Faces of today’s oppression

After reading, “Five Faces of Oppression”, I concluded that marginalized, powerlessness, and violence all exist in the United States today. On page 51 Iris Young writes, “Even if marginals were provided a comfortable material life within institutions that respected their freedom and dignity, injustices of marginality would remain in the form of uselessness, boredom, and lack of self respect”. This explanation means that those who are marginalized will find it difficult to escape oppression because of internal oppression developed as a result of the marginality that they were exposed to prior to success. For example, a black CEO of a company might go home and sulk in their boredom and uselessness after realizing the people that they most relate to are stuck in the system that hinders people that look like them from making it to where they are. 

On page 52 Iris Young explains, “An adequate conception of oppression cannot ignore the experience of social division reflected in the colloquial distinction between the ‘middle class’ and the ‘working class’, a division structured by the social division of labor and the status it carries”. Those who are in the middle class have self declared themselves to have power over the working class. However, labor status has nothing to do with power, as people are created equally and no one has power over another, especially when it comes to status based on job position. For example, an employee at a company may feel a sense of powerlessness just because their job is more necessary to their survival than the CEO’s job is. 

On page 56 Iris Young states, “Members of some groups live with the knowledge that they must fear random, unprovoked attacks on their persons or property, which have no motive but to damage, humiliate, or destroy the person”. The first thing that comes to mind is definitely police brutality. Before even being accused of a crime, people of color are tracked down just because of their skin color or neighborhood. Then, in some cases they are attacked and accused of resisting. Police brutality has led to many black people being seriously injured, and in some cases killed. For example, Tyre Nichols was beaten to death after running from the police once pulled over for reckless driving. It seems as if police officers resort to the most extreme form of punishment for black people, no matter the crime. This form of oppression only happens because police officers abuse their power and take advantage of the stereotypes that have been created against people of color. 

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