What is Oppression? Let’s Talk About How Words Work

Op·pres·sion: “Prolonged cruel or unjust treatment or control.The state of being subject to unjust treatment or control. A response to collective poverty and oppression.Mental pressure or distress.”

This word has been floating around social media lately, or at least it was a few weeks ago, and I thought I’d talk about what that means.

Oppression has a whole, doesn’t care about the colour of your skin, or what religious believes you carry with you on your journey.

It doesn’t care what gender you are, who you love, how much money you think you deserve, or where you think you should be in your life.

The very element of oppression only cares about making you and everyone around you as miserable and depressed as possible.

Oppression is waking up every day in a house filled with mould because your parents can’t afford to live anywhere else, if you even have parents, because many young people do not.

Oppression is going to school and sitting outside because you can’t afford to buy lunch and you don’t want to let the kids at your brand new school know.

Oppression is being kicked out of your house because your parents hate you for existing as a human being who doesn’t want to live life the way they do, read: LGBTQ2S+.

Oppression destroys everything about your life in order to give those around you more power and comfort while calling it a sacrifice.

Oppression is dying in a jail cell – or in the streets at the hands of a cop who woke up wanting to kill someone that day and fully believing that he/she/they/them would get away with it because of the colour of the uniform and the weight of their badge.

I have spent most of my life, being the butt of jokes, being bullied and abused by people who think that I should give up parts of myself, to keep warm the same people who hate me.

I stopped doing that, but it’s still a daily practice to remind myself that I deserve to be happy and that the life I’ve led, wasn’t the life that I as an individual human being, deserved to live.

The Two Of YOU Must Sacrifice YOURSELVES for ME, You Will Be REWARDED in HEAVEN! – Mr. Hafez, The Mummy Returns

I understand oppression, I understand hunger, struggle, challenge, and strife, and the more that you are oppressed as a child, the less successful you deserve to be as an adult, and that’s why we have so many people living with chronic drug and opioid addiction. That’s why we have so many people who are living without a home to call their own, it’s not always because they want to be there, it’s because they weren’t always given the skills, to deal with the piles of bullshit, that their lives became.

No one on this planet wants to zone out 24 hours a day I know this because I am coming back off a 3-week bender of ignoring the world. It was the sudden rush of mass shootings all at once that did it, I needed to decompress, so Netflix became a close personal friend.

But coming back to the world is difficult, because all these horrible things are happening in the world, and I’m left wondering what my tiny little blog can do to help.

I speak out because I don’t care about the people who will try to stop me. I speak out because I know it’s important for each of us to take a moment every single day and recognize how lucky we are, to live as we do, even if the way we’re living isn’t exactly what we want, every moment of the day.

Oppression is being too bogged down with darkness to see how lucky you are because everything feels too heavy, everything feels too difficult, and that’s largely because there are people in your life, who are going out of their way, to destroy everything you try to create.

I REMEMBER Being in 4th Grade, and I REMEMBER How SMALL We Were, I DO NOT Remember People Breaking Into Our SCHOOLS With GUNS

I went to an Army school, so men showing up with guns wasn’t something we were afraid of, the base wasn’t far away and if it had happened to our school, it would have been a matter of minutes before we’d be found safe, by trained to kill parents. But we were lucky.

April 20th, 1999 was the first major school shooting that I remember, and I remember the shock, the horror, and the fear. I remember reading “She Said Yes,” and the tears that came with every single page.

Oppression is living in a world filled with white, cis people, who claim to practise Christianity while refusing to do the one thing that would keep hundreds of thousands of people safe. I’m done arguing about whether it’s people or guns that kill people, it’s a mixture of both, it’s always been a mixture of both, and the only way to break the spell is to take away one of the ingredients. If people “with severe mental health issues,” can’t get guns, then they can’t fucking kill people, it seems to be a pretty simple equation to me.

Sandy Hook Promise has a list of survivors telling their stories and reminding people that children shouldn’t have to become “experts” on how to survive an active shooter.

Every single one of us lives with struggles and challenges, but not all of us get up wondering if our loved ones are going to make it home safe, not all of us have to worry about active shooters attacking our children’s schools, or stealing food from their mouths. So the next time you want to talk about how you’ve been oppressed, please take a moment to think about what that word actually means.

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall