The Existence of “faces of oppression” in the U.S

In Five Faces of Oppression, Iris Young uses a family of concepts and conditions that she divides into categories to help understand and describe oppression. The five concepts she discusses are exploitation, marginalization, powerlessness, cultural imperialism and violence. Out of the five concepts she described there are two that I feel like still exist in the United States, exploitation, and violence.

 The first one I would like to discuss is violence, Young says that members of some groups live with the knowledge that they must fear random, unprovoked attacks on their persons or property.I believe this still exists because in my hometown of Dallas, a police officer accidentally entered the wrong apartment and shot and killed an innocent black man who was in the privacy of his own home, and I believe if the man had been of a different race things would have went much differently. Many innocent and unarmed black men lose their lives every year due to police brutality, and oftentimes those police officers are able to get off free. As a young black woman I fear everyday for the safety of my brothers, cousins and friends, I feel that black people automatically have a target on their backs just for being black. Also many people in the United States experience unprovoked violence just because of their sexuality.

I also feel that exploitation still exists in the United States. I feel that lower class people are taken advantage of, they do lots of work but receive little pay. They barely receive enough money to live comfortably and cover their basic needs. Minimum wage in Texas is $7.25, so a 40 hour work would equate to a check of $290 and yearly amount of $15,080 dollars. Without government assistance most minimum wage workers wouldn’t have housing, transportation or even be able to eat. While the prices of gas, food, clothes and other items rise the minimum wage amount stays the same hurting the lower class.

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