You’ve heard the saying time and time again. We’re being nickel and dimed to death. Those pennies that we are always expected to pay without protest add up to nickels, then dimes and finally dollars.
As we struggle in an economy where many of us are barely keeping our heads above water, it is good to know that some old-and-tried ways still work. A lot of us have dismissed protesting. For far too long in black leadership, they have called for protests of the less-than-serious kind.
Like everything else in this society where the attention span for it is mere seconds, those protests have come and gone like day into night. And because the calls for the protest haven’t been serious, those who have been asked to protest haven’t been serious about it.
In Chicago, the protest has been down in Grant Park as part of Occupy Chicago. Occupy Chicago is an offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street movement. The Occupy movements are taking hold all over the country.
It is the kind of resurgence that we as a country need with young people addressing issues that are important to everyone. Sadly, there aren’t a lot of black folks involved in the Occupy movements. We should be some of the first involved when we look and see what the financial devastation has done to our community. We suffer the most and at the same time are the quietest.
Many of those in the Occupy movements aren’t blowhards who solely seek publicity. So far they seem stalwart in their movement, because the issue at the bottom line is about money. More specifically – our own money. The money we struggle to make while those in corporate America as well as political America feel like they can manufacture every possible method for taking it.
How do they nickel and dime us? Recently Bank of America (BOA) announced that they were going to charge debit card users $5 a month in fees. BOA used to be the biggest bank around. When debit cards were introduced, banks touted them as a way for them to save money. No more tellers needed to whom they had to pay a salary. Just a machine to do the work and little to no cost for them.
And we all bought into the debit cards, so much so that many of us don’t even carry cash. But as with all greed, the electronic transfer isn’t generating bounced-check fees like checks do. Instead the purchase is simply denied for lack of funds.
So BOA came up with their fee idea. And guess what? People protested, complained and, even better, withdrew their money and opened up accounts at community banks and credit unions.
And with historic precedence, BOA has subsequently backed down. Even better, several other banks like Chase and Wells Fargo canceled their plans to try and implement similar charges.
Still think that protesting doesn’t work? Well the Tea Party movement is a protest. Now some folks want to blanket them solely in the “racist” cloak. Yet when President Obama took office, he had a Democratic congress in charge and little was done then.
And even if you don’t agree with the Tea Party movement, what they have successfully done is cause politicians to pay attention to them. They have won elections and put emphasis on agendas that many in politics would surely ignore.
If anyone wants to start an Occupy Austin movement, I will gladly join it.