Oppression has consequences
Consequences for everyone. The oppressed and the oppressor. We all pay a terrible price for maintaining systems of inequality.
- When some of our children are educated and others are not we all pay a price
- When some of our neighbors are safe and others are not we all pay a price
- When some of us can practice our religion while others cannot we all pay a price
The price we pay is high. Astronomical
We all lose when every member of our community is not seen and acknowledge. We lose creativity, innovation, and contributions because of the barriers on the personal and societal level that don’t allow us all to fully participate.
We lose in all the ways. We lose both socially and morally by not acting.
The harm faced by marginalized folks can only continue if that person’s humanity is diminished.
If we see them as less than fully human.
Throughout this country’s history (and still today) we have imprisoned people on reservations and in internment camps. We have sent generation after generation to inferior and failing schools. We have allowed millions of people to live in unsafe segregated neighborhoods, we have blocked access to capital while creating prisons and life-long poverty for so many of our citizens.
These issues were built upon by this country’s original and greatest sins: genocide, slavery, and patriarchy.
We did that. Some of us benefit from those choices every day. Others of us do not
We continue to reinforce these sins via policy and systems institutions and the ways we chose to navigate the world.
We all pay. Something in us has to be diminished so we can continue with this system that diminishes others. I have to allow myself to be broken, so I can see my neighbor struggle and not respond to their plight.
The price we pay makes us small and scared and complicit. People of color must be constantly vigilant to read the minds of their oppressors so that they can navigate safely in this world with as few penalties/punishments as possible.
Oppressors, however, do not need to understand anything about anyone other than themselves to survive
If there is a “subjugated” then we have to have a “subjugator”.
I may lose my life as a black woman, but you definitely lose your humanity when you turn a blind’s eye to my pain.
This system was created. That means it can also be dismantled
Rules have to be changes
Roles have to be changes
This freedom thing that I talk about can not happen alone. The constant trauma with no healing is killing us all. It calls upon us to show up in new ways – ways that transform.
This current system is fueled by our obedience, by us not feeling, by our segregation and by the collective not seeing.
The days of colluding are over.
We can not get free by pretending.
Let’s break these chains and go get free together.