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5'7'' Black Male @absurdistwords
, 18 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
So you really just don't understand what systemic oppression is.

The thing about systemic oppression is that it doesn't require hate to run.

Lemme explain.
Let's say that there's two sets of kids. North side kids and South side kids. They live a few hours apart, but only have a single school to go to that they must share.

And the school is on the South Side
Now it only takes the kids from South Side 15 minutes tops to get to school. Walking.

But the North side kids have a two hour commute.
Let's say that classes at South Side start at 8am. And being late to homeroom penalIzes your grade.

Now these rules apply to everyone equally.

But they affect the North Side kids more deeply
A North side kid has to get up way earlier in the morning than a South side kid to make it to class on time.

This means that the likelihood of being late to homeroom is also higher.

Which means that they have to work harder to not get grade penalties.
The North Side kids also either have to choose between getting less done after school (homework, family time, recreation, extra curriculars) or getting less sleep.

Both put them at a disadvantage versus the South Side kids.
Now let's say that not only are there penalties for poor attendance, but perks for coming in early.

Anyone who does, gets a boost in their grade.

Now the North side kids are falling behind twice. They're less likely to get boosts AND more likely to get docked.
Someone simply looking at the raw student grades might say "Wow. North Side kids are much worse students"

Sentiments like these can affect education policy for those students if they are held by policy makers.
So despite a lack of malice or hatred, despite a rule that was written to apply equally to all students, despite a lack of conspiratorial intent...

We have simple systemic oppression.
Likewise, the South Side kids, having done nothing to earn their proximity to school, are still both rewarded for it and insulated from the negative attendance effects of living on the North side.

This is called privilege.
Now because South Side kids grow up in the shadow of school, they internalize that if one of them are late, either there was a huge excusable crisis or they were just delinquent.

To them there is no other logical reason that someone would have a hard time getting to class
Because of this failure of perspective, South Side kids rest pretty comfortably in the notion that even though they may like them just fine, all in all they're better students than the North Side kids.

And they begin to believe they are more worthy of their education.
Now the South Side kids haven't done anything WRONG. They just happen to have it easier with regard to attendance than the North Side kids, and pointing out that this is a fact isn't insulting to them

The problem begins when the South Side kids insist everyone is treated equally
As we can see from this example, systemic inequality can arise organically as the result of decisions that didn't take the potential conflicts into account.

It is the refusal to acknowledge and address it, or worse, to justify it that compounds the oppression
That systemic oppression is, also not likely (without intervention) to resolve itself but is rather likely to perpetuate itself.

Each difficulty experienced by a North side kid compounds the strain on them and their ability to succeed.
It's not simply a matter of the attendance penalties. Their direct influence on grades may have less effect than reduced time for homework or tutoring, for sleep, for exercise, for socializing.

Even for breakfast. All these affect success in school. And life.
This is not to consider the potential psychological tolls.

Constantly being chastised

Reduced attention due to inadequate sleep

Peer/Teacher stigma

Inability to engage in socializing activities

Stress induced by pressure to succeed

Internalized inferiority

Etc.
Now with this in mind. Please join me in shifting gears to the thread below and seeing how this understanding of systemic oppression leads into the following discussion of what it looks like when people attempt to correct systemic oppression.

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