As Mr Biko suggests previous the mind of the oppressed is easily persuaded that it is not oppressed, that the measures and tools of oppression make sense and are entirely reasonable. If you like the thin end of the wedge is banged home in many infinitesimal steps. We are conditioned to behave in certain ways, above all we are required to conform and comply. This is true of “the rules of the game” and the subtle societal micro-oppressions which we inflict upon each other on a daily basis. They are so commonplace we may not even notice them. We are supposed to suck up to our “superiors” and curry favour with them so as to self-advance, there is a requirement to participate in “you scratch my back” game play and many conditional negotiations. Also, we need to over-egg our achievements so as to sound supercalifragilisticexpialidocious in job applications, grant applications, on-line profiles, bios and generally participate in exaggerated public relations.
If we don’t play according to the “rules” the tool and fear of exclusion is applied. There in no need for the jack-boot, simply societal pressure suffices. Before long the societal omertà sets in and we fear talking about these micro-oppressions for fear of becoming a pariah ourselves. The taboo has taken hold. Any being which transgresses quickly becomes a talking point and the subject of often derogatory gossip, the outsider, the loner and the soon to be “I told you so” serial killer.
“Ah, but you could be sensible and play according to the rules if you want to get on and succeed!”, I perhaps hear you say.
Do you see what I mean? These micro-oppressions are pervasive and embedded deep, they are a part of our DNA perhaps.
Having cued this up:
Do I inflict micro-oppressions on my fellow beings?
If so, how often do I do this?
Are these justified?
Are these sensible?
What is so wrong with being socially conditioned after all?