The original goal of this blog was to find examples of privilege or oppression in everyday life. My friend Stephen Quaye sent me a link to a story that is the perfect illustration of what I’m trying to preach.
Let’s dissect this a minute to illustrate how oppression happens. First, Mr. Ricketts. Really rich white guy who doesn’t like Obama. My guess is that he doesn’t like Obama’s attempt at equalling the playing field for all Americans. People like Mr. Ricketts like to call Obama a socialist because they believe they worked really hard to become successful and they shouldn’t have to use any of their money to contribute to the well-being of the rest of the world. The rest of the world, who by the way, is too lazy to work hard enough to be as successful as them.
Do you know any really rich people? I mean Mr. Ricketts rich? I’m not talking about our friends who worked hard through law or med school and make a decent six figure salary. I’m talking million/billionaires. I don’t know any personally, so I haven’t actually gotten to talk to a real live rich person. But, typically, people who are super rich have been born with some type of privilege. That may have been parents who were already rich; parents who were dedicated to providing them with opportunities; heck, parents in general; good schools; a stable home that was heated in the winter, cooled in the summer. So, to blame all their success on their hard work isn’t entirely true. Recognize not everyone has the same opportunities and cannot get to the same level of success with the same amount of work. It doesn’t happen. Ever. That’s a general premise of privilege.
Richy Ricketts is spewing privilege all over the place and he uses some of his privilege (several million dollars of his privilege) to feed the commoners (that’s you and me and the people we know) propaganda about Obama. Fox News does it everyday. Check it out if you’re brave enough. Most commoners nowadays get their information through the media and do little to check the facts. Who has the time, right? So we start to believe what we hear. We believe Obama isn’t an American, he’s a Black Panther trying to rule the white people, he’s a socialist, he’s Satan, he feeds his dog food made in China and it ruins the economy, he’s giving everyone cancer so they sign up for Obamacare. Why wouldn’t we believe it, it’s on every channel we turn to during every commercial. So we go vote Obama out, who by the way, is committed to advocating for the less privileged.
Now that Obama is out, the Republicans get to take over and, like we saw in NC and across the country, they begin to take away rights, schools lose funding, people lose jobs. When people don’t have educations or jobs they have no resources to fight back. The oppressors keep their power, continue to advance their interests, and the rest of the folks just need to work harder to become successful. Get it?
Not every super rich person has the same intentions as this Ricketts guy. Warren Buffett has expressed his concerns with tax structures. Bill Gates understands inequity and uses much of his fortune to provide opportunities for others. I like to think most people are like Buffett and Gates. But this Rickett character. Watch out. Also look out for the Koch brothers. They control the government more than any politician does.
Mr. Ricketts, before you begin attacking Obama for his ties to Jeremiah Wright, why don’t you have a conversation with Mr. Wright and understand his perspective of being black in America. It would blow your mind! For the rest of you, recognize the propaganda. Understand the cycle of oppression. Really consider how each side of the political arguments will benefit you or others. Fight for those who don’t have as many resources as you. And most of all, stop supporting TD Ameritrade and the Chicago Cubs if you don’t agree with Ricketts’ shady plan (sorry Missy). Obama, stay classy. People see through the theatrics of these clowns!