The Privileged Narrative
Lets be honest here, no one really cares. The narrative of oppression gives people permission not to. The narrative of oppression reinforces the ideology that it is “ok” or “going to be ok” and we should learn to accept that some people are victimized by societal standards. The oppressors have a right to their worldview tooooooo…. don’t they?
We live in a world that is selfish, violent and dishonest due to the perpetuation of that worldview. Even people who aren’t usually selfish, racist or sexist, who do try to remain compassionate and kind become jaded because that is simply what this system does to people. You will face ridicule and a reduction in privileges if you speak up for the victims of colonial genocide and oppression. It happens every day.
Those with privilege control the narrative. They control who speaks and what they speak about. They offer rewards to the oppressed for allowing the continued marginalization of their own culturally relevant identity. You want a job so you can eat? Here is a list a mile long of all of the ways you need to behave, look and what emotions are suitable in order for you to get a small chunk of what has been hoarded for no good reason. If you want to eat, you are going to defend this narrative and cease to be whoever your soul may have or could have been.
The golden rule for your continued access to the resources that belong to the privileged is that you may not question the narrative in this society and culture because to do so will cause a swift reduction in your access to privileges. In the worst cases, you will be silenced entirely by death.
Want to be a strong woman and stand up for the objectification of women? Well now you just lost the protection of men who demand the right to objectify women, cause it’s all in good fun, the rape mentality that goes with it shouldn’t impact their ability to ogle because they have earned their vacation from propriety and they’re not going to rape someone, so what’s the harm in letting them enjoy this particular brand of fun…right? Want to be a strong black man who decries the ignorance of the ruling class, well now you’re just a trouble maker stepping out of bounds and we have some uniformed thugs to deal with the likes of you. Want to be have a little Native Pride and tell the true history of this land? Well, remember your oppressor beat the truth out of you once and your numbers are simply not great enough to get the majority of the beneficiaries of your genocide to give a shit that their fancy lives were built on the death of your ancestors and continues to this day. Now sit back and shut up about our narrative while we celebrate our independence from our oppressors because we have the resources to decide that your narrative does not matter. Your continued victimization and our privilege is all that actually matters. Enjoy the bombs bursting in air, folks.
The oppression narrative claims the privileged do share and there is opportunity simply abounding in this “land of the free” but it also demands you turn in your right to complain about the continued oppression of anyone. The narrative decides not only who gets help but the type of help that is offered. If you are a vulnerable or marginalized person, you do not get to choose. Not if you want to live. They have a sure fire cure for your inability to accept the narrative.
What that looks like “in real life” is me answering the door to my landlord today to be told the rapid re-housing fund did not pay my rent like they said they would and I will be charged an extra $50 a day for being late with eviction papers being drawn up Friday if I can’t come up with the rent plus added fees. It’s already day four and a holiday to boot. “In real life” it is also the death of my beautiful friend who was in need of a crisis bed and didn’t get one because the shelter system and mental health resources are astoundingly non-helpful where they exist at all. Keep telling me the narrative about all the services available to us homeless folks and what a shame it is when one of us doesn’t buy into it and come off the streets. Keep telling us the story of your right to not have your peace disrupted by our brokenness. It is clearly working to end homelessness! Truly. Stellar.
I am pissed the fuck off that my life is threatened for no reason that I can agree with and I’ve looked at those reasons. I’m the kind of person that takes criticism and tries to evaluate and learn from it. I have tried so hard to be a trustworthy and honest citizen but it is to no avail. My mother made a mistake. She mixed races. My father made a mistake. He couldn’t buy into the narrative and his anger over it was a firestorm that was never totally at bay.
Society says I must prove myself or accept it is my fate to pay the price for their non-narrative friendly ways. I start out where they dropped me and sink or swim upstream in this land of opportunity that is always out of reach. They did not mention that I would have to swallow the anger of seeing my children also pay the price. This is getting harder to do in the face of my inability to stop asking: Who is paying the price for what caused my father’s mistake of being born a Native in a white man’s world, which led to my mother’s mistake, loving a Native man in a white man’s world? She loved him because she despised the narrative too and my dad was amazing truth be told. So fuck your narrative. For real.
I am the product of my mother who was the product of my grandmother who became a single mother when it was a mortally shunned part of the oppression narrative. My grandma was raised in poverty, a farmer’s daughter. She never wasted a single thing. She took extraordinarily good care of the things she did get access to. As a single mother, she hoarded each and every privilege for the opportunity to make us a little more “mistake-proof”. She worked very hard her whole life with a great disadvantage as a woman alone in a man’s world. Genetically inferior? I don’t think so.
My paternal grandpa was a Native from Turtle Mountain Reservation, North Dakota. He experienced the indoctrination and forced schooling many of our elders don’t like to speak of. According to his birth certificate he was actually Crow, Cree and Creek, not Chippewa, not Ojibwe. The Europeans who took over this land we now call America, whose supposed independence we celebrate today, didn’t actually give one shit about true genealogy or the sacred connection to nature and land. If your skin was tan you were not considered human enough to have a point of view that mattered. That this hasn’t changed is a mind fuck if ever there was.
