Because Occupy Oakland has so dominated the news, West stepped outside of her health beat and asked a handful of friends and acquaintances for reaction to the movement.
Her first question to all: Do you think people in West Oakland are involved in Occupy Oakland? West Oakland is roughly 50 percent African American; all seven interviewees are black and said they didn't think African Americans in general were involved in the movement. Their reflections and analysis on the reasons why are included in the video below. Some of the comments:
- "The items on the agenda of the movement, a lot of the people in West Oakland aren't even concerned with. That's why they're not involved."
- "Most of the people I know in West Oakland don't see the relevance of the movement. I think they see it as, fortunately or unfortunately, trust fund babies, people who don't have to work, people who are already provisioned in this society. In some ways, it's like good for them they can do that, but I can't."
- "The majority of the people I've seen with this Occupy movement are just like people jumping to the new social networking site... It's just the thing to do all of a sudden."
- "All the vandalism and stuff, that's hurting Oakland more."
- "I really get angry and get tired of people who think 'let's go to Oakland and make a name for ourself.' We struggle with so many issues -- we struggle with violence, we struggle with education -- the educational issue in this city is horrible. And we don't have time to spend a lot of money on foolishness..."
- "If you look at all the violence, there's no violence without the cops."
- "If you're going to occupy with the intentions of getting the attention of the one percent, occupying a poor place -- they don't care about that. The one percent doesn't live in downtown Oakland."