“Tomorrow, wear a polo and khakis
“Seriously. polos and khakis. Every time you guys DO finally get some fucking press, it’s a scrawny dude with dreads in a ratty t-shirt. You’re going big here, dress it. Tomorrow, Polo shirt and Khakis.
“Why? Because you need to get the right-leaning equivalent of me on your side.”
Now, this isn’t entirely bad advice. It’s not particularly good advice, but it’s not the worst advice ever offered.
As a Twitter intervention into Occupy Wall Street, though, it really really sucks.
I’ve been down to OWS three times. What I saw there was a mix of people, from a mix of backgrounds, wearing a mix of ensembles. There are professionals in suits there, and union workers in jeans and tee shirts and boots. Grandmothers. Hippies. Punks. Secretaries. Dorks.
So if you think it’s important that the nation move beyond the stereotype that OWS is just a bunch of dirty hippies…
Don’t blast your 1.8 million followers with a tweet that stereotypes OWS as a bunch of dirty hippies.
That tweet wasn’t helpful. It was the opposite of helpful. You know what would be helpful? Helpful would be declaring solidarity with the protest without being “helpful.” Helpful would be encouraging your followers to identify with OWS, instead of encouraging them to stand on the sidelines tut-tutting.
That Reddit post uses the word “you” twenty-three times in fourteen short paragraphs. “We”? None. None times. The Reddit guy claims he’s on the side of OWS, claims he wants middle America to see OWS as part of its “us,” but he’s not willing to be a part of that transformation himself.
He’s not willing to show up and put his polo-clad shoulder to the wheel.
And that act, that act of solidarity, is exactly what’s needed right now.
You want to help? Don’t tell a bunch of hippies to go buy polos and khakis. Tell your hundreds of thousands of polo-and-khaki garbed Twitter followers to put on their work clothes and head over to Liberty Plaza. That’s what’s needed, and that’s what’s possible.
Because you and I both know that it’s a hell of a lot easier to get an IT dork to go to a con than it is to convince a trustafarian to shave off his dreads.