This ideology continues today by consistently rewarding the retelling of the narrative that buys you privilege, that tells you who to victimize and the rewards that come from doing so. They have preached this same narrative to all minorities and women to the point where identity and colonialism is a fixed and destructive component we no longer question. We try instead to jockey for a better position to get the scraps the privileged throw our way.
The marginalized are continuing the hatred and oppression against other members of their own cultural heritage and have continued the role of the oppressor with biases based on the degree of “blackness” in their fucking skin color or what percentage of “Indian blood” your dad had or whether or not you were raised by “first generation” or “second generation” immigrants. We have become our own oppressors and they seek to divide us further every moment.
So, although I logically understand why and how my parents were incapable of providing me with all the resources a person like me would need to really thrive in this country, they were victims of the narrative. Racism may not have affected me directly thanks to my light skin, hair and eyes, but it has affected my soul because my dad is in my soul, because my grandpa is in my soul, because I know the stories. I listened. At the end of the day, I have felt the pain that comes with the knowledge of just how evil people can be. You simply cannot “un-see” certain things.
People may not understand why I don’t get the middle class privilege my skin color says I’m entitled to, but I do. I have never missed an opportunity to correct the narrative and they consider me a traitor, an “other”, because I “pass”. My skin color passes, my good looks pass and my education creates a pass to get into their circles and tell the truth they don’t want to hear. Until I finally stopped getting invited to the party at all.
I have tried to shut up and re-enter the matrix but the help everyone claims is there to make sure I can do so, keeps failing to actually help. This is a recurring theme you can hear from every single marginalized member of our society so please understand why I can’t shut-up.
I have not had day to day luxuries but I have also not been starved or forcibly relocated. I have experienced police harassment and abuse while homeless and it sucked but I can also put on some fancy clothes and comb my hair a certain way and that harassment stops. I have had to try and exist in a gray area that feels like so much bullshit and since I have this connection to God and to the plight of the marginalized, I see. Even in the dark, I see. To be of service, for my life to have lasting value, I must speak. There are too many voices being forcibly shut out. And you my friends have been bamboozled into selling your souls to keep it that way.
Exploiting your privileged position in society by not sharing the resources your family provided you with through no action of your own but being born the right color, the right gender, the right able-body, the right religion is slowly (and sometimes swiftly) killing someone who was -through no action of their own- born without those advantages. To not address this paradigm and seek to change it – is exploitation. You are benefiting from the destruction of someone else’s life and cultural identity. I realize being born was not a choice you made either, but what you do with your privileged stance is. What you do with your voice and how many marginalized voices you lift over the cacophony of ignorance matters. In fact, I believe it is your only path to redemption. It says it all.
Consider this the a call for a new narrative. I don’t give a fuck what you have told yourself about the “5D world” and aliens or Jesus coming to the rescue or the technological advances you believe will save the world. Your time for examining the issues with your science and philosophy and political motives is going to end up face to face with karma. God doesn’t even have to messy HIS hands with this one.
This is the only narrative that contains one ounce of logic. I see that train coming for you and I see too many of you bought into the story that you matter to the ones who reign with self-appointed authority. Those with more privilege will come to your aid, because you are good and we marginalized folks are bad, right? I have news for you today. Just as you are not coming to our aid, you can be certain, they are not coming to yours. In fact, they’ve tied you to the train tracks to buy themselves more time. That is the only narrative that will matter in the end but it will be out of all of our hands sooner than we are ready to admit.
Society is a prison. It was built by prison standards and only serves those in control. Community on the other hand is what most people think being a part of society will gain them access to. They couldn’t be more wrong. Society at its best is a way to ensure the fair treatment of multiple communities’ equal access to resources. Any other use is simply man’s judgment of another man’s worthiness for the essentials of life, for the very right to be alive.
We fail to see tomorrow from someone else’s perspective over and over and over. When are we going to realize that it is not possible to categorize people? It is simply, utterly impossible. We will fail every time by determining what is good for people when we are not in their shoes. How do we support each other or develop a community that is safe and thriving for all its members? Why haven’t we questioned the ones making the decisions about who belongs and who doesn’t? How do you compensate for different levels of need? How on earth are we ever going to learn to share when certain people still think they have an innate right to more?
The world has not been very kind to me. When I see happy, successful people I wonder what the world has been like for them. I ask myself, is it me? Well, of course it’s me, I used to think. It couldn’t be the whole world that is wrong, could it? But alas, it appears that maybe it isn’t me, maybe the constant adjustments and attempts I have made to pull my family out of poverty does not stem from an inherent problem with me but a system that is designed to keep the impoverished in poverty. There definitely exists a prefabricated and perfectly engineered bias toward people who are raised in poverty or exist in one of those marginalized categories, that we are genetically inferior. When anyone starts assuming anything about genetics, especially in relation to poverty and race, I hear an excuse for murder. Let my story be an example of how much bullshit that is.
Do not be complicit in my early death. Please. Change the narrative.
Interested in learning more? Check out the following links for an educational crash course on the oppression narrative.