As 99% of the American popualtion struggles with the lopsided economic conditions visited upon it by the mis- and malfeasance of our federal, state and local governments, only 1% of that number seems to be waging the battle that seeks to remedy these inequities.
Whether one agrees with the basic philosophy of the movement – to seek some semblance of balance in the American economy – or not, no one can argue that this movement seeks to adorn its participants with the untold riches that seems to have found its way to those who are suppossed to represent us – the 99%. Nor can anyone argue, legitimately, that the movement is a power grab that would entitle its victors to then sell their influence in the public square.
So why is it that a movement seeking to benefit the larger majority of the population not more fully supported by those who would benefit from its success?
One of the more obvious reasons is apathy. Many just don’t seem to want to get involved. There are probably various and sundry reasons to explain this phenomenon, but the most obvious is people are so consumed with dealing with their own issues they fail to see the larger ones. They are content to allow others to do the heavy lifting not understanding that this is the very attitude that got us into the position we find ourselves today.
Others are plain afraid. They find themselves in difficult circumstances and just don’t want to be singled out for retaliatory treatment. While self-preservation is a basic human instinct, it fails to account for the counter-instinct that propels others to act in the face of personal hardships or future retaliation. Personal sacrifice for the good of the group a la Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy, and Gandhi.
If the Occupy movement is to be successful, the 98% must do more. Irrespective of whether we are talking about Wall Street, Richmond or the many other locales in which Occupy has affiliates, more has to be done in the name of freedom and equality.
As Occupy Richmond continues its encampment at the home of Richmond Free Press Editor/Publisher Raymond H. Boone, amid growing community tension, reports are surfacing that Councilman E. Martin (Marty) Jewell is planning to introduce a resolution at Monday’s council meeting calling for the creation of a public space in which unfettered free speech will be allowed.
Whether that resolution has enough support to pass is uncertain. Is it beyond the pale to believe that the 98% will join their Occupy Richmond brothers and sisters on Monday night, and for once sacrifice something for the good of the whole?
Stay tuned, the answer won’t be long in coming.