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Oppression: Citizen’s Neglect And Lack Of Participation In Government

1776 words - 8 pages

Throughout the history of the world, oppression has existed side-by-side with humanity. It is engrained into culture and has become inseparable to human nature, just as war has. Like war, humanity struggles against it and longs for transcending unity among all. The fight against oppression is found in every classroom, workplace, nation, race, etc. Many individuals have risen from the masses advocating in favor of peace for all. They stand for those who cannot stand for themselves and as result are responsible for the improvement of millions of life. It is in their selfless service that positive change occurs. On the other hand, individuals have risen from all classes sponsoring hate and tyranny. They stand on those who cannot fight for themselves and are only concerned with the benefit of themselves or the ruling class. Such men and women prey on the fear and naiveté of their citizens. As a result, nations are crippled and its citizens are left with bleeding wounds. An extreme like this is wholly to be blamed on the same citizens for not concerning themselves when there were still opportunities for change. It is a citizen’s responsibility to actively participate in its government just as it is a government’s responsibility to listen to its citizens. Citizens become oppressed when they allow themselves to disconnect from the political process and do not respond to their government’s actions.
When citizens are disengaged from the governments they give power to, governments slowly begin to rule over them rather than existing solely to serve. In his article commenting on “Check Your Privilege 101” by the Transformative Justice Law Project of Illinois (TJLP), David Judd explains what is wrong in the current language against oppression. TJLP’s document calls for citizens to “’educate,’ ‘be an ally’ and ‘use your privilege to benefit’ others” (A barrier to fighting oppression). Judd explains this in itself is not enough. If oppression is tackled exclusively on the personal, moral level, then the problem will exist forever. He continues to say that as long as “there’s no central structure to tear down” or “material motivation for the majority to join the struggle” (A barrier to fighting oppression), the problem is not likely to disappear soon. Combating repression takes more than a pure heart and good will. It takes knowledgeable, informed people to understand the walls built around them. Having understood the obstacles emplaced to hold them back, they can fight for freedom from their chains.
Understanding the obstacles in the way of the path of liberation is not enough in of itself. It is also important the people of a nation understand why and how they were institutionalized. In this way perhaps future instances of dominating class imposing control over a lesser one may be put to rest before serious issues arise. Bernard Harcourt, law professor at The University of Chicago, suggested in his article, “Occupy Wall Street’s ‘Political Disobedience’”, a...

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