The article I just read, Five Faces of Oppression, is very different in comparison to other texts I’ve read. It actually enlightened me and made me aware of different groups who are oppressed that I see on a day to day basis in America. Before this article, I wouldn’t even look to think that these same groups are oppressed in our current societies in America. Iris Young goes into great detail to explain and give examples of different people and groups who are affected by this injustice. From the title alone we knew Young was going to tell us five types of oppression. They are exploitation, powerlessness, marginalization, violence, and cultural imperialism. Each one of these categories contributes to the oppression and limitations of human groups by denying them opportunities that can actually contribute to their success or even make them better well-rounded individuals. And by groups, I mean those who are inferior or seem abnormal because the majority group normalizes a specific culture, idea, or custom.
Based on this article, I realized I’ve witnessed oppression as well as been a victim of it too! The most common types I’ve seen very often in our society is marginalization, powerlessness, and cultural imperialism. This marginalization has been witnessed with ex-convicts and non-degree individuals that have experience. These groups try to get jobs but society’s standards won’t use these individuals for labor because they have a record or don’t have a piece of paper that makes them qualified. This ‘standard’ is limiting these individuals and depriving them from resources to survive! With life comes necessities to live and those things aren’t free in the 21st century. You must have a job to purchase and sustain those basic resources to live. It is a never-ending cycle of oppression. Currently, in the U.S.Virgin Islands, my entire community is oppressed by our corrupted government. Time and time again, the locals are disrespected by the authorities in charge and feel their participation in public hearings and voting won’t mean anything. Their concerns are going in one ear and coming out the next with nothing resolve.
For decades, the U.S.Virgin Islands’ main source for electricity and water is this company called W.A.P.A(Water and Power Authority). WAPA has taken advantage of the locals with their overpriced services for years with little to no change in how they administer their service. Virgin Islanders feel powerless. Their outcry for help has been long overdue and they don’t realize this particular situation is oppression. Oppression will always exist until the people in charge, lawmakers, the wealthy, and white America realize they are the problems. At the end of the day, he who holds the most power wins!