So I’m sure you’ll be shocked to learn that Occupy Wall Street was overwhelmingly white and privileged.
According to a new study from sociologists at the City University of New York, more than a third of activists in the Occupy movement in New York City had household incomes above $100,000, placing them at the cusp of the top quintile of income distribution in America. …[in general they were] more affluent, whiter, younger, much more highly educated, and more likely to be male than the average New Yorker.
… While only about a third of Americans hold bachelors’ degrees, 76 percent of respondents who had completed their education had a four-year college degree and 39 percent had graduate degrees. Among college graduates, more than a quarter went to top-ranked schools…While 10 percent of participants were unemployed, 71 percent were employed in professional occupations. Eight percent were “blue collar.”
Truly the voice of the downtrodden.
Snark aside, there’s an important point to be made here. I live near a college. I have friends and family in all levels of the ed biz. I know these people, and I can tell you their major malfunction: They’re bored.
Colleges push two contradictory messages simultaneously. The first, common to humanities and STEM majors alike, is that a college degree is a ticket to middle class prosperity. The second, overwhelmingly concentrated in the humanities, is that “the middle class” is a bastion of entrenched class privilege, the wellspring of racism, sexism, homophobia, and all that other bad stuff.
Being an “informed citizen,” these professors preach, means recognizing the rot behind the mask of the very lifestyle they’re in college to pursue.
Traditional marriage, kids are told, is a prison of patriarchal privilege for women, an unconscionable act of aggression for men. Religion, of course, is the opium of the people. Party politics is a sham run by oligarchs, for oligarchs, and the traditional “little platoons” of society are merely means by which entrenched white / straight / male privilege recapitulates itself.
Is it any wonder, then, that an affected, exaggerated taedium vitae is the overwhelming psychological response? If it’s all a sham — but a sham you have to participate in — what’s left but hookups or protests? It certainly doesn’t help that college these days is so easy; you might could forget about the inherent pointlessness of it all if you had to study more than a few hours a week.
Who’d have thought a cheesy 90s power ballad would be the key to understanding the whole Occupy generation?