Siding With The Oppressor

Please do not confuse my lack of outrage as a disinterest in your cause. But, then again, do not confuse vandalism, arson, looting, shooting, censorship, or fear mongering as the only viable weapons of outrage. Simple, written words can be just as galvanizing.

I passed a shop window earlier this morning. The shop owners had scribbled in a hazardous, in-your-face font, “Taking no side means you side with the oppressor!” (I think they might sell $15 subs, or $15 pints).

Siding with the oppressor.

I simply must disagree with that statement. It demands something of you even if you don’t have a dog in the fight. It actually goes even worse than that when you think about it. The statement warns that if you do not take their side of the fight, then they’ll destroy you, too.

And the first thing you do is ask, “What is it I’m fighting for….or against??? Who are you, by the way?”

It doesn’t matter what the fight is. You are culpable if you don’t chose their side. You wanna talk about oppression….? Ok, THAT sounds like oppression.

I’m sorry. But, I cannot commit to a fight I know NOTHING about. I cannot commit to a side if I have no personal interest in what the fight is even about.

To my knowledge, the actions I have taken in my life have never done harm to anyone, my actions never enslaved anyone. To the best of my recollection, none of my actions ever imprisoned someone. But, I will take a low credit score for saying I’ve done all those things to myself.

I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that I’m doing my best to make a few bucks off my hard work, pretty up my home, and spend a day off with my husband crouched between cushions on a couch watching crappy cult classics. I’m itching to find a moment where any of those actions or desires left a segment of the population oppressed.

As far as I can tell, none of that ever marginalized anyone. As a matter of fact, I’m going to think that old friendships between different races have only grown stronger since we were suddenly given permission to despise people publicly.

Like many people, I’m just trying to find peace in the simple things in life, hoping to have something of my own, at no expense to someone else, and due to no fault of another.

You’re asking us to give into an anger that many of us didn’t feel before…..corralling us into compliant camps.

And that pretty much tells me everything I need to know: your fight isn’t with me. It isn’t even with you….it is whatever oppressor tells us to choose a side and hate each other.

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  1. I agree. I cannot think of anyone I owe an apology or special treatment. Just living my life the best way I can, treating everyone respectfully and expect the same even demand the same from others I worked outside the home and at home raising my family to be responsible and respectable and not expecting anything any different of others. Proud to be a human and American.

  2. Please know I live in MN my friend who works at walmart told me her husband came up from his new job in GA to get his wife and children away from this mess…..( he is black she is white ) but the looting and violence has nothing to do with George’s passing….he was a good man people are using him

  3. Thank you Gregory. You put into words something I have been trying to say for a while now. Thank you.

    1. He puts into words what many feel I wish I could write as eloquently as he does plus the guy can knit like nobody’s business I am jealous of his talents on so many levels

  4. Perhaps they are remembering the statement ‘For evil to flourish, is is necessary for good men to do nothing’ and applying it to a situation which is far more nuanced and complex than 1930’s Nazi Germany. Broad brush strokes can’t show the little details of our individual lives.

  5. I understand how you feel. However, as a teacher of 30 years of students of all races, I felt that I was missing something. I just read White Fragility by Robin Diangelo. I get it now. I understand why black people feel the way they do. Try reading this with an open mind and see if it changes anything for you.

  6. What does it say that it takes bravery to speak your feelings and thoughts nowadays? Nice peace, Gregory. Now if only we could have peace.

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