They Still Exist

I believe that all the five faces of oppression exist today in the United States. Young works to specifically target the oppressions of blacks, Spanish-speaking Americans, jews, and other groups that have often been excluded or reduced by criteria made to explain oppression. For partly this reason alone I find that the five criteria exist today, and might always exist until institution and social systems are changed. 

To begin, the oppression of the working class is influenced by exploitation, marginalization, and powerlessness. They all consider how one’s labor benefits the other, who can and can’t work, and who works for whom respectively. All of these, I’ve discovered, are present in today’s workforce. In her text, Young included a paragraph describing menial labor. Menial work is a term used to describe unskilled, low-paying service employees who lack autonomy and receive little acknowledgment and recompense for their efforts. Laborers on a construction site, for example, are subject to directions from electricians, carpenters, and other professional workers who will be recognized for their services. I find that menial work is no longer “reserved” for blacks, Hispanics, etc… however, systemic problems make it harder for these groups to pursue higher education, and thus pursue better jobs. I consider the systemic oppression these groups face to be an example of powerlessness. For example, as of 2021, nearly 20% of black or African-American identified individuals live in poverty, compared to 8% of whites and 8% of Asians. African-Americans in poverty have little to no work or autonomy within job settings and have no technical expertise or authority. Furthermore, it becomes increasingly hard to afford higher education which qualifies these individuals for better-paying jobs. Lastly, disabled individuals among other groups often experience marginalization. A former USPS driver who lost his job due to an arm injury is discussed in an article by DiversityINC. After his injury, the individual applied for several more jobs but was turned down owing to necessary job functions. The employee then supplied proof that the essential functions were not required to do the job. In my blog post one, I discussed how the ongoing pandemic has also heightened the extent to which people with disabilities experience marginalization.

Cultural imperialism and violence are the final two forms of oppression to be examined. Nearly all groups are “subject to cultural socialism’s oppression,” according to social movements and the youth. That alone accounts for a huge portion of the population of the United States today. When it comes to professionalism, cultural imperialism is a big factor. Caucasians are the majority here. Cultural expressions are frequently thought to be unprofessional. Women, for example, must conform by wearing their hair flat-ironed or slicked back to interviews rather than embracing their natural hair. However, there has been progression with acceptance of natural hair communities, but the stigma sometimes stands depending on the area of profession you’re entering. White equivalents have established a professional standard, making the expression of other groups subordinate. Finally, violence has become increasingly common in recent years. A large number of black males and gays and lesbians have been subject to systemic violence by extremists or hateful individuals. Groups like BLM and the LGBTQ+ community work to create awareness for violence against these groups while also creating a safe space for those individuals and supportive counterparts. 

About nmarks1

I am a sophomore psychology pre-med major. I am also from Houston Tx
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