, but he declined, intimidated by the length of the points I listed. This, in my eyes, I would judge as ignorance by choice, either out of apathy (not wanting to read more than a sentence or two), or perhaps out of a sort of fear, a fear of perhaps having the veil pulled off the vision a person has pieced together from scarce, often unreliable sources, including mainstream media soundbites, family conversations, and the talk amongst their friends, which is often quite influenced by peer pressure and macho attitudes of ridicule or oversimplification. The objective, contrary to the delusions that some have adopted as of late, isn’t to ask for handouts. What truly and gravely upsets me is people that bad-mouth the movement without having a clue as to what it’s about. They rely on what they hear on network television, perhaps a snippet of NPR during a short drive, or The Daily Show. I would have thought it common knowledge that the media, as ‘impartial’ as they may tout themselves, is hardly ever truly objective, or ‘fair’. What a truly blissful state of ignorance some choose to reside in.
The main objectives of the occupation (for clarification purposes) are:
*Single-payer health care system (which means free health care for all, which would be funded by our tax dollars, contributions from employers, and low deductibles from us at the time of the visit)
*Guaranteed living-wage income, regardless of employment, which means that every working person would make at the very least what is considered as ‘living wage income’, with which they’d be able to easily find housing, pay for food, clothing, utilities, health care, and other miscellaneous items (minimum wage rates do not currently meet this level, by the way).
*Free college education, which in many other industrialized ‘first world countries’ is the norm, and should be here as well, especially when you take into consideration our taxation rates, which grow every single year. Yet, we receive less and less benefits with each passing year, including the present danger of losing our Social Security.
*$1 trillion in infrastructure spending, which means helping re-build cities in decay, which will in turn create jobs and give rise to the economies of the most affected cities
*$1 trillion in ecological restoration, which is the investment in our planet, re-planting trees, cleaning up national forests and beaches, establishing preserves, etc.
*Decommissioning all of America’s nuclear power plants, which should be a no-brainer (properly dismantling and decontaminating all non-active power plants to ensure safety and to allow construction in lands which are at the present moment uninhabitable because of these).
*Open borders migration, which means a more comprehensive and realistic approach to immigration into the country. This includes cracking down on employers who hire illegal immigrants just as severely, if not more severely, than on the immigrants who come seeking work. This is quite unlikely to occur, for so many public officials who have been quite vocal about their tough stance on the subject have been proven as hypocrites when out of the woodwork light is shed on their employing illegal aliens as maids, butlers, etc.
*Immediate across-the-board debt forgiveness, which is where our tax dollars should have gone in the first place, not to bail out multi-national conglomerate banks. This is one of the major ones. It is very evident that the banking and loan networks of the world were completely aware of what they were doing, and purposefully planned the collapse, knowing they’d already bought off the President and much of the Congress, who’d be securing their bailout like clockwork.
Anyone who criticizes the movement is bad-mouthing these benefits, which are the norm in any other ‘first world nation’. The problem is that instead of building up cities and roads, providing education for our nation’s youth, and assuring adequate health care for all citizens, the government primarily serves private corporations, mainly the banking and housing leeches, bailing them out of problems they in fact had a large hand in. Another huge amount of our resources go to fund war, which again benefits not only the defense industry, but the banking and loan networks, who make a killing off the establishment of new infrastructures in the countries our government conquers and tears apart.
The idea of some of us knowing opportunistic people who happen to become involved in Occupy Wall Street by mere chance is a great conversation point. Some attach themselves to the demonstration out of boredom or out of a simplistic and uneducated attraction to disorder. This phenomenon is common with any group, regardless of its nature. As a random example, bring to mind your local community college. You go to one of the local community college campuses and talk to some students, see what their interests are, what majors they are pursuing, what goals they’ve set, etc. You’ll be sure to have some who are very focused, motivated, and hard-working. You’ll also have many who aren’t that way, who are apathetic, unfocused, and unmotivated. But, in turn, go to a place like Stanford, Columbia, or Harvard . How many serious people will you find there in comparison to those slacking off? It will overwhelmingly be people who are there to get something done, who are highly motivated, and who are very focused. Place the concept of that analogy on Occupy Wall Street—It’s open to everyone, no one is turned away, generally speaking. Of course you’re going to have people who are unfocused, clueless, and simply there out of boredom, or perhaps following someone or a group of people there. It does not mean that’s what the demonstration is about as a whole, nor does it mean the movement is to be solely judged by those who’ve chosen to break shop windows, deface property, or commit crimes.
You can rest assured that the major networks and publications, who are owned by corporate conglomerates, who are, as corporations, part of the elite themselves, will do their best to try to present the movement in a non-flattering way—as lawless anarchists, as racist, or as dirty drug-addicts. You can only truly gain perspective by attending a demonstration in person, and experiencing it. There is no substitute for that, regardless how ‘impartial’ or ‘fair’ any network or publication paints themselves.
I humbly ask those who choose to effortlessly criticize this movement to do so only when they are in fact informed on the subject matter, once they’ve taken in reliable and extensive information and evidence which has helped them arrive at their stance. For those not informed, or thinly aware of only those things at the surface of the situation, who swear by what they hear on the major networks or publications, I make a request that you please remain neutral, not engaging in discourse or display of your opinion, because, your ignorance can only be a detriment to the collective dialogue. If you can’t lend a word based on knowledge and true fairness, please practice silence or neutrality, there is no worse poison than those who intrude with ignorance.
J. González Solorio