Oppression wears a smile

I was reminded recently that oppression wears a smile. It doesn’t sneer or condescend, like you might expect. Nah. It pats you on the back, asks how you’re doing, and proceeds to ignore your response.

If it did listen, it would understand the tremendous damage it’s done to you and those you love. Instead, it smiles and nods and daydreams while you talk. That’s why it’s always so surprised when you speak out, when you protest, when you riot.

When it does engage, it ignores heartfelt pleas, logical arguments, and academic research. It’s immune to facts and figures – viewing disparities as coincidences. It knows nothing of history, except what it chooses to remember.

It always favors the status quo, couching everything in an argument for the greater good. It’s obsessed with fairness, but has zero understanding of equity.

It votes republican and democrat.

Mostly, it wants you to believe that it doesn’t exist, except in some abstract form. But, if corporations are people, so is oppression. We study, work, and chill with it on the daily. It’s so ubiquitous that, exhausted from resisting, we often allow it to ignore us. Check that. We allow *them* to ignore us.

These are not abstract beings. They are the people in our spheres of influence, and they go by many names – friends, co-workers, acquaintances.

We allow them to turn their heads when a mirror is set in front of them. We allow their ignorant views to persist, despite clear evidence to the contrary. We allow them to minimize our struggle. Shit, we allow them to minimize us. And we do so at our own peril.

Oppression is sinister in its indifference. Your resistance to it is warranted, and necessary.