Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Updates 12/13/11

Good afternoon everyone.

The temperatures here have been fluctuating again. It was fifty degrees yesterday, and today it's in the forties and raining. All that means only one thing for me- I've got a head cold again. Yuck. Anyway...

Here's the news for today:

-- An interesting article concerning truck drivers and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers' Association was sent in my Mrs. Hrabak. It explains some views of both truck drivers and the ports. You can read it here: http://www.landlinemag.com/todays_news/Daily/2011/Dec11/121211/121211-02.shtml

-- The Daily Caller is reporting that as of December 12, Occupy movements in 94 cities have sustained 5,425 confirmed arrests.

-- Goldman Sachs is cancelling classes. The huge business usually holds recruitment and financing classes at several Ivy League schools, but have been cancelling events, even since Occupy Harvard attempted to access a recruitment meeting. They have been citing the closeness to exams and other reasons. Business Week also reports that Goldman Sachs port activities can add up to 705 million dollars a day, and that students are frustrated with their schools for trying to force them into the financial market, rather than into public service sectors.

-- Occupy OKC has lost their court case. They had filed for a temporary injunction to prevent arrests and eviction. They have a midnight curfew, but police say there is immediate plan to enforce it.

-- An Occupy Orlando protester was arrested for resisting arrest without violence and jaywalking as he crossed the street. A police officer told him to stop, and when he didn't, they tackled him to the ground. (Jaywalking is such a serious crime now.)

-- 2 arrests were reported at the Occupy Oakland port march, for blocking port traffic after being told to move. An afternoon march was led by recovering veteran Scott Olsen.

-- Occupy Pittsburgh will be in court December 22, as BNY Mellon has issued eviction notices to the group. Occupiers initially refused to sign the notice, which led to the group being granted permission to post it instead.

-- Occupy Seattle dealt with flash bangs and pepper spray when they shut down one of the Port of Seattle's terminals. Police say Occupiers were throwing things, such as sticks, and bags of bricks. One officer was apparently injured when he was struck by a bag of paint.

-- 4 were arrested in San Diego for blocking the entrance to a port.

-- Occupiers in San Francisco marched to the HRC (Human Rights Campaign) Center to protest some of the group's actions. They cited the high rates of unemployment and homelessness in the LGBT population, and called out the HRC for abandoning Transgender people. In the past, the HRC agreed to support legislature that prevented discrimination against gays and lesbians, but neglected to fight for gender identity, making it still legal for many employers to discriminate against Transgender people.

-- Over a dozen Occupy Denver protesters were arrested at a Walmart Distribution Center. Occupiers waved signs stating that Walmart deliberately pays low wages, and that the company is hurting America. Police say no officers were injured, and one protester complained of minor injuries.

-- Occupy Houston moved to the port yesterday, and was faced with 20 arrests for laying in the street. Firefighters had to cut the protesters apart, as they had linked themselves together with PVC pipe.

-- Around 12 people were arrested in Bellingham (Washington) when Occupiers locked themselves to the railroad tracks in protest. Police used a hand saw to try to cut them apart, until they were finally given the keys.

-- Occupy Baltimore was raided last night, with no arrests. Of the 30 people camping at the park, 23 were taken to shelters. Protesters said that the police who raided the camp were the same that they had spoken with previously, and many of them seemed apologetic and unhappy about having to remove them.

*Author's (Long) Note :

One of the major factors in criticizing the Occupy movement has been the "lack of racial diversity," especially concerning African Americans, found in the encampments and meetings. And to be honest, they are right, but not for the reasons they think. The Occupy movement started when the "privileged whites" (I'll explain what I mean by that in a minute) began to feel what African American people have been feeling for decades.

As someone who studies racial stratification, and someone with eyes, I can tell you that racism is alive and well in this country. Schools that have the most African American students are likely to be the least funded, have the worst teachers, and produce students who are less likely to succeed. Is this because of the students' lack of ability? Hell no it isn't. These students have just the same amount of potential as a white or Asian student. They are not given the same opportunities.

"Privileged whites" sounds like a term that an angry minority would use, when in fact it is something we all should recognize exists. If you are Caucasian, how many of you think of yourself as white first, gender second, class third? None of you, if we're being completely honest. Part of the privilege of being white is not really realizing you have a race. The same thing happens for men. Think about it before you shrug off the explanation. When President Obama was running for office, was he "The next President of the United States?" Or was he "The first Black President of the United States?" Was McCain referred to as "The next White President?" No, he wasn't. Race came first for President Obama. When Sarah Palin was working on her campaign trail, she was referred to as "the Women's Candidate," rather than just a candidate. It happens all the time... We just don't, or choose not to, recognize it.

African Americans may support the movement, but there are several reasons they aren't likely to do so openly, or join in. First, the things we are fighting for have been denied to African Americans for years, even decades. African American neighborhoods are known as "hotspots" in the Criminology world, meaning that violence is as common as poverty. When the Occupy movement decides to start discussing the racial inequities faced by these people, and stand up against the violence that happens daily, African Americans may be more willing to join. Until then, much of the African American population is concerned with other issues, such as the safety of their families and friends.

According to a recent study, only 16% of Americans believe that discrimination is common in America today. That's an awful lot of blind people. The second reason I am bringing to the table shows a lot of discrimination against the African American population, so read on, and hopefully, you won't be part of that large number. (Not saying that I am the enlightener, just that I want you to look at these things differently, and perhaps do a little digging on your own.)

So the second reason I have (there are so many more) for African Americans not being willing to join the Occupy movement is called "conditioning." Let me ask you a question. If you are hanging out with your friends, and a police officer comes up and starts beating you and arresting you, what do you do? Most people are going to want to know why. If the officer simply tells you that a group of your kind means you are doing something illegal, what are you going to do? Continue hanging out? If you do, you're going to be arrested or attacked. Your only choice is to learn that a group of "your kind" cannot hang out without being targeted, and therefore you should not gather in large groups.

Welcome to the African American society. Not all police are like that, of course, but some are. They believe stereotypes that Black children are more likely to cause crime, and that a group of Black children needs to be broken up before they do something illegal. Differential enforcement is common as well- meaning that a group of white kids on the good side of town are likely to be taken home with a warning for the same thing a group of Black kids were arrested for. Images of African American men and women being targeted for their race are so commonplace that it's disturbing.

I am a white woman, so I have white privilege, and I am aware of it. But to be honest, if I were African American, and faced with their challenges on a daily basis, I'm not so sure that I would be willing to work with the movement either. There is a major threat of violence against an entire race of people in our nation, as well as facing poverty and violence.

I am aware that not all African American communities are like the ones I described, so please do not think I am stereotyping. Research, however, does support that most African American communities are considered "hotspots" by police, that African American schools tend to be the most poorly funded, and even that African Americans tend to refrain from gathering in large groups to prevent being targeted by police.

*End Author's long as heck note.

So, that's it for today.


If you have any questions, comments, corrections, or other information that you would like to share with me, please contact me at elvishbutterfly@hotmail.com. I welcome criticism and arguments, as long as they are logical. :P

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