The nature of oppressing is an interesting one as it shows in history and otherwise that oppression has and does happen. The interesting part about oppression is the oppressor is often unaware of their own doing it. As in the case of slavery for Blacks (African Americans) pre-civil war. Thomas Jefferson did not consider the fact that Blacks were as much “mankind” as he or his fellow brothers of the Constitution of the United states considered themselves. Hence they held an oppressive force over the African-Americans.
However below is a dictionary definition of oppression so we can break things down from there:
We can all agree to the fact that Slavery was unjust or cruel exercise of authority or power. Hence why 360,222 men died in the fight to end slavery and to re-unite a broken country. That isn’t just the toll of those whom died trying to protect others, or helped others in risk of their own life. This was merely a number of soldiers confirmed dead. Regardless, that is what happened when the minds of the people became a force.
A force is what held down blacks into slavery. A force of violence. That is how oppression is continued to be is by a measure of force. If through an act of force someone compels you to do something they are thereby being oppressed into the action regardless. Your choice and agency is asked to take a back seat to your will to survive. This was found in cases during the Holocaust and when neighbors were forced to give in to their authority and tell them where Jews were. This is a fact of force compelled the neighbor to reveal their location or suffer some sort of ill fate.
These are easily seen signs of oppression in history, and there has been others. Often Feminists speak to women being oppressed through the ages. Although in some cases it has occurred it wasn’t in a sense of how to eradicate women, but a disbelief. Many disbelieved in a woman’s capacity to fight before Joan of Arc. However, it still didn’t stop vikings from having women in stories and tales of heroism and even traveling in raiding parties. Nor did it stop King Louis XVI from exercising the guillotine on men and women alike who opposed his rule, even to his own spouse Marie Antoinette. The idea of an oppression happens regardless by uses of Violent Force or Obedience.
The nature of people who were the oppressors often like bullies do not actually consider themselves an oppressor. Interesting when looking through that lens to the current states of our systems now. In America it is interesting to hear some black youth cry out he’s been oppressed by white people. The very act of force is not there except by officers who uphold a law of the land. However while some cops may be racists, they in the most general sense are not forcing an obedience – you can still break the law. Which is what is often the case, regardless of sex, creed, whatever – the law states you can’t do something and those who do will be punished. No one wants punishment so it has to be issued through use of violent force. The more the fight against punishment the more the use of force. Is that oppression or is that consequence?
The nature of oppression is that you have three sides. One, the oppressor. Two, the Oppressed or victim. Three, the outside observer. If three and two agree that someone is being oppressed then One becomes the minority and thereby is usually wrong. However in this current political climate things of oppression are gravely misunderstood, taken out of context, or completely exaggerated, and in a number of cases actual fact. It’s often a misunderstanding of the nature of oppression that becomes the problem as the 3rd element from Merriam-Webster points out.
“A sense of being weighed down in body or mind” has a large value quotient to the nature of this meaning in terms of what weight, what kind of weight, is it internal or externally produced, is the idea of my own fat oppressing me as I am being weighed down by it, is the mental dogmas of religions oppressing me? Do you see how that gets confusing? The nature of that kind of terminology is broken down and assimilated through personal views and understandings much like any descriptive word in the English language.
So oppression becomes a subjective experience that one feels that they are despite whether the use of force is evident or not. Some point at evidence and say they are but here’s the truth: There is no oppression but that which you put yourself into. What does that mean? It is true that many Blacks fought back against their oppressors even unto death. It is also true many Jews and Germans alike helped others at their own personal risk. Just as there was a Nazi soldier who put himself into harms way for his own beliefs despite the oppressive force of the military he was a part of. He actually tried to kill his own leader despite the consequence of death. This is what i mean by there is no oppression but that which you put yourself into.
You can oppress your own feelings, you can oppress others, you can choose to let yourself live under an oppressive force. You can oppress your own actions, and in some cases that isn’t a bad thing. We can compel an act of oppression by not being objective about our own actions. To let “evil” win was for “good” people to do nothing. This goes for the entirety of your own brain, or actions. You can certainly take a moment to consider your own actions. Consider if you’re oppressing, if you’re oppressed. You may consider that maybe you’re wrong. Unless you are not willing to. You choose.
The world is a matter of choices. When you make right ones you benefit, when you make wrong ones you suffer consequences. Regardless the decisions are yours and you get to make every single one of them. If you decide to not let an oppressive force control you, that will be the truth – they won’t be able to so that force will likely kill to eliminate the problem. Hence again the Holocaust. The killing of slaves who refused to submit. The truth those who died took with them was that they were refusing to let themselves be oppressed and through their life, they never were.
While this is a major pain point again in this political climate, the novelty of oppression is become a trigger, a signal, a word callously used. It’s also been a point of people to use it like a weapon against those they disagree with. This is a dangerous game as the force of one side or the other can easily fall into a place of oppression. However I know that I will choose to objectively look, consider, and choose my life. I will never let oppressive force rule me or my life. Even if it were to it’s end.