23 Billion: Where's the Outrage?

After another round of massive bonuses to the financial industry, Hip Hop historian and activist Davey D wonders where all the protesters are.
Goldman Sachs protest

Protesters outside Goldman Sachs on October 26, during the 3-day "Showdown in Chicago" mobilization aimed at the American Bankers Association.

Photo courtesy of SEIU International

So last night I’m sitting here watching the news and I hear this crazy report about how all these companies that we helped bail out, first under former President George Bush and then later under President Obama, are on pace to make huge profits and give out record bonuses to their management teams. Note, I said "management," not your average Joe Schmoe worker who pushes papers or pushes a mop. While most of us can barely pay carfare to go to work (tolls are rising to 5 bucks here in the Bay Area), Goldman Sachs' management will be receiving a whopping 23 BILLION dollars in bonuses. Twenty-three billion dollars … I want everyone to sit there and think about that for a minute.

Think about that, as I did, and wonder why all these people I know who never paid a bill late in their lives suddenly had their line of credit decreased. My boy’s business had to let a few people go because one of the banks we helped bail out suddenly couldn’t give him and his business credit in spite of his stellar record and A credit rating. This scenario is playing out all over the country.

Meanwhile, back at the Wall Street ranch, 23 billion dollars for Goldman Sachs. 23 billion for a company that was failing and needed us to come to the rescue?

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. The cynical folks that I tend to come across day in and day out have been predicting this for months. They’ve been saying all along it's not the President or the people that have final say so in this country—it’s the people who control the financial institutions. Twenty-three billion dollars in bonus: Keep repeating this to yourself as you find yourself putting in extra hours and avoiding taking vacations for fear of losing your own meager-paying job.

Twenty-three billion dollars. I’m sitting here listening to this crap and looking at a medical bill for 1400 bucks I have no way of paying anytime soon. I couldn’t afford it when I got severely sick a couple of months ago and had no choice but to visit an emergency room. My ‘great’ insurance—privately owned and not government run—wouldn’t cover me for an emergency out of state. I couldn’t afford to pay it in August, and I can’t afford to pay it now. I needed a stimulus package and couldn’t get it. My job needed one—none was given. I needed some credit—mine was cut. Thank you, Wells Fargo. Meanwhile, back at the Wall Street ranch, Goldman Sachs management are getting 23 billion dollars.

Where are all the Tea Party protesters? Why aren't they in front of Goldman Sachs?

I guess the thing that really eats at me most was hearing about Goldman Sachs and thinking about all these orchestrated Tea Party gatherings. I say "orchestrated" because when you attended, you heard a whole lot of talk about greed, corruption, and tax dollars being wasted. You saw all sorts of posters with demonic pictures of President Obama. And, I’ll be honest, if Goldman Sachs are his people and he has people from that firm all up in his inner circle and administration, some hard-hitting criticism is due. You’ll get no defense from me about Obama and his relationship to Goldman Sachs. With that being said, based upon the supposed outrage and call to action to get this country back on track as underlined by the Tea Party folks, my question is ‘Where art thou?’ When’s the next Tea Party?

Where’s the Tea Party that's gonna be kicked off in front of Goldman Sachs Headquarters on 85 Broad Street in Lower Manhattan? Since it's been said that President Obama really doesn’t run the country and he’s controlled by rich, powerful wall street bankers—where are all my shotgun-carrying, ultra patriotic Tea Party folks now? Where are the September 12th protesters? Remember them? Didn’t they show up with “millions" in front of the white house’? (Note: It really wasn’t millions it was more like ten thousand, but we’ll say millions to make them happy. Please keep in mind it would be real expensive for those drug industry marketing firms that were organizing the September 12th Protest along with the Townhalls and Tea Party gatherings to hire millions to come out to a protest—but let's not digress.) Obviously, we don’t see these people confronting the real beast and the real criminals.

Where’s Sean Hannity? Lou Dobbs? Rush Limbaugh? Has anyone seen them? Are they directing their viewers and listeners to show up and protest? Are they getting the tens of thousands of honest, poor, hard-working citizens who carried posters with Obama looking like Adolph Hitler to show up in front of Goldman Sachs headquarters carrying Hitler-esque pictures of CEO Lloyd Craig Blankfein? Do their listeners even know who he is? Where’s the Fox News ambush team to jump in the face of a bonus-receiving Goldman Sachs manager demanding they give back tax payer money? Isn’t Goldman Sachs who we should be confronting? Where’s the outrage?

Where’s Glenn Beck’s hunt for wrongdoers of this magnitude? Where’s the weeks' worth of expose to take down those who are really doing ‘treasonous’ and treacherous things that harm the working class America? Does anyone think that Glenn Beck targets (like Van Jones, Mark Lloyd, or Yosi Sergent) are the ones disrupting American life—or is it the dipshits giving out billions of dollars in bonuses to their management teams after we bailed them out? Will any of those billions be stimulating your economy anytime soon? Twenty-three billion dollars in bonuses, folks ... 23 billion.

I’m sitting here watching this newscast, which is followed by unsettling news about people being robbed. Good Lord, we have our priorities wrong.

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