Saturday, two sisters were called Niggers by two of the volunteers at Occupy Philadelphia at the cell-phone charging stations. They were also told to go back to Africa, and that each white man should own a slave. When the sista’s called security, security asked them to leave the premises because they thought they were apart of the UHURU movement. Even if they were a part of that movement, they should not have been asked to leave. Especially without any mention of their verbal and spiritual abuse.
So a small collective formed a drummer’s circle on Sunday and started a rally, only to be met with on-lookers who didn’t understand why there was a Pan-African flag at an “American” event. We were called racist. Many of the people there to support Occupy Philadelphia came to us to tell us that all of us are people and that race is behind us! They told us that we were being divisive.
When we circled up to come up with a constructive way to address the people, we were constantly interrupted by white people who could not respect our safe space. These people said that it was a public space, and we couldn’t have a group that excuded them. Why is it when black people want to get together to work out our issues in our community we are called out? Sadly, one of the black women who came up to our group suggested we move to another location away from city hall, since we were having a private group. What?!!
When we wanted to address the people at the people’s assembly, we had to beg to get a spot on the program. They wanted us to wait until afterwards and get on the open mic. Also, we had two people come up to the group and ask if we were going to be violent. Why would be violent?? Because we are black? We eventually told the gate-keepers that we were going to be given the mic, or we were going to take the mic. We eventually got our spot.
As the sister was talking about her experience, there were some members in support, and there were even members who came up to us afterwards to show support. But many of the people were asking us to hurry up, calm down and finish. One white guy used signals to get us to hurry up.
We spoke out about RACISM IN THE 99 percent.
We spoke out about how nobody was talking about the racist foundation of corporate greed.
How do we talk about classim without taking about racism?
American wealth can not be discussed without mention of free African slave labor, the rice, tobacco, sugar and cotton industry.
We were called racist because we empowered ourselves and stood up for what was right.