Opinion: To end oppression, we must change our views of people | SierraSun.com

Opinion: To end oppression, we must change our views of people

In our society, we find cultural values and habits that support the oppression of some persons and groups of people by other persons and groups.

These habits take on many forms, but they basically share the same structure. If we are effectively trying to end oppression, we have to understand the factors that maintain these habits and address the things we do to maintain/support them.

As we all are aware of the most oppressive legal structure in American history was the institution of slavery. The idea that one person can own another was limited firstly by the Emancipation Proclamation and then found to be illegal later by the Thirteenth Amendment.

While slavery was not only about whites' oppression of blacks, the oppressive system continues in the form of racism. While all cultures have their own variations of oppression based on race, the general consensus is that the darker the skin, the less power and social value one has.

Consequently, this gives the lighter skin population the right to dominate and prosper in society.

Furthermore, our culture tends to value males above females. While the culture around this is quickly changing, we still have the need to tell women what they can and cant do with their bodies. Also, we tend to believe that a woman's place in society is at home, taking care of the home and children. These belief leads to an unequal distribution of equality/power. This is what we know as sexism.

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These are only a few habits we have as a whole that breed social construction. If we are effectively trying to end oppression, we must change our views of other people and end these social constructs.

Angel Gonzalez

Tahoe Vista