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In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania it is:
MARCH ONLINE IMPRESSIONS EDITION
Principles of oppression hurt society!
Man is a proud beast; and it
is in this pride that we can come to know the greatest of men, who have overcome
great odds and accomplished great feats. In humble pride, that comes to be known
to man but to be honor, man has established civilizations and institutions that
have come to regulate and govern the people and their society.
In this pride, we mark our accomplishments and marvel at what we are able
to achieve. Yet in this pride, we also come to know our folly, for we are
witched by our arrogance.
Man, unlike beasts of nature
(animals, plants, birds, fish, etc…), tests the limits and boundaries of
things seen and unseen, known and unknown. We strive to command the elements, to
dominate and control our means to an end. To put it simply, we long to be
masters of our own fate, to manifest those social conventions that we as a
people envision to be our way of life.
To be proud is not inherently
wrong. To have a sense of
accomplishment, to have an ancestry of people who have achieved social,
economical, and political status is not a sin.
However, when one people attempts to subjugate another people of another
citizenship becoming the tyrants and overlords of another people, then such
prideful actions come to breach that fine line where democracy and tyranny come
to be set apart. Whether such an act is achieved through economical, political,
or religious means, it matters not. It is an act of oppression, bordering on
imperialism, in which acts of war are committed to force submission of a people.
Whatever means is used to subdue a people, it is an act of subjugation.
Since man has been able to
organize and act collectively to achieve common goals that come to benefit the
community and those individuals within that community, such acts of subjugation
have denoted man. In war, the
victors take the spoils and divide it among their warriors. They set the terms of surrender, and they write the history.
Carl von Clausewitz remarks
war to be “an act of violence intended to compel our opponent to fulfill our
will.” He taught as well that each state
was in a constant state of contention, and when acts of war are no longer being
used to fulfill the political objectives, then the political arena becomes the
field of war.
Machiavelli puts it in
laymen’s terms, “There are those who rule and those who are ruled.”
The Greeks believed if you
had a piece of gold in your soul, you were born to be a king; a piece of silver,
nobility; a piece of lead, a peasant. Throughout the history of man, social and
political classes have established bloodlines of nobility.
In the Middle Ages, in India,
and in China, caste classes distinguished who was of noble birth and who was
Man, in his self-serving
nature, longs to master his fate and fates of men who shall come to serve his
purpose. Joseph’s brothers sold him to the slave traders. In Africa, one tribe
sold out the other to get their land. Repeatedly throughout the history of man,
brother has sold brother and sister has betrayed sister.
We as humans love to be served, and even in religion we try to get God to
serve us, rather than us serving Him. We create reasons to hate, to war, and to
create political and social strife.
In the Matrix, Agent
Smith tells Morphous, “We tried to make your planet perfect, everybody happy,
but you all went and committed suicide on us.
Instead we made it into this, where you are miserable. You love your
misery, your pain.”
In other words, “You love to hate, to war, to know pain, to
be miserable.” Yet Agent Smith
made one point, “The problem was that every time we tried to make your world
perfect, it was not your world, but our world; and therein lies the problem.”
The world of the machines conflicted with the wants, needs, and desires
of the humans. So it is with man and society and its people. One people tries to
inflict their perceptions on another; and we attempt this socially, politically,
and within the realms of religious truths.
These are the underlying
seeds that come to blossom into hatreds that come to scorn our youth and their
innocence. Though people are creatures of reason and intellect, we in spirit are
still primal beasts in nature. We
hunger to control, to be the dominating alpha male of the pack, and we look to
the outward appearance, rather than those philosophies that come to govern our
means of reason. We look to the
skin, the race, and the creed of a people.
We begin to hate the difference that is readily apparent, rather than the
social logistics that come to conflict with our own. When the European people
first set foot on American soil,
they thought the natives of the land were devils because in some of the tribes
the child took on the name of the mother, the tee-pee was the rightful property
of the woman, and she could divorce her husband and throw him out. They were
half-naked to the European standards, and they were nomadic for the most part.
The Native Americans’ way of life was by no means comparable to their own;
plus the Europeans wanted what was the Native American’s, the land and its
It is a human thing, not an
issue of race. If we were all one race, one religion, one creed, one sex, we
being human beings would find some reason to elevate ourselves above another
people. We would find a reason to hate, to look down upon another people.
If there is a black male who has dark skin and a black male with
lighter, the one with the darker skin might think less of the black male with
lighter skin because he is not as black as he is.
One family comes to hate another family but for the name that they come
to bear. The Capulets and the Montagues of Romeo and Juliet is an
example, in which Romeo states, “What is in a name, is not a rose a rose by
any other name?” It is in these perceived differences that prejudice comes to
prick winds of hatred that comes to tear apart the human race.
Prejudice, or racism is a
thing that is sparked by an event or a series of events.
I was talking with a black gentleman from an island, I do not remember
which one, but he made an interesting statement.
He told that he was glad that he was not a black American
male. I asked him why? I will not go into the details, but the conclusion
of the 45 minute conversation was this: “It takes a historical moment to plant
that seed of oppression, and it takes the oppressor and the oppressed to
continue the cycle. The oppressor likes it because it is an easy cycle to keep
going. Just give it a nudge and it will go on and propel itself. The oppressed
adopts it because there is nothing any human being likes better than being able
to point a finger and say, ‘It’s your fault!
You did this to me, and my people! You
won’t give me a chance to succeed!’”
I do not deny that there are
bigots out there, nor that one people has not taken advantage of another and
looks at them as less than human or not their equal based alone on their race
and social status. Yes, many people
have violated other people and their natural rights and liberties. I honestly do
not think there has not been a time in man’s history when one people were not forced into submission of another people
by one method or another. That was
offered in the opening of the article. It
is not a matter of race, creed, or sex, it is a human thing to look at another
human being and think, “Well at least I am not as bad as he is.” Or to
think, “They should follow my way of life. It would be so much better for
them.” When in truth one is
thinking of the benefits that he, and perhaps his people, will come to reap.
Power is man’s personal
devil, and it comes to haunt him like a bad nightmare. It comes to manifest
itself in many ways, politically, in religious strife, social classes, and in
There is not an easy answer
to any of these issues that I have raised into question. Those in power make the
policies; those who are governed by their authority either allow them to be in
power or tolerate it such as it is. Ideally,
we might sit down at a table and check off the wrongs that have been committed
and say, “Yeah, we screwed up here, here, and here, and that was wrong.” And
then let it go there. We might
learn from our mistakes and try not to repeat them; forgive, but don’t forget;
learn, but do not hate; let it be a thing of the past, and live today as a new
beginning. But we being human
cannot and will not do that. We remember, and we hate; and we forget that it is
today in this hour that we have to make a difference and let the past be the
past and live today for tomorrow.
“The world has never had a
good definition of the word liberty, and the American people, just now, are much
in want of one. We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we
do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for
each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while
with others the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other
men, and the product of their labor. Here
are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name
–liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by
the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible
names—liberty and tyranny.”
April 18, 1864