Earlier this month, Fast Company released an infographic detailing the demographic makeup of the Occupy Wall Street movement which revealed that only 1.6 percent of protesters are black.
The Washington Post today awkwardly endeavors to explain why, despite being disproportionately afflicted by the economic downturn, African Americans have not embraced Occupy Wall Street. The half-baked hypothesis: after decades of economic hardship blacks are resigned to their plight.
Blacks have historically suffered the income inequality and job scarcity that the Wall Street protesters are now railing against. Perhaps black America’s absence is sending a message to the Occupiers: “We told you so! Nothing will change. We’ve been here already. It’s hopeless.”
Beyond a lack of leaders to inspire them to join the Occupy fold, blacks are not seeing anything new for themselves in the movement. Why should they ally with whites who are just now experiencing the hardships that blacks have known for generations? Perhaps white Americans are now paying the psychic price for not answering the basic questions that blacks have long raised about income inequality.
Other under-represented populations in the Occupy Wall Street movement include Asians (only 2.6% of OWS is Asian), Hispanics (6.8%), and Republicans (2.4%). I cannot wait to read the WaPo's theories on these groups.