Occupy Wall Street: Who’s playing the “blame game”?

https://readthespirit.com/ourvalues/wp-content/uploads/sites/17/2013/03/wpid-1112_ov_Occupy_Wall_Street.jpgOne of dozens of Occupy Wall Street photo portraits that demonstrators are passing around the Internet this week to show the wide range of ages, races and cultures taking part in the demonstrations. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.Are the Occupy Wall Street protestors—and the protesters in dozens of other cities—playing the “victim card”? By blaming Wall Street for its role in the economic crisis, they are playing the card, said Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain on Face the Nation this week. The protestors are just “jealous” of wealthy Americans, Cain said, and he doesn’t have much patience for those who criticize the financial success of others.

“Playing the victim card” means the “victims” are trying to deny responsibility for their problems—like being out of a job. They’re trying to divert attention away from the “real” issues. If you don’t have a job, you have no one to blame but yourself. Don’t blame Wall Street, corruption, or greed.

Cain seems to be playing a different version of the blame game: blaming the victim. In this game, victims are blamed for their fates. They are culpable in producing the problems they have. Newt Gingrich, who was on the same weekend broadcast, also blames the victim. He held up Steve Jobs as a model of the real American tradition: people who work hard and make something of themselves. And, of course, both politicians blame Obama for fomenting “class warfare” and his “failed” policies.

So, how do you see it?

Are the protestors “playing the victim card”?

Or, are politicians like Cain and Gingrich blaming the victims?

Originally published at www.OurValues.org, an online experiment in civil dialogue on American values.

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