Another look at victim blaming

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

I read this today and I agree! These are sociology definitions (not from oxford dictionary written by majority society=white).

#Prejudice = an irrational feeling, fear, or dislike for a person or group of persons, usually based on stereotype.

#Discrimination = the moment a person acts on prejudice, to deny someone a job, exclude, or harass them because of their race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, what kind of pet they like… And so forth.

#Racism = patterns of discrimination that are institutionalized as “normal” throughout an entire culture, and serve to oppress a subordinate or minority group while giving privileges to the dominant or majority group.

According to these definitions subordinate groups and/or minorities can be prejudice, and certainly discriminate, but they CANNOT be #racist, since they do not have the position of power to be so.

You don’t have to agree with me, but I hope you read and think about this a bit.

I think there is an oppressed, subjugated, minority telling us how powerless they feel. Not that they are faultless, but that they have less power than the dominant culture. I believe that feminists, people of color, LGBT, those with disabilities, religious minorities, for the most part, are not trying to take over the world and convert everyone else to their way of thinking. I believe they just want equal opportunity to live their way, without harassment or exclusion…Or being gunned down by police.

There is a reason people are angry. Wounded animals are known for being dangerous. Let’s examine their injuries, find a safe pathway to healing, then provide a mechanism to avoid future injuries.

I remember what it was like to have people telling me to stop playing the victim. I remember feeling under attack. I remember being told my anger and perceptions were wrong, misguided, and misdirected. There are people in my social circles that felt receiving welfare was akin to looting, and speaking out the same as protesting publicly, even violently.

There is good reason our bodies have been programmed to be aggressive when we have experienced danger, threat, or stress. It is a protective mechanism meant to keep us alive. Anger is not evil. It is an emotion that can energize us into action, and get the attention we need. The more we are ignored and invalidated, the angrier we will become. This is a natural response.

Next time you encounter outrage, maybe you could stop and think about me, my story. It was real, it happened, and as victims, we were punished and excluded for it. Maybe you can remember what it was like when someone hurt you, whether real or perceived (because our brain doesn’t know the difference). Maybe instead of pushing the angry person away, or screaming back at them, or dismissing their pain and fear, you can listen. Really listen. If you don’t, you might risk losing them. And that would be sad. Because angry people matter. They have something to contribute.

I know. I was angry too.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 334 other followers