According to recent opinion polls, most Americans agree that financial criminals on Wall Street and corrupt politicians in Washington have conspired to enrich an already wealthy minority at the expense of the working classes. But as the Occupy movement hits its second month, many still view protesters in negative terms, using words like “lazy,” “ignorant” and “smelly.” As the Daily News reports:?
“Polling shows the public supports the message of the Occupy Wall Street movement even if people have reservations about the encampments themselves.” What gives?
Sadly, a lot of good people see protesters as unwashed hippie remnants of the ’60s counter-culture revolution. Perception is everything: It hardly matters that someone willing to wake up before sunrise and march for 12 hours in the name of economic justice couldn’t reasonably be considered lazy. People form narratives in their minds and then fit the world into those preconceived boxes.
For the Occupy movement to succeed in effecting real change in this country — and it’s in the best interests of the 99 percent for this to happen, regardless of their political affiliation — supporters must bridge this gap. We all have a stake in solving the money-in-politics problem whether or not we appreciate the appearance — or smell — of our economic allies. Revolution makes for strange bedfellows; let’s get together before we’re all screwed.