I am a classist. Aren’t you? There’s no use in denying it, we are all some kind of –ist, if only a little. I admit it. I stand before you and admit that I am classist. If I said anything else I would be a liar, and I am nothing if not honest.
I am a firm believer in equality. I would love for everyone to be treated equally but unfortunately our world won’t allow for such a utopia. We are each encased in our own separate social bubbles: working class, middle class, upper class and with those distinctions come expectations. Don’t sit there and pretend that you haven’t looked at someone else and judged them for their place in this society. Have you ever pitied someone else because they are less fortunate? Have you ever envied someone because they have an easier life? There, you judged them. You know nothing about them other than what you see on the outside but you have placed them in another bubble. We can’t possibly easily transition from bubble to bubble, can we? The damn things would pop and the world would drown in a matter of minutes. Right? That’s why the rich refuse to make concessions and allow the possibility of movement. Those “less fortunate” people will remain less fortunate and the privileged will remain floating above the rest of us until someone starts popping some damn bubbles.
I come from a middle-class family and thanks to my current period of unemployment, the transition from feeling secure to feeling helpless has not been easy. It has made it easier for me to relate to those of the working class; those whom in the past I may have pitied. My apologies for my abhorrent disregard for your troubles. I have always respected those who live paycheck to paycheck; who work two or three jobs just to get by but it wasn’t until now that I truly understood what it meant. The “land of opportunity” has been opportune for very few as of late. It is time to fight for the cause.
The “Occupy” protesters have begun the fight, but I worry. I worry that their message falls upon deaf ears. I can hear it, and those of us in those low floating bubbles can hear it, but the people who live in those bubbles high above us have their heads too far up their asses to hear a damn thing. All they hear is “It’s your fault I don’t have a job. I’m too lazy to find work. You’re hoarding all the money. You suck. This shit is fucking bullshit.” Let’s stop for a moment and see if we can stop placing blame and just make a valid point, shall we?
Unemployment is at an all-time high in this country. There must be a reason for that, right? The country, as a whole, did not just decide to get lazy and stop working. College-educated men and women can’t find work because everywhere you turn companies are cutting back. Those who are hiring don’t want to hire educated people, because a degree means a higher salary, and the need for a higher salary makes you undesirable. I am a recent college graduate with only a year of professional experience, and yet after numerous interviews I have been told that I am overqualified. Overqualified? My one year of experience was too much for you? That really translates to: “You’re too expensive and we just can’t afford you.” Thanks for the compliment?
Then there are those of us who do not come yielding a degree. Is it any easier for them to find a job? Nope. The excuse they hear after an interview is, “We’re sorry but you’re just not what we’re looking for.” This translates to: “We’re just going to give Bob over here more work for the same money so, we don’t need you anymore.” There will always be an excuse because this is an employer’s economy. With so many people out of work, employers have free range to take advantage of current employees and to hire new, much cheaper labor. Just one more way to make the rich a little richer and the poor a little poorer.
I don’t pretend to know much about politics. I cannot and do not intend to propose a solution. I write to you as the regular-old-Jane that I am. I am a recent college graduate, with one year’s experience, who left a morally bankrupt company for the hope of a fulfilling life. You might say that it’s my own fault that I am now unemployed and I would not argue that fact but I find it no different than leaving an abusive relationship. Had I stayed, I would have been beaten down to within an inch of my sanity. I will not stand to be taken advantage of. I took with me my pride and it remains with me until this day. Agree or disagree, I will stand by my unemployed brethren and with them I say, I am the 99%.