[***Admin Note: Today we're going to have a guest poster in longtime VSB reader and commenter, Tunde aka MadScientist7, grace these hallowed halls of VSBU. Kick off your shoes and relax your feet. Read ninja.***]
First I want to thank Panama for allowing me to grace VerySmartBrothas. When he asked me if I wanted to do a guest post I fretted over what to write about. On my blog I write about randomness so I figured that this would be no different. A couple of weeks ago while I was on twitter I noticed Talib Kweli was tweeting a lot about something called #OccupyWallStreet. I assumed that was the name of a new song or mixtape until I clicked the hashtag and I found out that it was something completely different.
Occupy Wall Street is an ongoing demonstration that opposes corrupt corporate influence in US politics. The aim of the demonstration is to protest corporate greed and social inequality. Personally I don’t know if I agree with the direction of the protests because it seems a little unorganized. They are trying to fight too many fronts at once. Personally I think they should stick to one point and focus on that. Occupy Wall Street has recently come into the media spotlight, not because of their political message, but because members of the NYPD pepper sprayed, punched and stepped on peaceful marchers.
Outside of the hoopla made over mistreatment of protesters the aim of the demonstrations actually got me to think which I’m sure was the original intention. I would see pictures like these scattered about the internet.
As Americans we are sold a dream from the time we can remember that to make it in this country the first step is get an education. After you receive an education you’ll be able to find a good job and make enough money to support yourself and family.
The American dream.
My parents moved to this country in order to provide a better life for my siblings and myself. So as you can imagine the American dream was beat into our heads double because of the sacrifices my parents made. That being said I made education my priority. I hold a PhD in Biomedical Research with a concentration in Biochemistry and Cancer Biology. I am currently at my first job and even though I grew up lower middle class it’s been a long time since I felt any of the hardships that the “99%” have felt. I’m torn between two very different and distinct emotions concerning education.
I empathize with a lot of the “99%”. As much education as I’ve received in my lifetime (and the more that I plan on getting) sometimes I wonder if I made the right decisions. I know education isn’t for everyone and the most valuable lessons learned in life aren’t found in classrooms. More importantly the fact that it’s not what you know but whom you know just isn’t fair. A person can spend upwards of $100K on getting “educated” and someone who barely graduated high school can get the job that was “promised” to them because the less qualified person is related to someone important.
You decided the path to walk. Growing up my favorite subjects in high school were history and math. I was good at other subjects but those were the two I got the most joy from. Naturally some people would major in one of the two when they went off to college. Not me. Why? What’s the projected average salary for a history major? I’ll pass on struggling to barely make in a year what I paid for a year of school. I picked a major that was more financially stable yet I still enjoyed. I got my history fix by watching the History Channel. I don’t understand why people get Master’s degrees in subjects like fashion merchandising then are surprised when they are in debt and can’t find a job after graduation.
While I find #OccupyWallStreet (and similar occupations that are taking place around the country) interesting I doubt any amount of protests are going to change corporations from paying minimal taxes while the working class carries the load as far as stimulating this country’s economy. I hate to be a wet blanket but in this capitalistic society the rich get richer and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
Have you heard of the #OccupyWallStreet? Do you think NYPD is wrong in the way they are handling the protesters? How do you feel about the American Dream? How important is a formal education to you?
Here are two great websites where you can find information on #OccupyWallStreet and see stories of those affected:
A little about Tunde: I’m an ordinary guy. Sometimes I do extraordinary things. If you want to read more of my randomness I can be found at http://biggerthomas.wordpress.com/ and at http://twitter.com/#!/BrazenlyVirile