The 1% is Not Our Enemy

Yes, that’s right I said it.

Look, I understand that there are people in the 1% who through their actions have caused untold suffering.  And everyone in the 1% in some way benefited from the suffering of others.

“I inherited money made generations ago. I love my family today. I hate the history of how our wealth was amassed. I want wealth redistribution. We’ll all be better for it. I am the 1%. I stand with the 99%.”

But we have to also remember that there are those in the 1% that supports the Decolonize/Liberate/Occupy movement, like the folks at Resource Generation.

And there are plenty of people within the 99% that want this movement to go away.  There are plenty of people in the 99% who benefit off of the suffering of others, there are plenty of racist, sexist, classist, homophobic, and just straight mean people in the 99%.  Let’s not kid ourselves.

Dr. King said that the Civil Rights movement and the issue of segregation wasn’t an issue between black people and white people, but an issue between justice and injustice.

No, our enemy is not the 1%.  Our enemy is injustice.  Our enemy is a belief that some people are worth more than others.  That some people deserve more than others.  And that we can use force, fear, intimidation, and violence over those others to simply take what we want.

Nonviolence means taking a stand against those beliefs.  It does not simply mean “not being violent.”  It means taking a stand that some people are worth more, and it means taking a stand against trying to make changes in our society through the use of violence, fear and intimidation.  As long as we justify the use of those tactics, we will always have violence and injustice in our world.

The Rev. Jim Lawson said that violence has a very simple dynamic: I make you suffer more than you make me suffer.  I hurt you until you give up.  It is the justification of that mentality that is our real enemy, not the 1%.  And that mentality exists in the 1% and in the 99%.

Nonviolence means recognizing that this is a struggle for the 100%.  As Dr. King said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”  There were no exceptions.  Seriously, he said that in the Letter from a Birmingham Jail, look it up.  He didn’t say, “injustice anywhere, except against the 1%…..”

Our goal is not to defeat the 1%, our goal is to win over the 100% in a struggle against violence and injustice against ALL people.

The Beloved Community = 100%.


4 Responses to The 1% is Not Our Enemy

  1. mushim says:

    Well said!

  2. Julie says:

    Thank you – this is how we will move into the new paradigm of higher principles for the planet and all life.The old ‘fight against’ mentality will keep begetting more of the same – no matter which side of the issue you are on. May the Occupy Movement keep holding to the higher bar and find the common ground.

  3. Christina Tuccillo says:

    beautiful, thank you!

  4. Oscar Romero says:

    As a person who is committed to nonviolence at all levels,I have been wrestling with the fact that we set up an immediate “enemy” by calling ourselves the 99%. It’s “us” versus the “1%”. Your article framed it so well. Thank you.

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