Classism: How it plays out

First of all, I am going to define the word classism. Classism is the institutional, cultural, and individual set of practices and beliefs that value people differently based on their socio-economic class, privileging people who are wealthy and targetting people who are poor or working class.

Our society gives power to those who are wealthy, for 1%, yes ONE PERCENT of the U.S population holds 48% of the wealth. Crazy right? That means the majority of us, 80% to be exact, hold only 6% of the U.S wealth. Talk about an uneven distribution of wealth.

During the summer, I went to a camp called CLI, Community Leadership Institute. It focused on issues of oppression and social justice. One thing we talked about, was classism, and how we see it play out. This is what we came up with :

How classism plays out at school

  • The cliques. We noticed that often times wealthier students stick together, building a wall between the upper and lower class students.
  • The extra cirricular activities, which are often times expensive.
  • College prep tend to have more minorities. (racism as well as classism).
  • Teachers make assumptions about lower class people sometimes, and expect more from students of higher class.

How classism plays out in the community

  • People of higher class “showing off” their cars.
  • Some sales people make assumptions about people they perceive as lower class and assume that they won’t buy anything.
  • If a sales person assumes you are lower class, they suspect you of stealing more
  • Sales people tend to be friendlier towards people they perceive to be wealthy, because they are more likely to purchase something.

There are literally thousands of ways classism plays out, but these are just a few examples we came up with. What can you do to stop classism in your community?

  • Try to organize events that are free!
  • Don’t ask people questions about how much money they have.
  • Try to set up financial aide in schools for students who can’t afford books, field trips, prom, etc.
  • Try your best to see people for who they are, not the money they have.
  • Be friends with people of all socio-economic classes, and encourage your friends to do the same.

If you have any examples of how YOU see classism play out, e-mail me or comment below! I would love to hear what you have to say (:

This is an example of unequal wealth distribution! Photo from: http://www.streetartutopia.com/?p=4334

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Occupy Festival!

Today, the Occupy Festival occurred. It was a festival in celebration of the Occupy movement and the resistance to corporate rule for 4 months! It was awesome! There was a free market, live music and performances, workshops, free food, face painting, art, and more. It was at De la Guerra plaza! I got there around 12:00 and started looking around.

This is a picture of the festival when I first got there (:

Here are some more pictures I took throughout the day of things that I thought were cool at the festival (:

So true

This is some chalk art people did on the sidewalk (:

This is a free zine I got!

I also got 2 free patches:

I also got 2 free shirts, a bracelet, and lots of posters and pamphlets! At about 1:30 I attended a workshop about Cultural Appropration, so that was really interesting. If any of you don’t know what it is, Cultural appropriation is the adoption of some specific elements of one culture by a different cultural group. It describes acculturation or assimilation , but can imply a negative view towards acculturation from a minority culture by a dominant culture. It can include the introduction of forms of dress or personal adornment, music and art, religion,dress, or social behavior. We talked about how certain halloween costumes are offensive. We also talked about clothing which imitates the clothing of a specific culture, when the person wearing the clothing knows nothing about the culture. To learn more about this issue, go to:

Overall, the festival was awesome! It brought people together and educated us as well. I had a lot of fun, and if there is ever another one I will let ya’ll know! Thanks (:

Upcoming events in Santa Barbara!

There are some local events coming up soon if anyone is interested! This Saturday, February 18th, there will be a GSA (Gay straight alliance) picnic at Goleta Beach starting at 12:00 pm. Anyone is welcome! It will be a great way to have fun and get to know each other!

Another upcoming event is the Occupy festival at De La Guerra Plaza! It is also on Saturday, February 18th and it will start at 11 am and end at 9! It will be a celebration of direct democracy and 4 months of resistance to the corporate rule. There will be live music and performances, free food and coffee, and workshops! There will be a free market and we will be playing games! We will be creating banners, signs, and more! It will be a LOT of fun so I hope to see all of you there!

There will also be the 5th Annual Women’s Fesival on March 9 and 10th at Santa Barbara City College. It is in honor of Women’s Day on March 8th! The event takes place to celebrate the accomplishments of women and the rights we have gained over the years! Remember, you don’t have to be a woman to be a supporter of equal rights! I hope ya’ll can make it! It will be 9 am-6 pm.

I will let you all know about any other upcoming events in the community! Thank you!