By: Jasmine Pace
A revolution has begun across the United States. Occupy Wall Street is a peaceful fight against corporate greed and social inequality in the United States economic system, which affects everyone from college students to teachers, to about everyone in the work force.
Many in this country believe that they are expected to go to college in order to live the “American Dream”, but what is the “American Dream?” Is it to own a home? Raise a family and grow old on a beach?
Sounds nice, but let’s be honest, that is not true for most people today. The financial market continues to go up and down, which shows we do not live in a stable economy. It is that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.
Graduating high school, they do not tell you, unless you are fortunate enough to be able to pay for school out of pocket, that you will now be living in debt for the rest of your life paying back student loans. That does not sound like the American Dream that I want to live. Alas, it’s too late because I have already succumbed to the pressures of society by taking out many student loans in order to attend college.
Occupy Wall Street is what this country needs right now. Being that the top 1% holds 40% of the financial wealth in America and the rest of the 99% makes up 60% of the financial wealth, there is something wrong with that. That does not seem like a just system. For those who argue that Occupy Wall Street is not fighting for anything and thinks it is a joke, probably most of them are below the 1%, which brings to mind the word “false consciousness”. In my gender and race class, we discussed this topic and someone brought up the word false consciousness. Basically, some people come to accept their disadvantages as being right, even though the system is working against them. Yes, that sounds a bit Marxist; however, it has some truth. I’m not saying we should have a socialist society, but there needs to be a change. The gap is widening and now’s the time to act.
Dr. Cornell West has also spoken on this issue at an Occupy Wall Street Protest. He was quoted saying, “It’s impossible to translate the issue of the greed of Wall Street into one demand, or two demands. We’re talking about a democratic awakening…you’re talking about raising political consciousness so it spills over all parts of the country, so people can begin to see what’s going on through a set of a different lens, and then you begin to highlight what the more detailed demands would be. In the end, we’re really talking about what Martin Luther King; Jr. would call a revolution “A transfer of power from oligarchs to everyday people of all colors. And that is a step by step process.” Occupy Wall Street is not to be looked at as an individual standpoint, but it is a fight for all and we are all leaders in a sense. Nothing can change with one person, but it takes a large group in order to create change. The 99% is much larger than the 1%. So if we can all fight for a more equal society, then they have to listen and abide by us. We should not be scared of them; they should be scared of us. This is a fight for the corporations to act “for the people and by the people”. If you want more information about this topic, checkout the website www.occupytogether.org.