Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A troubling side to Occupy?

Good morning and welcome to O-pinion. We'll be here all day to bring you perspective from the Observer's editorial board and other opinionated folks here and everywhere.

Your host today: Observer editorial page editor Taylor Batten. Our itinerary, as it is every weekday: We'll bring you roundup below of opinion we see locally, regionally and around the country. You'll see tomorrow's print editorials here as they're written, and we'll tell you at the end of each afternoon who we thought had a good day or bad day.

We hope you join us, too.

What are people talking about today?

As the Occupy movement evolves here and around the world, opinion about the protesters is maturing, too. Columnists are taking a closer look not only what Occupy is trying to accomplish, but what it says about us (including the non-Occupiers.)

The New York Times David Brooks says there is a thread that connects the protests of Occupy with the quieter restoration of American economic values. The Washington Post's Ann Applebaum says that the movement could accelerate the decline of democracy.

But there's another element of the protests that threatens to take over at least part of the discussion - examples of anti-Semitic bigotry at some of the protests.

Ben Smith of Politico noticed it, with the help of Israelis, as has the conservative Weekly Standard. Jennifer Rubin says today on washingtonpost.com that it should be condemned:
This does not mean all or even most of the OWS protesters are anti-Semitic, but the prominent liberal leaders who have shown sympathy for their cause have failed to speak out, as have the other elements within the group.
Certainly, conservatives will continue to pounce on this fringe part of the protests, just as liberals did with allegations of racist language and signage at early tea party rallies. Each case is an unfortunate byproduct of public anger - that when you bring together people with shared beliefs, some will bring additional agendas to the party.

Closer to home

President Barack Obama visited North Carolina and Virginia yesterday to tout his jobs plan. The Observer's editorial board says that the U.S. needs actions, not campaigning from Obama, on jobs.

(Like the O, McClatchy's Steven Thomma wonders who should pay for the visit - the campaign or the taxpayers?)

Our letters to the editor include an explanation why Thom Tillis is callous and teachers are right to be wary about pay for performance.

In North Carolina

The Greensboro News & Record takes a guess at why the N.C. Board of Elections is a mess year after year. It's because lawmakers want it that way.

The Winston-Salem Journal says coughing will commence soon - the GOP is gutting pollution regulations.

One to chew on

From Time's Jeff Jarvis: Do we really need to protect children from the Internet?


Joshua McCorkle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joshua McCorkle said...

I watched these videos prepared to defend the protesters who were, I was sure, speaking out against a policy which favors Israel at the expense of the Palestinians. I would have agreed.

What I saw, was absolutely inexcusable, living up to the term "antisemitism". As a sometimes participant of Occupy Wall St, and fervent supporter, this kind of racism needs to be nixed immediately. Of course that's tough to actually execute within a (deliberately) leaderless movement so the onus has to fall on each individual protester. If you hear this, call them out, on the spot, and tell them they speak for no one, and should take their ignorance elsewhere.

October 18, 201

sanfordjames said...

This is obviously the work of the neocons to put someone insided to discredit anything that would benefit the average American and dilute the power of the corporations. Not to mention it might threaten the Uber rich and the overlords of commerce

Wiley Coyote said...

So...Sanford James.

What is YOUR solution to the "uber rich"?

It's not YOUR money so why should they give YOU any of it?

What handout(s) do you feel YOU deserve?

Special K said...

@sanfordjames - The antisemite may be a plant, but the lack of condemnation reflects on the movement. They need to take Joshua McCorkle's advice or risk re-branding.

FarRight said...

Good grief, is it 1937 again? It must be when I watch a "protester" call a Jew walking on the street "Jew boy". Guess the Jews will become the focal point of hatred...again.

WIndow licker said...

And please please Democrats keep lining up behind these bigots. These nitwits are plants, it is who the Demcrat Party is.

WIndow licker said...

Please, please Dems keep throwing your support behind the anti semite, class warfare, anti USA, communists. That should work ouit real well. These are plants, this is who they are.

John said...


This movement is just one more example of how our society has degenerated from one which was built upon hard work and frugal spending into one where everyone believes that they are ENTITLED to what others have without being expected to work for it like everyone else!

Their mentality is that if they have nothing, it's not their own fault, it's that others took it away from them!

sanfordjames said...

Based on the newer post I hit the nail on the head about who infiltrated one of the neocons into this group.

Anonymous said...

Occupy Wall Street is the perfect example of the consequences of the current "model" of raising children. You know, this culture that hurt feelings must be avoided at any cost, every kid on the team gets a trophy, and a government-controlled education that teaches kids that they are entitled to everything and the government will cure any ill in your life. When I saw a photo with two protesters holding signs, one saying "Throw me a bone, pay my tuition" and another saying "A job is a right, capitalism doesn't work," I was very frightened. Only a die-hard Communist would think capitalism doesn't work or that by being born on Earth makes you entitled to a job.

While the bigotry is a real problem, the much bigger problem with this movement is the fact that these people genuinely believe in Socialism and Communism, despite the mountains of evidence that those systems are failures.

John said...

Sandford James,
Watch out for your thumb.
If you were responding to WindowLicker, I think what he meant to say was that they "Aren't plants..." because the statement "These nitwits are plants, it is who the Demcrat Party is." only makes sense if he intended to say "aren't"! People screw up spelling and grammar all the time... that is the importance of "context".

John said...

J is correct, I noticed the other day that when a major media outlet began interviewing these folks, they abruptly ended the interviews when some of the protesters started identifying themselves as Communists. I guess it didn't fit with the spin they wanted to put on the story!

John said...

Mainly, I'm just amused that the media was so quick to paint the Tea Party with the extremest brush yet are so quick to step in with excuses for "Occupy"!

RiaD said...

About that Anti-Semitism...

First, have you seen this video?

It explains how these type videos come about.

Secondly, the articles from Politico & The Weekly Standard both mention The Emergency Committee for Israel, a Republican group that's focused primarily on criticizing President Obama's Israel policy, and then call on Democrats to denounce the Occupy Movements and their Anti-Semitism.

The problem with this is that Occupy Wall Street is NOT a Democratic movement. (see: http://www.readersupportednews.org/news-section2/318-66/7898-focus-ows-organizers-blast-moveon)
This is a group of Americans, who come from ALL political parties & (almost) ALL walks of life. (The Bilderberg Group is omitted.) There will always be a few fringe elements in ANY large group of people. Groups from any one political party will hunt these people out & use them for their own nefarious purposes.

Anonymous said...

99% my buttt!
These guys are commies, socialists, and marxists, and ever one of them are traitors to this great country. They should all be shipped to China so they can really enjoy communism!