A new study by the City University of New York has shown that the disenfranchised, put-upon occupiers of 2011-2012 were actually disproportionately rich and overwhelmingly white.
The sociologists interviewed 729 people who were involved in the occupation of Zuccotti Park in the fall of 2011 and found that they were highly educated and lacked racial/ethnic diversity. There were also far more men protesting than reflected in New York City demographics.
The study also found that 37 percent of the active participants pulled in household incomes above $100,000, and 80 percent held a bachelor’s degree or higher. Almost all of the respondents considered themselves a professional of some trade, with only 8 percent registering as blue collar. White, non-Hispanics made up 67 percent of the Zuccotti squatters.
“When people are saying, ‘Occupy Wall Street is a white middle-class thing,’ I can’t really fight them, because it’s not true,” Michele Crentsil, 23, told the researchers. “But then it’s not necessarily false either.”
One respondent described the occupy leaders as “a predominantly young white male group.” Another said they were “more privileged and more college-educated, and sometimes beyond college-educated.”
More than 72 percent of respondents age 30 or older had donated funds to President Obama’s 2008 campaign. Almost 43 percent knocked on doors for the then-candidate.