Do The Oppressed Support the Oppressors?

“Contrary to the ‘rugged individualism’ myth Americans fancy about themselves, we are, in fact, wholly dependent on each other. “

An opinion by guest blogger Faizeh Al-Zarqa.  This was originally posted one year ago, but is as relevant today as it was then.

A couple weeks ago, we were watching Samantha Bee and she was showing a clip of Rep. Louis Gohmert rambling on in his usual nonsensical way, and she made some jokes and said something to the effect of “Thank goodness there’s no one crazier than Louis Gohmert!” At that moment, I turned to Drew and said, “Except Steve King.” I had barely finished saying that when she rolled the clip, and Gohmert was relinquishing his time to his colleague and friend Steve King, who went on to say more ridiculous things. In case you don’t remember who Steve King is, he’s the representative from Iowa who loves to say (in seriousness) racist things. Last fall, I watched, live, as he stated that all good things and societal advances have been made by white people. He argued with the other people on the panel when they tried to correct him. He is someone who truly believes white people are superior to others, and more importantly, a whole lot of people think he is a good representative for them.

Science has shown us again and again that when a person or group in power must relinquish any portion of that power, even to make things more equitable, they will often perceive that loss of power as persecution and/or oppression. The interesting thing is that often, groups who have been the minority groups are so socialized to accept the power of the majority group that they will often perceive that loss of power as unjust as well. Our brains are malleable and fascinating! One study on gender equality in the classroom showed that when the teacher purposely made time talking in class equal between genders, both groups perceived that the women were talking 90% of the time and the men only 10%, even though they each had the floor 50% of the time. Typically, men and boys take up about 80% of classroom talking time.

Anyway, back to Steve King. Clearly, he represents a lot of people who are either in agreement with his racial viewpoints, or not bothered by them. Clearly he is able to walk the halls of the capital and make friends with others who are either in agreement or not bothered by them. This is not just your racist uncle you have to try and ignore on holidays.

While it may feel good to punch nazis, that response does nothing beyond giving these people another way to feel persecuted. I would suggest another method- ostracizing them. Stop working with them. Stop tolerating them. Stop f***ing voting for them. Contrary to the “rugged individualism” myth Americans fancy about themselves, we are, in fact, wholly dependent on each other. Denying people our resources and company because they don’t deserve any goodwill will probably not get them to practice self examination, but it will force them to bury those destructive and evil views where they will only eat at the holder of said views.

Faizeh Al-Zarqa is a dancer and dance instructor who also raises awareness of social issues, some that are often missed. In the Kingdom of Caid in the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), she has served as Regent, Minister of Arts & Sciences Officer, Kingdom Chatelaine (administrator for newcomers), Regent, and Queen.

The photo Diversity and Unity is by Frerieke from The Hague, The Netherlands. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

An opinion of a poster to The Loveshade Family Blog does not necessarily reflect the views of the whole family.

11 thoughts on “Do The Oppressed Support the Oppressors?

  1. We do need each other. And totalitarian regimes don’t come from nowhere, they are supported by the very people whom they will oppress. The caste system in Indian would had collapsed overnight if the people on the bottom got together and said we don’t want this anymore. Look at how Gandhi and his followers changed the nation.

  2. This is really true. When you have a fight, both sides lose. Even the side that wins loses something. And if the persecuted people start persecuting their persecutors, they become the same.

    It’s like some white people thought because Barack Obama was black he’d go after the white people, but of course he didn’t.

    You don’t convert people to your side by being mean to them.

  3. Rich conservative whites think they don’t need anybody. Until their workers walk out on them.

  4. I believe what you said about boys and girls. I remember teachers saying the boys were smart, and the girls were pretty. The boys worked to be smarter, and the girls worked to be prettier.

    None of us can do it alone. Equality only works if everyone has it.

    • As a school worker, I tried very hard not to fall into that “smart boys/pretty girls” trap. As much of a personist as I am, I still had to battle with the impulse to point out the boys’ accomplishments and the girls’ attractiveness. If we don’t work to overcome it, we tend to fall into the behavior patterns we were raised in.

  5. So another Miley Spears sockpuppet is posting her s***? A female SCA dancer saying EXACTLY THE SAME S*** as SCA dancer Miley and we’re supposed to believe it’s not a sockpuppet? F**** MILEY-FAIZEH!

    We censored some of the words in this comment. Please see our posting policy.

    • Historically, the oppressed often outnumber the oppressors, but rarely rebel. This can be because of immediate concerns–where can I get food and medical care outweighs let’s organize a march. It can also be because of fear–they have guns we have pitchforks. It can be because they’ve given up hope for change. And it can, oddly, be because they think things should be that way.

      Pope Hilde mentioned the Caste system above. The Caste system in India has changed, but in some form it has existed since ancient times. People are raised to believe God or Gods or Destiny or Higher Power or whatever put them where they are because that’s where they’re supposed to be. As strange as it may seem, it can actually give people a sense of security and belonging.

      Another factor is that people generally don’t get into office by offering something worse or even more of the same. They promise to make things better. People who are looking for something better want to believe things can be better, and are often deceived.

  6. Haven’t been here before, saw this on Facebook. Faizeh knows what she’s talking about. She took care of the biggest crisis in SCA Caid history, and it went smoothly.

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