One of the required courses for LAS is HDF 110: Oppression: Roots and Impact. In this class we discussed how modern day oppression formed, how it thrives, and how to try and fix a broken system. We learned how unfair and favoring of the privileged America really is, even when we claim to be so close to equality. The truth is, no matter how far we have come, there will always be father to go.
The goal of the American Dream and to pull yourself up by your bootstraps is not a reality. In fact, it is but a taunting phrase used to belittle and discredit the dedication and hard work that underrepresented groups in society put in when they still fall short.
Oppression is not one thing, it is many, it is everything connected in the privileges you don’t have, and the discrimination and prejudice you face everyday. Oppression is not a choice, it is pushed onto people to hold them down. Oppression and privilege go hand in hand; you cannot have one without having the other. This is something that is forgotten almost every time. Underrepresented groups did not choose to oppress themselves, those of privilege chose to oppress them.
HDF 110 clears your eyes from the blinders that we allow to cover them. However, taking the blinders off once does not mean we didn’t put a new pair on; you can become more aware of one thing, while forgetting another. Our society creates blinders like a disease, more recently people have begun to remove them. This means now we need to use those eyes and our voice to advocate for those who are oppressed. Seeing is one step, acting and advocating is the other.
From our own constitution to wealth distributions, there is inequality and oppression everywhere.
While, the picture above may seem very out of place the event we attended was called Project 562. This project is about the tribes captured during the travels of Matika Wilbur. She is an amazing photographer. Matika left her tribe, home, and job behind to travel the U.S. and photograph. She has visited tribes in every state, photographed the natural beauty of being the indigenous people, and some of the discrimination they have seen.
She empowered the audience to seek equal justice for all. Matika was extremely inclusive, she spoke for homosexuals, non binary individuals, different origins and ethnic backgrounds; she spoke for all of us. She spread love for everyone, especially those society had rejected.
The oppression we use on our indigenous people is disgusting. Something many think is resolved, or don’t let cross their minds anymore is still not mended or being addressed. Their stories are still not heard and it is people like Matika who are pushing to get their stories out for all to see. Yet, even with all her success and talent, the stories of our indigenous people still fall on deaf ears. Many people refuse to believe what they have faced continue to face today, because history tells them another story; but remember this, history is written from the side of the victors, never the losers.