My Rant on the Shootings + the Millionaire's March of October 11, 2011, by Kirby Sommers


I am on the left/middle with hair up and sunglasses. October 11, 2011. Occupy Wall Street | The Millionaire’s March

With all the horrible shootings by angry young white men and a President who incites racial violence - I wanted to remember when this was about the inequality of wealth. I was part of the 'Millionaire's March' on October 11, 2011 with Occupy Wall Street; and the crowd was from all walks of life. Black, brown, red, yellow, white — students, porters, lawyers, fast-food cooks, bank tellers, teachers, retired people, young mothers, grandfathers, doormen, architects…literally everyone on the socioeconomic strata that make up what I have always loved about New York City: its diversity.

We went to Jamie Dimon's digs on Fifth Avenue, the grand building where the Koch brothers live, Rupert Murdock’s residence (Fox News); and they were ready for us because there were guards with the doormen at these buildings. I remember feeling a bit smug, after all, the police were with us. I naively believed they were there to protect us. It was only later that I realized they were there to arrest us. To make sure we didn’t insult the wealthy and powerful on their doorsteps. I remember knowing that the Wall Street type men where mocking the crowd of protesters and later heard they were drinking champagne. I was in step with the first two rows behind the people leading the march on Fifth Avenue (known as “Millionaire’s Row” — although now the “M” has changed to a “B”). I suggested to one of the organizers that we should head up to Park Avenue: "Hey, let's go to Ira Riklis's building on Park Avenue. He's a billionaire and boy what you don't know."

What has happened to our country is not just about race. It is not just about whether one is a democrat or a republican: it is about the huge economic divide. One that is made up of a group of men who were allowed to get away with financial crimes. (Example: Koch's 1980s theft of oil from Indian land). Why is it no one talks about that incident or about the multitude of crimes committed by these wealthy and powerful men? Yet everyone talks about the little boy who walks into a 7-11 and steals an apple because he’s hungry.

This legacy has made it very clear that what we have in the United States is a dual justice system: forgiving the bad guys (as long as they have money and can donate to an election via various methods that are not even "democratic" because we all know now that corporations contribute money to politicians and causes because they are considered “individuals”). And so yes the one vote system is rigged. Old news. However, let us not show discontent lest we be labeled a disagreeable term likely to ignite the flames of injustice. One that aided and abetted a child rapist like Jeffrey Epstein and that helped Russia change the course of our country by electing Donald Trump as President even though he did not win the popular vote and even though there has been a mountain of evidence suggesting interference with the 2016 Presidential race.

As the economic divide gets wider -- do any of us have a chance? Anyone who has had the advantage of getting a higher education in our universities is burdened w/ the sort of debt they will never be able to pay. A friend of mine is a physician. He just turned 66. He believed he would be able to retire. He cannot retire. If he retires he will be unable to afford health care or his home or even the small luxury of a game of tennis he has grown accustomed to during the past four decades he has been tending to the sick.

If Epstein is a real life EYES WIDE SHUT then we need EYES WIDE OPEN to understand what is going on.

The recent catastrophic shootings, two in less than 24 hours, will divide Americans again and focus the issue on guns (btw, I advocate for gun control). However, I believe the larger truth lies in the economic divide and for reasons yet unclear politicians have made this about racial differences. It seems to be a convenient lie perhaps to keep us from focusing on the crimes by the wealthy and powerful.