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Mel Hopkins

Power Vectors of Oppression | Class Race Sexism and More

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Ta-Nehisi Coates, who moved his family to Paris, says it's not much different than living in America meaning there are the same challenges w/ racism but not worse. 

After visiting more than 20 countries over the last 8 years - America is NOT the best place for black people; it's just familiar. I lived in Germany growing up went to school there and remember having a good life.  I like Italy but not every black woman has the same experience I've had there.  Canada, Peru and Argentina felt welcoming to me, especially Miraflores, Lima Peru and I spent a lot of time there. People seem better educated in Canada but their News Media doesn't dumb down reports either.  Argentina was just sexy but the political landscape is a bit in shambles - so its most likely inhospitable to foreigners now.

Anyway, Coates speaks early in the video about his experience.  Overall it's a good interview.  

As I mentioned in the other thread, feminism is needed because of gender oppression  exist and it has to be eradicated while simultaneously squashing other forms of oppression  

Coates masterfully articulates the need for support wherever oppression rears its head.
 

Intro 12:05 -  Outro: 12:45
"Racism is not the sole power vector at work in the United States of America.  Just like I was going to make a case with Senator Sanders, Class is not the sole power vector in the United States of America. ...It takes some sort of particular mindset to say.. all of them are lying. All of them are in conspiracy.  That is related directly to that other power vector of Sexism, that you know has been historically very very strong.  So I think that can't be ignored and the fact that somebody has a boot on your neck - the fact that you too are member of an oppressed class does not mean that you too can't in some way corroborate with the oppression of other people."

 

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America certainly isn't lacking in victims to oppress. There's a whole laundry list of them.  And, yes, their oppressors all fit the same description. But there are variations on how stifling the discrimination is. The black community is very possessive of its racist victimhood because it is all-encompassing and something they can't get around  That's why they don't want to be allied with other groups who they feel, rightly or wrongly, don't have it as bad as they do.  White women in particular do not inspire black empathy and that's who blacks tend to think of when it comes to feminism.  Also the black community is notoriously homophobic and its populace doesn't ally themselves with gays. So its possible that a person who is the victim of racism will himself oppress homosexuals or women.  The victims each have their own axes to grind, and this dissipates their power.

The idea of freedom and justice for all is a lie perpetrated by a Capitalistic Republic masquerading as a Democracy and, aided and abetted by human nature, bias and prejudice will continue to prevail.  Alas, Utopia remains as mythical as Atlantis.   -_-

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13 minutes ago, Cynique said:

erson who is the victim of racism will himself oppress homosexuals or women.  The victims each have their own axes to grind, and this dissipates their power.

The idea of freedom and justice for all is a lie perpetrated by a Capitalistic Republic masquerading as a Democracy and, aided and abetted by human nature, bias and prejudice will continue to prevail.  Alas, Utopia remains as mythical as Atlantis. 

@Cynique your response reads like "America, the review"... As I was reading your words you'd think I was in church - head bobbing up and down, and I'm saying "Yes, so true" at  every period. 

The last sentence was reminiscent of an item I read on Adam Smith's economics.   The author implied that the only way free market capitalism could really work is if no one was oppressed. So yes, definitely mythical but I have to "keep hope alive."

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At the heart of this "victimization" is Western culture and it's Judeo-Christian religious foundation that continues to re-enforce the belief that these groups who are victimized somehow deserve it or are divinely ordained to be subjegated.

Blacks are oppressed  out of the belief that they are descend from Ham whose descendants were cursed to be slaves.


Women are oppressed  out of the belief that they are responsible for the original sin and caused the downfall of man and cursed to be under the thumbs of their husbands.

Homosexuals are oppressed out of the belief that the Old Testemant condemns homosexual activity and threatens it with death.

The poor are oppressed out of MANY beliefs.
Among them, because slavery was permitted in the Old Testament.
The New Testament advises slaves to obey their masters.
Others believe that people are poor because of bad karma.
Others point to the scripture in which Jesus says the poor you will always have.

 



These discriminatory beliefs are ingrained in the heart of Western society and whether they claim to be born again Christians or atheists, most Westerners....especially White Westerners adhere to these beliefs subconsciously.

Most of the legal codes and social rules in Western civilization whether it be the United States, Canada, Europe, Russia, or even Australia....hail from these original beliefs and more.

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Of course, there are many "power vectors" including those dealing with race, gender, class, sexuality, age, religion, science, and one and on. I argue that class is the most serious issue we are facing today.  In fact, while is appears I spend the bulk of my energy deal with race, I probably spend as much dealing with class.

I gave a talk in Sacramento on Saturday, The Impact of Amazon, Google, and Facebook on the “Black Book Ecosystem.”  I could have easily replaced “Black Book Ecosystem” with “White People,” and not changed very much of the talk.  As these companies become more powerful this depresses our collective wealth and enriches a handful of people.  Of course, I'd argue Black people are affected this most, but that is a relatively unimportant issue given the scheme of things.

You see wealth and income inequality are at all time highs in America.  So while we are debating issues of race, gender, whatever, the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.

Now I know Gates, Buffet, Zuckerberg and others are getting a lot of media attention and praise for to committing to giving away billions of dollars, but it is not like they are making great personal sacrifices, and would it not have been better if we had the opportunity to earn this money ourselves rather than having these guys decide who is worthy?  This is like the slave owner promising to free their slaves after they have died...F them!

@Mel Hopkins, Coates knows full well that he rose to notoriety because of the Atlantic (as he stated in the interview).  I would like to see the day when a Black owned platform can raise an individual to this level of notoriety and a wealth.  

But let's also place this into perspective.  If you are wealthy like Coates France, London, Chicago, anywhere can be a great place to live.  Unfortunately, not very many people are as wealthy as Coates. So places like Chicago are not such great pleases to live for many Black people. Similarly many in the Muslim community, are not going around signing the praises of Paris.

 

 

 

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2converse

I have recently noticed a power dynamic. The dominant segment and the passive segment don't communicate as equals along the following lines. Wealth, Class, Race, Colour, and Sex, Northern location in the Northern Hemisphere. Southern Location in the Southern Hemisphere. This is the case in Northern, Central and South America, England, China, Australia New Zealand. Other parts of the world the dynamic. applies with fewer categories. But it applies subtlety.

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