Queuing to vote at the Church of Heavenly Rest. It’s interesting to observe the people and note the demographics. I think I’m one of the very few people here that’s under 35. I think there’s no one in their 20s here. Much older crowd. They look pretty affluent (expensive bags, expensive coifs) and 99 percent of them would be considered white. I’ve said before that I don’t like grouping people according to ‘race’ but the thing is, in this context it’s important to say white because the reality is, these people would be considered white in our society and that racial designation have material ramifications. I just want to make it clear that I am not against these ‘white’ people. I don’t know them personally and have no personal issues with them. What I’m against is the system that privileges these people because of their ‘whiteness.’ We are a highly racially and socioeconomically segregated city. I’ve studied the Census in my research methods class. The statistics support my observation. I’ve known about the racial and socioeconomic profile of my neighborhood, but it really is something else to see it.
Know what’s funny and messed up? I feel like an infiltrator; a minority in a sea of rich, white, (probably) Republicans. The only other nonwhite people here are the workers. I swear, I’m not exaggerating. This is insane. NYC is highly diverse right? So how come the only nonwhite people I see here are the workers? Pause, and really think about that. The thing is even though I’m unhappy with the way things are, by voting, I’m participating in the system. I’m conflicted. There has to be a better way of changing things. I’m voting because I feel like it’ll be worse if the other guy wins. It’s a matter of choosing the lesser evil. I hate it. We are being held hostage.
I’m thinking back to the Deleuze and Foucault reading, about power being diffuse. Deleuze also said reforms are stupid. I have a feeling that the only real alternative to smashing this exploitative system is to refuse to participate in it, and yet, think about how difficult that would be. I think one would be labeled ‘crazy’ and possibly be institutionalized if one breaks from all the conventions that support exploitation. At the least, one will be ostracized.
Maybe for now we can just rebel in our own small way, and maybe that could pave the path for others to do the same until we reach a breaking point where the system can no longer function as it is. Even just the thought that there could be another way is subversive. The Occupy movement has shown that. Why do you think the movement was met with such brutal force? From the point of view of those in power, the feelings, thoughts, and sense of camaraderie of the Occupy movement is like a virus that must be contained, lest it spread and compromise the entire system. Many revolutions have gained traction because of the energy and ideas coming from students and professors. Just a thought. Revolutions start in the mind.