Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.” Oppression happens when one group is dominant to the other. Oppression spreads madness throughout the world, causing hate but also creating problem-solving. Certain groups of individuals believe they can control others and that’s what they do. In some cases, such as Rosa Parks, she stood against the regulations and stood up for herself. There are many types of oppression. People are oppressed due to their skin, gender, class, size and more.
In the world, people suffer from racial oppression and continue to treat others the way they want to be treated, even though they are disrespected. “I work hard, he says, I treat people like I want to be treated. God sees this, God knows,” Jacqueline Woodson, Brown Girl Dreaming. “…racism assumes that those from other races are actually genetically inferior human beings. Racism has prevailed throughout human history as a justification for a host of oppressive actions(12 Types of Social Oppression).”
Other terms of racism could be horizontal racism, reverse racism, and internalized racism. Horizontal racism can occur when people in a group(s) adopt racist feelings toward other groups. An example could be a Mexican American getting prejudged by a Japanese American because of the Latino stereotype. Reverse racism refers to anti-white discrimination. It’s often used in conjunction with practices designed to help minorities, such as affirmative action (What Is Racism: A Definition and Examples).” “Internalized racism exhibits as a minority believing, perhaps even unconsciously, that whites are superior (What Is Racism: A Definition and Examples).”
“There is just so much hurt, disappointment, and oppression one can take… The line between reason and madness grows thinner,” Rosa Parks once said. One day Rosa Parks made the decision to stand against racial oppression. This is only one example of racial oppression and it shows how important it truly is. Everyone should know what racial oppression is and who is affected by it. Rosa Parks is the mother of the civil rights movement. She fought for racial equality when she wouldn’t give up her bus seat to a white man.
According to the Montgomery Advertiser, she ended up getting arrested but began a movement called the Montgomery Bus Boycott that included 17,000 blacks. Racial oppression is burdening a certain race with disrespect and the feeling of worthlessness. It can be internalized, systematic, institutionalized, or social (“What is Racial Oppression?” para. 1). In the Rosa Parks case, Rosa Parks was being affected by racial oppression. She was being forced to go to the back of the bus when she resisted it ended with her getting arrested.
The white male wanting his seat felt as if he was the dominant one, but Rosa changed that. She said that he will not be dominant, and she will have the power, whether it meant getting arrested or not. Racial oppression is a big deal because of Rosa Parks. Without her and many other people, racial oppression wouldn’t be brought to our attention. Sitting at the back of the bus, due to your skin color would most likely be considered normal if it wasn’t for Rosa Parks.
Sexism is another form of oppression. “Sexism means discrimination based on sex or gender or the belief that men are superior to women and thus discrimination is justified(“What Is Sexism? Defining a Key Feminist Term Search”).” Sexist attitudes include beliefs or ideas that show one group, usually males, as more dominant than the others, usually female. The Women’s Liberation Movement in the 1960s brought sexism to everyone’s attention.
“At that time, feminist theorists explained that the oppression of women was widespread in nearly all human society, and they began to speak of sexism instead of male chauvinism. Whereas male chauvinists were usually individual men who expressed the belief that they were superior to women, sexism referred to collective behavior that reflected society as a whole(What Is Sexism? Defining a Key Feminist Term).”
Dale Spender, an Australian writer said she was “old enough to have lived in a world without sexism and sexual harassment. Not because they weren’t everyday occurrences in my life but because THESE WORDS DIDN’T EXIST. It was not until the feminist writers of the 1970s made them up, and used them publicly and defined their meanings – an opportunity that men had enjoyed for centuries – that women could name these experiences of their daily life.”
Another form of oppression is classism. “Classism is a social pattern in which wealthy or influential people congregate with each other and oppress those who are less wealthy or less influential(12 Types of Social Oppression).” Classism includes individual behaviors and attitudes, systems made to benefit the upper class at the sacrifice of the lower class and can result in extreme income and unequal wealth.
“Middle-class and owning- or ruling-class people (dominant group members) are seen as smarter and more articulate than working-class and poor people (subordinated groups)(What Is Classism).” “People who are poor/working class sometimes internalize the dominant society’s beliefs and attitudes toward them, and play them out against themselves and others of their class(What Is Classism).” Examples could be feeling shamed about family traditions, denying heritage, and feeling blame towards others who are also a part of the working-class.
“Class privilege include the many tangible or intangible unearned advantages of higher class status, such as personal contacts with employers, legacy admissions to higher education, inherited money, good childhood health care, quality education, speaking with the same dialect and accent as people with institutional power, and having knowledge of how the systems of power operate(What Is Classism).”
Sizeism is also a part of oppression. Sizeism is when people who have the ideal body are treated better than those whose bodies are not ideal. “In contemporary Western society, people with slender build are considered more attractive than people who are heavy(12 Types of Social Oppression).” “New research suggests that fat shaming and sizeism (discriminating against someone based on his or her size) are also a commonplace occurrence in doctor’s offices(Sizeism Is Harming Too Many of Us: Fat Shaming Must Stop).”
“Disrespectful treatment and medical fat shaming, in an attempt to motivate people to change their behavior, is stressful and can cause patients to delay health care seeking or avoid interacting with providers,” says Joan Chisler, a professor of psychology. In conclusion, there are many types of oppression. People are oppressed due to their skin, gender, class, size and more.