For more than a decade, American Muslims have been well aware their communities have been infiltrated with FBI spies looking to entrap people. Multiple members of my family have encountered a mysterious never before seen loud mouthed persons at Muslim community centres, mosques, and events using unusually politicised and extreme language that, I can surely attest, one would not normally find at an average Muslim gathering.
I don’t protest at Occupy because I know that my name has long existed on some intelligence database and I do not know what on earth it will be used for and how I will be targeted because of it – especially if I begin to show my face more regularly protesting at my local encampment. Police target minorities in a disproportionately heavy handed manner than they do our white counterparts, be us all part of the 99% or not.
As tempted as many white Occupy protesters are to proclaim “we are all one and the same!”, you cannot expect minorities, whose communities have been subjected to intimidation and abuse, to suddenly throw away the race card and jump on the bandwagon. These are critical times, and as such, it is important for Occupy to get it right. We are all part of the 99% – and the concerns of some should fast transform into the concern for all.