And what about Jay-Z and other hip-hop stars? For all their influence on American culture, they haven’t tackled big challenges such as poverty, police brutality, voting disenfranchisement and the racist prison complex. Jay-Z hasn’t shown up at any Occupy gatherings, but his clothing company appears to be trying to capitalize on the protest wave. Rocawear is peddling “Occupy All Streets” T-shirts for $22 a pop— with no plans to donate profits to the movement.
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.
New Jersey comedian John “Alter Negro” Minus says he won’t participate in the Occupy protests because black people are being besieged by so many social injustices, he can’t get behind targeting just the 1 percent.