Occupy [insert city here]
This is my first post on the Gumbo and I figured, why not start with a bang, eh?
So this Occupy movement has been pretty much at the center of every news related media for the past couple of months. And new Occupy movements are springing up everywhere. Occupy Wall Street, Occupy New Orleans, Occupy Denver, Occupy Salt Lake City, Occupy Montana (do people live in Montana?), so on and so forth. Everyday I see something new from one of my 402,928,730,202 facebook friends proclaiming proudly: “I AM PART OF THE 99%!” followed by all the reasons why they belong to this percentage.
Well, guys, here I go:
My name is Ace and I am NOT part of the 99%
Before everybody loses their shit, let me do my little blurb about why I am not part of the 99%.
I was raised in a middle class family with middle class values. My parents both worked hard and I am a product of the public school system. While in grade school, I worked very hard to maintain excellent grades with the idea that I wanted to go to college. During my senior year, I applied for over 100 scholarships and was fortunate to receive funds for college thanks to the grades I worked hard for and volunteer hours I put in. I chose to attend a moderately priced public university that offered me academic scholarships based on my dedication to academia in high school. While in college, I maintained one, sometimes two, full time jobs to pay my own tuition and get by financially while being a full time student and keeping a 4.0 grade point average. Sometimes I lost sleep, other times, I missed out on social events and it was never not worth it. Throughout my college career, I found ways to be active on campus so as to not only be social, but make connections with other people. Those people have proved to not only be lifelong friends, but some of them have proven to be helpful in a professional capacity. Upon graduation, I did not find a job in my field. I was disappointed about that, but I did get a job that pays moderately well and has a good amount of benefits. As a graduate, I CONTINUE to live far below my means so as to save for my future and the future of my family. I continue to believe that if I work hard to achieve and attain the things that I want, I will continue to succeed despite the wants and wills of other greedy individuals–call me naive, if you want, my past has yet to prove me wrong. I will not give up my journey to achieve my goals because I realize that others’ may not do things the way I think they should be done. I will continue toward my destination because “no weapon formed against me shall proper” or something like that. I do not claim to be a part of the 1% nor do I know if I ever want to be a part of the 1%. But every day, as I wake up early to get up and get back to the daily grind, I know that I am NOT part of the 99%.
Now, all that being said, I admire the passion that these Occupy people have. And I don’t disagree with why they’re upset. Why should 1% of the population get all the wealth and opportunities for wealth and everyone else is stuck with jackshit to share?? But I thoroughly disagree with how they’re going about it. Sitting in parks, not going to work and using the bathroom in front of God and everybody? That ain’t right. What would y’all’s mamas say? Would it kill y’all to get a port-o-john?
I know what some of you are going to say. “But, Ace, you have to understand, these people can’t find jobs.” Well, my friend, that’s a lie. Because McDonalds and the like is always hiring. Is it the ideal job? Maybe not. Is it the job you always dreamed of? Probably not. But it is a J-O-B. So the truth is: there are jobs out there, some people just don’t want them. And the harsh reality of life is: sometimes you gotta do shit you don’t wanna do to get where you wanna be. Sorry, Sugar. Tough cookies.
Now I asked what your mothers would say about this. Lemme let y’all know what my mama–Nancy–would say. First of all, she’s a fan of saying “you know what good cryin’ and carryin’ on about shit and getting your panties in a twist does? A whole lott’a nothin’. It makes ya face puffy and makes ya walk funny.” And if Nancy found out that her daughter was going “number 2” in front of God and everybody, I swear she’d stand on her head for hours, she’d be so upset. (I know, y’all are starting to understand how I got to be this way. We’re southern, y’all.) But Nancy makes a real good point. All this crying and carrying on and being mad isn’t getting the 99% anywhere. In fact, it’s providing fuel for the “evil 1%” to use against them. Who wants to take someone seriously when they’re shitting in a park?
Here’s my solution: go home. Bathe yourselves. Pee…in a bathroom. Put on some nice clothes (read: clean and not wrinkled). Sit down, grab a sheet of paper and put your college degree vocabulary to use. Write several hundred thousand letters to your congressmen, state representatives, mayors, everybody. I know, they’re the “enemy”. I’m getting to my point. A hundred thousand handwritten letters are pretty hard to ignore. But don’t end there! Oh no. I suggest the 99% pick the most distiguished representative among you and that person should run for office with one condition: he or she is not allowed to accept any corporate campaign donations. Oh no, instead, each member of the 99% should contribute a minimum donation toward his or her campaign. And when he or she wins, the 99%’s interest will be represented. Right? RIGHT? Who will be the first to make their donation to putting the 99%’s representative in office? Don’t all rush to crack your piggy banks at once.
And THAT right there is why I can’t get down with the 99%. Because I don’t hear anyone coming up with ways to solve this problem. I don’t hear any solutions. I don’t see anyone making any moves toward change. And basically, you shouldn’t let your mouth write a check that your ass can’t cash (another one of Nancy’s gems). You think yelling at the problem is going to fix it? I don’t think so, honeybun. You can either make a difference or keep it moving. Ain’t no room for people to sit around doing nothing. It might be cliche, but BE the change you wish to see in the world.
Because let’s face it, Martin Luther King Jr. never got caught going “number 2” outside.