We're eating the rich — giving 'Rich’ fresh purpose

By Shayler Richmond

photo by Aaron Miles (Washington, D.C.) (Aug. 2020)

Eating the rich and giving 'Richness’ fresh purpose helps to create space for everyone.


Centering Blackness includes centering Black wealth, eating the rich helps to ensure the wealth we are building is not intertwined with the same capitalist values that have crippled America’s ability to build equitable communities.


The term “eat the rich’ has a revolutionary history.


“When the people shall have nothing more to eat, they will eat the rich,” is a quote written in the 1700s by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, a Genevan writer and political theorist.


In 2020, ‘eat the rich’ has resurfaced. Rousseau’s hyperbole is pictured on a light post in Washington, D.C.


In the 1700s Rousseau was addressing the inequalities and socio-economic conditions poor people were facing in Europe.


“It was a transitional time of declarations and riots, blood spilled, and unchecked, revolutionary hope,” wrote Talia Lavin for GQ.


Almost 300 years after it was written ‘eat the rich” is being recirculated to articulate a call-for-action against the lack of support and protection non-white people receive from the American government


These voices, movements and petitions are not isolated to capitalism. The unresolved police killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Rayshard Brooks, are three of the most recent unarmed police killings that have charged demonstrations around the world.


Capitalism has created space for systemic oppression to thrive, but equity is eating the rich.

The momentum of the movement has allowed for Black Lives Matter to become more visible. The only way disenfranchised people continue to own our power is through


Through the lens of capitalism, people are no longer valued for who they are, instead, people are ostracized based on what they don’t have.


The American government’s response to COVID-19 left poor people to die in their homes and left poor children hungry with no choice but to fall behind in school. Federal aid to hospitals in low-income communities was delayed and limited. Black communities have been disproportionately affected and Black people are dying at a much higher rate, Brookings reported.


Pamela Rush testified to living in an Alabama community with ‘crippling poverty’ and ‘predatory lending’ in 2018. June 2020 she passed away due to COVID-19. According to The Guardian reports. Alabama is just one state still rundown by generations of racial inequality.


According to the US Department of Agriculture, about 37 million Americans live in food-insecure households, including six million children. The systems of governance and operations must continue to be broken apart to make room for all the people America was not built for.


We are becoming who we need to be to give back to those who need it most. The most vulnerable people are Black, women, and other non-white people deprived of equitable opportunities. (Black boys are losing to the United States legal system”, Rich Mag, Feb. 2018) (“Pronounced She•ro”, Rich Mag, Mar. 2018)


The capitalist structure of America works to eliminate poor Americans’ opportunities. The bigoted paradigm created through capitalism enables privileged people to sit idle or support oppressive policies and structural marginalization. People are not worth less because they have less.


Eating the rich is anything curbing the cost of being human... how can the most vulnerable spend fewer dollars and experience less trauma. Eating the rich is seeing the humanity of every situation and never placing a dollar above human life. Our value is deeper than any bank account. Our worth is in who we are and what we can do together.


​“We are owning our narrative and building richness through healing ourselves and one another; richness built on wellness, strong community and genuine joy that overflows; therefore to be Rich is always within our power.”