15 February 2012

Hate the Rich, Love the People: Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz's Speech to Occupy Oakland

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, an Oklahoma-born historian, feminist, and revolutionary, spoke at an Occupy Oakland rally on January 28th, 2012. Part Indian on her mother's side and true to her roots as a daughter of landless farmers, she linked the revival of class consciousness within the Occupy movement to the bold anti-capitalist stance embedded in the Preamble to the IWW constitution. She called the Preamble - from which she quoted extensively - a "roadmap" to abolishing capitalism, an exploitative system fueled by colonialism and imperialism.

In her speech, Roxanne spoke of the motivational force within directed "hate" which is often more acceptably acknowledged as "rage". She pointed out the inconsistent, selectively sanctioned manifestations of hate by the mainstream North American society towards "slavery and slaveowners, fascism, and Hitler," but shame for the same sentiment being directed towards the ruling class and the individual rich. In a short piece presciently composed a few years ahead of Occupy's birth, titled "Hating the Rich," Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz wrote: "My Oklahoma sharecropper father, son of a Wobbly, always taught me that [Roosevelt's New Deal] had rescued the rich and saved capitalism, and he was right. Passionate, organized hatred is the element missing in all that we do to try to change the world. Now is the time to spread hate, hatred for the rich."

Full Speech Transcript: "You Are Free People, Spreading Freedom" (via MRZine)

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