Oppression is a daily cruel social act that targets individual groups based on their age, race, gender, sexuality, etc. Oppressors judge and ridicule different groups to make them feel less than what is known to be the “norm”. Inequality is huge part of oppression. Oppressors believe that they are better than everyone who doesn’t fall into their category/group. In simpler terms, oppressors are bullies and the oppressed are the victims. There are five different kinds of oppression: Exploitation, Marginalization, Powerlessness, Cultural Imperialism, and Violence. Exploitation is when someone uses an individual group to work in labor for their own personal wealth. Marginalization is when a certain group of individuals can’t receive a job because of discrimination. Powerlessness is when professionals have more power and receive more respect than nonprofessionals. Cultural Imperialism is when a group is demeaned, devalued, and stereotyped by the values of the dominant group. Violence is when a certain group of individuals get targeted by abusers.
The one face of oppression that has occurred more frequently nationwide that I noticed is violence, more specifically, violence against the black community. This issue has been occurring for a very long time but recently, it has been getting out of hand. I remember my very first time hearing about Trayvon Martin and I was just 11 years old. Trayvon Martin was just a 17 year old kid walking home from the convenience store. The only reason Zimmerman thought he looked suspicious was because of Trayvon’s hoodie. A hoodie. Who knew that this was the story that was going to start the “Black lives matter” movement. After Trayvon Martin, many more started to arise. The main problem is the injustice that these victims receive. Zimmerman verdict was “not guilty”. As time continued to today, more and more of these injustice shootings of African Americans are now coming from the people who are supposed to PROTECT and serve the citizens of this country, police officers. What protecting are the police doing? The only thing I see is that they are so called “protecting themselves” or calling it “self defense” when the victims are unarmed. It would be better if we saw some action happening towards the policemen responsible for murder but sadly not we haven’t seen enough. Police brutality has become a real problem in the United States and our justice system isn’t doing what it needs to do to end the injustice. The most recent shocking news in circling the country right now is the death of Tyre Nichols, a victim of police brutality. What’s abnormal about this situation is that the five policemen that beaten Tyre Nichols were all Black. Why, just why?
Rodney King, Tyre Nichols, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many, many more are victims of police brutality. Say their names. They shall never be forgotten.
There has been a rise in violence all throughout the United States and its been like this for a very long time. Even though, the violence isn’t the only face of oppression, I believe it to be the most important. Abusing and killing people because they are different than the majority is never okay and shouldn’t be undermined because they aren’t apart of the white community. Who says white people are the heads of society? Who says they have control over everything and everyone? Who gave them the power? Why are the people who are supposed to protect their citizens killing them instead? There are so many questions that we can’t really fully answer. Oppression is a sickness spreading around the world. Will this ever end?
I am a Senior, Chemistry PreMed major from PG County, Maryland.