Don't Sit In Front Of My Car If I'm On My Way To Work

Protesters should go to the polls and vote rather than the park to sleep in designer tents

By Dr. Al Carlos Hernandez, Contributing Editor
Published on LatinoLA: November 12, 2011

Don't Sit In Front Of My Car If I'm On My Way To Work

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. said: "The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins."

This translates into: One's right to protest should end when it affects someone else's ability to earn a living.

I say this in reference to the Occupy Wall Street protestors who, in their zeal to "make things right" by punishing the 1%, are punishing the 99% who have to work for a living. Some protestors have taken to closing major intersections during commute time, stopping cars and buses of normal people coming and going to work.

Don't get it twisted: Some people from a place of privilege have the luxury to protest. You'll notice it's rare to see people of color camping overnight in front of a government building unless they are homeless - and if they are homeless they are usually arrested.

iPod wearing, Twitter-clicking protestors are closing down ports where hard working truck drivers sit idle, working to feed their families. At commute time they are preventing under-employed, hard-working Moms from getting to overpriced day care to pick up their little ones - and that costs extra, too. Small Mom and Pop businesses in the urban protest areas are most affected and often times are underinsured. And the protesters don't seem to care in their largess. They are convinced that their "cause" has to have some collateral damage so they can Twitter about it.

Corporate administrators -- "Wall Street Warlocks" -- are on salary. If protestors effectively stop them from going to work, they can go play golf. Social services workers are on salary as well. They get time off to protest, organize protests, and search for mates while normal people are at work trying to feed their families. Why is it whenever there is social strife, it's always the working class people -- the people who pay the taxes and do the dirty work -- who get the short end of the stick?

I know of a situation that puts this whole thing into perspective: A single Mom who works at Walgreens was several hours late for work because protestors blocked traffic, including the bus she was on. When she got to work, other workers were nice enough to give her some of their work hours in order to make up for her lost pay. This is what real Americans patriots do. If these demonstrations were held in Iran and the masses were player-hating the Ayatollah, the police would be less apt to give protestors counseling and bottled water.

Protesting is a good thing; I understand the angst and frustration when you don't agree with what you consider an egregious wrong. My involvement with the Chicano and the anti-Viet Nam War movement back in the day convinced me that through social unrest, Latinos gained Third World Studies, a bigger piece of the social service pie, and parity and better representation in governmental agencies. And for those of us who did take Third World Studies, go over your notes because you knew this was going to happen sooner or later.

Who are these protestors, anyway, and who has time for this?

When I saw the first news reports showing the protestors, there were angry, unemployed, lower middle class professionals making a physical statement. Recently the throng has descended into a parade of Emo band mates gone wild. Blonde boys in dreadlocks, bald women with bones through their noses

I have a tremendous empathy for the older working poor, many of whom are stuck on public transit, who are docked out of hourly wages in trying to get to work. All this because protestors (who either don't work or are trust-fund-baby idle rich) have taken it upon themselves to lay down in an intersection because they are mad at nameless bankers.

A word to the wise: Do not lie down in an intersection during commute time when you see that the car/truck in front of you has custom rims and/or tinted windows. Retreat to the nearest Starbucks immediately.

The failure of the economy is not a good thing; corporate greed, or greed of any kind, is a spiritual abomination. Someone has to say something to stop it - that's why protesters should go to the polls and vote rather than the park to sleep in designer tents.

In Oakland, an Occupy Wall Street group deposited twenty thousand dollars into a Wells Fargo bank they were protesting against.

Most people involved are earnestly trying to get their point across and their voice is being heard. Protestors are taught how to noodle up when police try to take them into custody. The procedure is similar to what a two-year-old does when you try to pick them up around bath time. They let their arms go limp, making it difficult to carry them. The intention here is to get the cops tired and prolong the arresting effort.

Another word to the wise: if you see a male or female Latino or a black cop who looks like he has been working a 14-hour shift with nothing to eat and has missed his or her son's T- ball game, don't use the noodle up technique. It may land you in special education.

Don't hurt a brother or sister who is trying to make a living and support his/her family. Vote the traitors out of office.

About Dr. Al Carlos Hernandez, Contributing Editor:
Edited by Susan Aceves
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