In the United States today, we see all the faces of oppression at every corner; however, in my opinion, the two most common are exploitation and violence. I believe that the exploitation of essential workers during the covid-19 pandemic is an example. The most needed workers are on the front lines putting their health at risk so that they can help others. These workers are predominantly people of color and low-wage earners, including healthcare workers and grocery store employees. These workers have been forced to work on the front lines without access to adequate protection. Also, the majority of workers have been denied hazard pay.
Another example is the exploitation of delivery drivers and Uber drivers. They’re not eligible for certain benefits, such as paid sick leave; therefore, many of these workers have been forced to work while at risk of contracting covid-19. I believe this is an example of exploitation because the majority of workers are paid very low wages and are denied necessary, basic PPE even though they play a huge role during this time.
Most people may be familiar with the hate crimes against Asian Americans after the covid-19 pandemic, such as verbal harassment, discrimination, and violence, and this is due to their false belief that Asian Americans are responsible for the virus. Most Asian Americans are afraid to report these incidents because of the possibility that they will be harassed even further.
I believe the most common form of violence we witness these days is gun violence. This is usually seen in the form of suicides, accidental shootings, mass shootings, and homicides. It mostly affects marginalized populations. We also see how this violence is due to racism and inequality because, despite making up a minority of the population, Black communities are more likely to become victims of gun violence.
Another example is gun violence aimed at people who are more vulnerable than others, such as LGBTQ+ individuals and homeless people. These people may not have enough support to protect themselves from violent acts such as this.