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Tawana Petty

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Why a Single, Struggling, Partially Employed, Barely Mobile, Black Mother of a Teenage Son Has Yet to "Occupy"

Posted: 11/28/11 04:50 PM ET

Maybe it's the perceived preoccupation with the power struggle between the "the knows" and the "know nots"...  Or, the cyber-preoccupation with who owns the best title of this movement on the rise and why... Or could it be that the mere thought of laying my head on the concrete in the middle of the park during the cold of night, further compromising my already violated existence with no measurable goal in sight is just too much for a mother to bear. Maybe it's the knowledge that should I lose my newly acquired "part-time" job because I telephoned into work in order to line the streets to prove that I support those who are unemployed and truly suffering, that it's unlikely that I could actually call on many of the "occupied organizers" to financially support my child and I. Maybe, it's those things and more but no matter the reason why I have personally chosen not to catch the bus downtown everyday for a superficial show of solidarity, overstand that I am not a minority in my opinion.

I don't speak any of this with malice or ill will but with conviction. For all intents and purposes, I don't have a pot to piss in. I live with relatives, my car that I still pay a car note on is down, I take a nearly two-hour bus ride into the City everyday to work part-time. I have a child who although he is performing well academically in school, cannot participate in any of the after school activities many of his high school friends participate in because we are heavily reliant upon others right now. My credit is destroyed, I own no assets, I am struggling and I am raising a man! I am as "occupied" as one can get.

Now please, do not misconstrue this note as a letter of self-pity because it is quite the opposite. This is a plea for the organizers to dig a little deeper.  Dig beyond the titles, dig beyond the history, dig beyond the personal opinions and reach into your deepest level of humanity. Speak from your souls, march from your souls, organize from your souls. Only then can you truly reach the masses. If this battle is going to be fought solely on the premise of who became poor first or who has the right to struggle, then you will leave out the majority because most of us have been brainwashed. Most of us were given an inch and we thought we had made it. Most of us weren't taught our history in our schools and neither were our parents so we are still learning through trial and error. You cannot hold a person accountable for sheer ignorance. We are hungry, we are dying, we are oppressed and until we can reach one accord, we may as well open up to any page in the history books and change the names...

If this is truly going to be a movement of the people, start talking to the people and stop talking at them. You can't tell a person who is functionally illiterate and oppressed on the highest level that they should join your movement without showing them how their sacrifice is going to feed their family tomorrow.

Start listening to the people, all people... I BEG OF YOU ALL... I'm looking for freedom from oppression, not a politically correct newer version of it. I hope you all can help.

P.S. if you read this note and you somehow feel that I've spoken out of turn, then you are the person(s) I'm making my plea to.

With much love and respect,
#occupiedout

 

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