Matthew Boyle, Daily Caller, October 4, 2011
Though a few representatives of minority groups have appeared among the “Occupy Wall Street” protesters in New York City, photos and videos of the left-wing mini-throngs indicate they suffer from a serious lack of diversity. And the protesters themselves told The Daily Caller on Tuesday that they are conscious of the issue, if not the inconsistency it demonstrates.
A 40-photo Washington Post slideshow showing hundreds of angry protesters in New York and other cities includes no more than 15 clearly identifiable minority protesters, and just six African-Americans. The rest of the protesters shown are white, and most are male.
In 26 photos from San Francisco and Chicago gatherings posted on OccupyTogether.org, only one person from a minority group is clearly visible, and it’s unclear whether he is a protester or a bystander.
Minority groups are similarly underrepresented in photos and videos posted on OccupyWallSt.org, the self-described “unofficial de facto online resource for the ongoing protests happening on Wall Street.”
Even the “unofficial” organizers of the protest events admit this is–or at least appears to be–problematic.
“That’s an interesting question, and it comes up often,” OccupyWallSt.org’s Patrick Bruner said in an email to TheDC. “Unfortunately, we have a very high turnover rate, and nobody as of yet has come up with official diversity related statistics for us. From observation, I can tell you that we’re not all white, and that we also have a huge LGBT [Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender] population.”
“We’re working on reaching out to minority groups as well,” Bruner adds. “Thanks for the food for thought, I’m sorry I don’t have more exact information for you right now.”
The protesters have taken to calling themselves the “99 percent” in the country, labeling the capitalists they wish to remove from power the other “1 percent.” Conservative columnist Michelle Malkin told TheDC that the Occupy Wall Street protesters’ self-description as the “99 percent” in America is ironic because the crowds are mostly white.
“When Occupy Wall Street activists call themselves the ’99 percent,’ it turns out they mean 99 percent non-diverse (by their own politically correct measurements),” Malkin said in an email.
“It’s as pale out there at Camp Alinsky as MSNBC’s prime-time lineup or the New York Times editorial board. Not counting the cameos by Jesse Jackson and Cornel West, that is.”
Dan Gainor of the Media Research Center’s Culture and Media Institute told TheDC that he thinks the crowds are “not as white as new-fallen snow, but almost.”
One minority activist has appeared to speak to the Wall Street protesters: socialist and Princeton professor Cornel West.
Malkin and Gainor also told TheDC that while news organizations have failed to report on these protesters’ lack of minority representation, tea party rallies attracted accusations of racism for what some reporters perceived was a similar lack of racial diversity.
“The liberal media will only engage in racial bean-counting of protest crowds when it serves their political ends: Namely, painting the Right as homogenous and non-inclusive,” Malkin said. “We heard endless derision about the tea party’s lack of skin-color diversity from Hollywood and the national press. But not a peep about the Abercrombie & Fitch-meets-Apple central casting mob swamping lower Manhattan.”
Gainor added that mainstream media representatives “only see what they want to see.” He said reporters scoured tea party rallies for evidence of racism, while failing to notice how “white” the left-wing crowds are.