It Shouldn’t Have to Come To This
Upon hearing the news yesterday morning coming out of Alexandria, Virginia I felt anguished over the premeditated measure of violence that shook our sensibilities. Gun violence has an uncanny way of stirring up a convolution of emotions, mixing in varying degrees of the most virulent to the most benign, of which gets swept up in a swirling cloud that inevitably dissipates over time. In its wake we conjure what caused it, what to make of it, and what to do about it. We pretend that this disaster is isolated, infrequent and odd, even unanticipated, but it isn’t.
Our government seems committed to this concept of false generosity with loose gun laws or gun advocacy — giving the appearance of freedom and equality through the right to bear arms — when in fact its complicity with certain in-groups (NRA being the most influential) instead creates an imbalance and a deference to dominant social identity groups (oppressors).
The false justification of a need for protection from the government or to serve as a check on American government— a battle you can’t possibly win on any scale with gun violence is absurd. To think that you can fight the oppressor by becoming the oppressor is rooted in fantasy and delusion. In fact it is clearly in keeping and maintaining this oppressive structure in society. This is why we are increasingly seeing the militarization of police. Imagine the military response when called upon combined with that initial wave of law enforcement force.
The idiocy of James Hodgkinson exemplifies this. In fact he simply increased the oppression in our society by his actions. My views on oppression comes from the study of Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed. The takeaway is quite relevant but profoundly overlooked and neglected.
…the great humanistic and historical task of the oppressed: to liberate themselves and their oppressors as well. — Paulo Freire
Obama calls Sen. Jeff Flake after Alexandria shooting
Former President Obama called Sen. Jeff Flake after the shooting at the Republicans' practice for Thursday's…
…the Arizona senator said the former president delivered a “great speech” after Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Arizona, was shot in 2011.The former president also asked that Flake pass on his regards to Scalise, who underwent surgery at a local medical center.
“He just said, ‘I hope that this does bring more unity,’ and he wanted me to pass on certainly his regards if he wasn’t able to get to Steve or others before me that he was praying for their good health,” Flake said. “It was a nice call.”
It is up to this privileged oppressor class within our government to set a precedent of non-vitriolic attitudes and behaviors and move away from this divisive and hostile climate of politics with dispassionate debate and resolve. While in the aftermath and wake of this tragic moment there can be some unuttered genuine compassion for the oppressed as well, that sentiment is often lost by talk of more security measures (more weaponization) which only seeks to solidify and sustain the oppression and not address the structures that cultivate it.
To be clear, oppressors are individuals or groups that oppress others. To oppress means to cause undue stress, anxiety or hardships upon others by unjust exercise of authority and measures which results in oppression: a state of prolonged inequity.
This is not a liberal or conservative matter it is simply a matter of dehumanization. A devolution of ourselves through inane rhetoric that is unbecoming seems overwhelming, as we sit here and watch our evolution come undone by senseless acts of violence through the generosity of un-restrictions and tools (symbolisms) that facilitate mass and self-destruction.
Imploring democratic principles of rational debate and deliberation can lead to relief from oppression. Concurrently, we are only seeing the enabling of certain members of the oppressed with false charity or false generosity to becoming ideologue sub-oppressors which serve to strengthen the oppressor; a cycle of oppression. There is relief in genuine liberation from this: from having no oppressor and therefore no oppressed.