Oppression can take on many different forms, if only because we as people can manifest from ourselves in so many different ways and forms. Identifying as a multiracial individual, whose ideas and life styles stretch across several lines and categories, its a bit easier for me see and relate to the realities of the intolerances to difference. If one supposes, that oppression has no hierarchy, I therefore suppose oppression has no value of less then or greater then. Oppression is oppression.
By definition, to oppress is to put under weight for being different, and to subjugate is to bring under the dominion or to subdue who another person or persons are in order to force them to be other then themselves. To me, that sounds like bullying, and therefore compels me to address oppression in that manifest form. Bullying. Not in so much “why” people bully but more as an empathetic sense of the oppressed, of the bullied. For I have been in the position of the latter more often then the former.
I see it essentially as one person or persons believing what they want being more important then what another may need, without regard of repercussions. Or possibly its more about one person or persons feeling so intensely insecure in who they are, it drives them to commit oppressive acts upon another who is of a perceived difference, in an effort to make themselves feel equal to or better.
The obvious differences of sexuality, race, and religion can be easily seen, and thus can be more easily discriminated against. However, I’d rather speak to the more subtle difference of ‘just being different’. Meaning those who don’t quite fit, those who may be dealing with some type a varied level of social anxiety disorder or social akwardness not having quiet been figured out yet. Those who may dress different, sound different, have different interests and feelings then what is readily known or seen to the passerby. Those who feel and actally are outcasted.
Such differences are what make people who they are and is no more a permission slip for them or us to be pushed on, taunted or made to feel unworthy then is the color of ones skin, gender or sexual preference. Is not difference what makes art artistic? Is not contrast the basic tenant of what the eye defines as art? Which one of us would find a blank canvas artistic or beautiful? By definition, “difference’ is to be dissimilar or distinct in form, nature, quality or amount. ‘Contrast’ is defined as the act of setting in opposition in order to show or emphasis difference or dissimilarity. Thus by definition, difference and contrast are the artistic pulse of the worlds we live in.
In conclusion, let me ask you this. How can you tell the difference between two blank canvases? If we as people were as non different as blank canvases, how would we then be able to fall in love with each other? What would make our hearts skip a beat if we couldn’t tell the differences between each other? If we sounded exactly the same, looked and acted exactly like everyone else around us? I’d say it’d be quite boring, but that’s just me and I’m different.
Thanks for Listening.
Jason B. Thompson
Categories: Jason Thompson