So I did something last night that I had yet to do before. I un-friended someone on Facebook.
I don't take the happenings on Facebook to be too serious but I was blown away by the reaction of someone I had previously thought to be intelligent and whose views I regarded as valid due to their ability to aptly analyse a situation, regardless that their views often contradicted my own. I always felt they could defend them in a way that demonstrated some thought. I guess more than anything else I took the video posted as a shallow view on what I have believed since my immersion in third world life in 2000.
The video made by one Bill Whittle (I had no idea who this douche bag was, I had to Google him) looks at the OWS movement and accuses the protesters of being rich, spoiled brats. I don't know about any of you, but the rich, spoiled brats that I know are too apathetic to actually sleep on the cement or go out of their way to question injustice and inequality.
This is where I felt my personal beliefs were attacked. The idea that Mr. Whittle was promoting was the idea that if each protester had to live 3.5 days providing for themselves without the aid of papa or any corporations they would come out the other side changed and thankful that they could bow down and purchase the bull shit products that are jammed down our throats.
Well kids, I lived in third world country for almost five years. During that time, I learned the depth of hunger and the look of a beggar and thinking about grabbing that meal sitting on the counter that I couldn't pay for. I watched my father-in-law ride his bike to work at 5 am every morning that work was available, work 12 hours only to see his "plata" disappear the first time any food was bought. I watched him suffer as he was unable to work due to illness and surgery (thank god for social welfare). I learned the meaning of capitalism and the effects that it has as it "trickles down."
I've never been wealthy. I learned at an early age how to work. Hell, I started when I was 13. I heat my home with wood that I have extracted from public lands. I try to get to work under my own power every day that I can. I understand what it means to live pay check to pay check. I know what it means to have the people in a restaurant stare at you as you sit down with your "brown" bride.
I don't expect any one to take care of me, because I am doing fine. I have a job, a degree, health insurance. But I will raise my fist in defiance, in solidarity every chance I get. And I will do everything I can to help take care of you. I don't see you all as a bunch of spoiled, rich brats. I see you as individuals with stories, with struggles, with the knowledge and power to move and act. I see you all as sovereign individuals.
I am the 99%. We are the 99%. Together we stand.