Over the past few months I have really been thinking about the question posed in the title of this blog entry. My growing involvement in community engagement and business development has led me to think more about the cycle of ills that plague society.
For example, I have blogged a lot about my current journey to financial freedom, even admitting that I just opened my first savings account at 26 years old. Throughout my life loved ones shared general tips with me about money, but never provided the blue print or action steps needed that would force me to do more than what I was doing. The lack of guidance has ultimately led to my financial oppressions (my extreme language for being a poor adult college student at this moment).
But back to being serious, I think that the example I give above is a much more realistic contemporary version of oppression, and I am challenging myself to think about who is to blame for modern-day situations that ultimately keep us oppressed.
Now that I am a 27-year-old adult in the world (i.e. aware, interacting, experiencing), am I still to blame my parents and or loved ones for not making my grown self go to the bank and start a savings account before I was 26? Was it not enough that my parents told me about investing (not in great detail) and introduced me to the idea of paying myself first. In hindsight, they did everything BUT take me to the bank and sign my name on the dotted line. AND, I have had the resources and access to banks, friends with savings accounts, and so forth for over 10 years, which means I knew better 10 years ago.
So, when does the blame transition from the oppressor to the oppressed? oppression is defined as the “unjust or cruel exercise of authority or power”. At first glance it would seem that oppression itself implies blame should automatically be placed on the oppressor. But today, in 2011 (internet, tv, books, resource and access), without a clear-cut answer, I want to know when the oppressed are to become responsible for inciting change that shift the dynamics of power.
When is it the responsibility of the oppressed to take charge and do their research, and join the politics, and fight for change regarding whatever is keeping them oppressed? When does the blame shift from the oppressor to the oppressed?
Below is a link to a website that focuses on oppression across the globe. Check it out: