The Power Of Oppression

If I’ve learned anything from my Race, Class, and Gender class so far, it is this: In our modern, politically correct society, being oppressed is a source of power. To refuse to acknowledge that someone is oppressed is taken as a sign of guilt, marking the person who objected as oppressive themselves. Much like the Salem witch trials, one is forced to chose between falsely admitting guilt or declaring innocence, and so proving their guilt. In short, in matters of discrimination, the systems sides with accusers.

Don’t misunderstand me, I wont deny the statistical evidence. I find it easy to believe that, just as the now past colonial period has left enduring imbalances between the developed and the developing nations, so too has our past of institutionalized oppression and  prejudice left marks on our present. I believe there are still people, both with power and without, who hold to those old notions and discretely oppress others. I wont deny either that our country aught to do more to help people who want to improve their lives, even if I can’t say what form that help should take.

However, the fact that members of a minority, by right of these largely non-intentional systems of imbalance, have a right to create new imbalanced systems without being open to moral criticism is terrible. Our country is founded on the notion of free speech and public debate, yet “affirmative action” movements, legislation, and systems are protected by an unassailable moral boundary. As a white, middle class male, for me to suggest that any of these systems is unfair is to be deemed a racist, a sexist, or an elitist, without recourse. I am expected to be apologetic for a system I did not begin nor which I wish to see continued. Even writing this, I stand to potentially lose readers or take criticism because I refuse to to the line.

If you don’t believe me, look at this very situation, for I have seized the high ground, so to speak. How can you respond to this article, if you are not also a white, middle-class male? You may be apologetic, changing your views because of what I’ve said, or you may call me a liar, a racist, a sexist, an elitist, an uncaring person, and so prove my point.


One Response to “The Power Of Oppression”

  1. doug Says:

    your best post so far nice job

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