I'd like to begin this post with remarks by a few folks who support the Occupy Wall Street movement:
LA Unified School District Employee Patricia McAllister says, "I think that the Zionist Jews, who are running these big banks and our Federal Reserve, which is not run by the federal government . . . they need to be run out of this country."
Rocky Suhayda, leader of the American Nazi Party, “Who hold the wealth and power in this country? The Judeo-Capitalists. Who is therefore the #1 enemy who makes this filth happen? The Judeo-Capitalists."
I do not believe for a moment that the overall Occupy Wall Street movement is anti-semitic. I do believe that in any large movement, there will always be a few individuals who are part of it not because they believe in the cause, but because they wish to use it to serve their own personal agenda.
Occupy Wall Street organizers and supporters are criticizing individuals who use this kind of tactic as a means to support the OWS cause, and well they should. But when organizers and supporters of the Tea Party Movement condemned similar behavior within their own ranks, nobody bought it. Is there really any difference here? No. Both movements have gained huge support and as a result, both have a small number of idiots embedded within with their own agenda. Do we blame the overall movement for the idiocy of a few individuals? Of course not.
Here are some thoughts I have on the Occupy Wall Street and Tea Party movements:
The Tea Party movement was borne out of citizens anger over excessive government spending and a rising national debt and federal deficit. Fair enough. I support the movement because I believe that we must reverse the irresponsible fiscal policies of the federal government. That's it.
The Occupy Wall Street movement was borne out of citizens frustration with economic conditions and anger over corporate greed. I support the movement because I am tired of a few individuals in the highest ranks in certain corporations in America owning our politicians and essentially manipulating policy in this country.
Unfortunately there are individuals who have attempted to hijack the Tea Party Movement to promote their own agenda. At some point it became labeled as a conservative movement, tied to the Republicans. Not only have some Republicans attempted to exploit it for their own purposes, but others who have spouted racist or hateful comments have exploited it as well. The news media and other organizations picked up on this and now the Tea Party is labeled racist, gun-toting, haters of the poor. That couldn't be farther from the truth.
There are those who would attempt to hijack the Occupy Wall Street movement as well. The more publicity it gets and the more attention it draws, the more likely it is to happen. A number of groups are using OWS for their own purposes. One woman who is a gay rights advocate and part of the OWS movement stated, "In a parallel way, there doesn't have to be a message at this point. Everyone may have the things they feel most passionate about, but overall the message is 'We're not happy. We can do better.'"
Her remarks imply that this movement isn't just about corporate greed, it's about anger and frustration. If you're pissed off and frustrated about anything, you should join this movement. Unfortunately I think that this "anything goes" mentality takes away from the real focus of the movement and waters down its importance. Also, as we read in the anti-semitic remarks above, there are those who hate Jews and would love nothing better than to blame Jews for the economic problems in this country. It's another case of one group of individuals attempting to hijack the true message of the OWS movement. This movement is not about hating Republicans, the rich, Jews, or white people, it's about corporate greed and Wall Street's ownership of politicians and manipulation of economic policies.
The roots of the Tea Party movement consists of individuals who are just sick and tired of the irresponsible fiscal practices of our federal government. I've met Democrats, Libertarians, Independents, Republicans and people with no party affiliation who support the movement. This movement should not be limited to any one particular political party, in fact, like OWS, it should transcend party lines and include people from all walks of life united under one cause--fiscal responsibility. That certainly is something people we should all support and we do not have to compromise our morals, values or principles to do it. The Tea Party is not a movement against gay rights, illegal aliens, abortion or Democrats, it's about irresponsible fiscal policies in our federal government.
Just as the base of the Tea Party are fighting fiscal irresponsibility, the Occupy Wall Street movement at its roots, is fighting corporate greed. I'm a huge fan of capitalism and a free market and even I know corporate greed is a problem. I am against our politicians being bought and paid for by the men in in the highest ranks of the most powerful corporations in this nation. I think this movement should transcend all political parties as well because when our politicians can be bought, when the largest corporations own this nation, this is a very bad thing and affects all of us.
My point here is that there are many similarities between the two movements and that just because there are a few bad apples, they are not in any way representative of the whole bunch. At their core, both movements are legitimate, important, and necessary. Both movements consist of individuals expressing frustration and anger through free speech, they consist of an honest majority who believe in the true cause, and unfortunately both contain a small segment within that are there to promote their own personal agenda. We have to expect this, ignore the idiots and move on. Both the Occupy Wall Street and Tea Party are important movements whose voices should be heard. We should support those in the movements whose common sense prevails and condemn those who subvert the movements through irrational, idiotic, and violent behavior.