• Middle Class White Kids With iPhones.

    Courtesy of CNN.com & Getty Images

    Anyone who's kept an eye on the Occupy Wall Street protests may have noticed something a bit odd about most, if not all of the rallies. Or maybe not. With this "something," plenty of people wouldn't be able to notice it. Or a lack thereof.

    Yep. A lack of black people.

    And this is where most whites moan, groan and think to themselves "oh, THAT AGAIN? You people are never satisfied."

    BooMan from Booman Tribune does it up in decent fashion, but I want to approach the issue from a slightly different angle:

    1) There seems to be this unspoken obligation for blacks to join up with the OWS movement, if only to even out the whole "middle-class white people with iPhones" visual problem.

    2) One of the biggest complaints I've heard regarding OWS was how whites steadfastly disregarded police brutality until they and theirs experienced it. That's part and parcel with most problems black Americans face -- their problems are not worth investigating until ordinary whites are affected by it, too.

    3) Remember the "middle-class white people with iPhones" visual problem? When working class black and white Americans see those people at OWS rallies, they see a bunch of people who apparently have the leisure time and financial support to spend their time at a political rally. Meanwhile, working class families of all stripes have to deal with minimum-wage jobs that don't afford them that sort of leisure time or the financial support. And obviously, single mothers can't justify dropping the kids off at a sitter just for an OWS rally or even joining in a rally on break if one is nearby.

    4) The police brutality. This is something black Americans have to put up with on a daily basis. They're not going to voluntarily put up with it unless there is something tangible for them that they will directly benefit from. This is not the Civil Rights Movement, no matter how hard OWS supporters try to frame it in that manner.

    5) This "sudden" discovery of police brutality by ordinary white Americans. Plenty of black Americans have spoken out about it, yet they were largely not taken seriously until it started happening to OWS protesters. It's something that pisses some of us off.

    The biggest failure of the OWS movement in regards to ethnic relations was the organizers not going out of their way to frame it as being all-inclusive to all ethnic backgrounds. Instead, it ended up framing itself as a bunch of middle-class white people holding iPhones while conducting mic checks. And conservatives are more than happy to exploit this with a bit of that ol' "divide and conquer" class division.