• Shawn Hosford

Ending Oppression

Is it just me or is the energy of colonizers, racists, and patriarchs getting more intense with every passing day?! It seems to me that as our well-built, exclusive systems are disintegrating and the people who have been enjoying the glory of these systems are getting more oppressive and edgy as the light shines on the misdeeds of them. 

It doesn't matter whether it's CEO’s not wanting to pay their employees a livable wage, the people compelled to have returns from the stock market at the cost of enslavement, or personal interaction where the work of all others isn’t considered equally. It just seems to me that every deepening breath becomes more difficult as the oppressors see the game of their oppression ending. 

I truly don't know where we heading from here. I get that waking up from a forty or fifty year slumber of accountability about my role in oppression and racism is hard. Believe you me, this “hard” has had me thrashing about for some time. I also understand that figuring out how to undo my relationship with this system seems insurmountable. But that isn’t acceptable.

I also understand that humans like certainty, often to the point of staying in abusive relationships long past their prime. This system has abused too many for too long. We need change it and we need to change it now. 

Where do we go from here?! I keep thinking that we will need to listen carefully, with action steps in mind, to our brown and black brothers and sisters. We white people need to stop lecturing about our problems and the insidious systems. We will need to harness every small and tiny bit of energy we can muster to be willing and able allies.

In order to be more powerfully supportive allies we must read new-to-us things by authors of color who have been living the lives we are just now waking up to see. We need to learn their language and listen carefully to their stories. Then we need to ask them what actions from us would be helpful.

If we are going to move away from toxic patriarchy we are going to need to let those who have been oppressed lead the charge and the change. If we are going to move away from toxic capitalism we will need to disengage from every system that enables it. 

Where does this leave a Mark and I? I keep coming back to a need to move to a rural setting and start farming. Every time my life is thrown off balance these days as soon as my feet touch the Earth and my hands touch soil the world seems a little better.

I hope not to run away from this shit-show, rather to move to a place where I can make more meaningful differences. Perhaps when we move we will start start a chapter of Meaningful Movies, help seed a movement for State Banking, or be part of conversations about oppression. Most likely none of these actions will be easy but they might help bring about a modicum of change. 

Hopefully, small community will allow us to have real conversations regardless of each other's differences. I know this will be difficult and may take time but most shifts and awakening take time. Mine did. I believe I started to awaken to my role in racism and oppression about 10 years ago. I’ve found it helpful to floss out a little more racism through learning each and every day.

Carly reminded me that, “The what to do is necessarily different for everyone, and that’s our blessing — diversity. We too often fail to tap into or own unique gifts to bring to the shift-shaping tables. If you’re not willing to work at the shift-shaping tables get out the way. There are not enough of people yet with the ‘by any means necessary’ mentality.”

How can you own your part in others being oppressed or your culpability in racism? Are you willing to detach your privilege and benefits from both systems? Do you have ideas on systems that bring equity to all in the future? Have you heard of projects like the Venus Project?