20 Ways America Successfully Keeps Black People Oppressed

Failing to recognize your oppression guarantees we will remain successfully oppressed.

If Black people want to be free, first you need to learn to see how you’re oppressed. There is a method to White madness and you need to understand it so you won’t fall prey. We are collectively oppressed because we collectively allow White Supremacy (our oppressor) to

  1. Allowing White people to tell you what’s good for you. Your oppressor is always going to try to tell you what’s good for you, especially where White losing power is concerned. That’s why White folks are so vested in advising Black people on how to vote.
  2. Choosing danger on the left in place of the danger right. When dealing with White Supremacy, most White people are dangerous to us Black folks, so are both political parties. A liberal racist espousing incremental change is no different than a MAGA racist wanting a White nation. Both are not interested in helping Blacks and both are concerned with protecting their White identities and their social hierarchy. The goals for both are the same, achieving White comfort and maintaining White power. Your choices are going no places fast, going no place slow, or fighting to go where you want to go. Most people select the previous two and are content with moving no place. That’s being content with oppression, no matter which vehicle sells it to us as freedom.
  3. Not asking for anything. Nothing makes White people happier than Black folks not asking for anything and being satisfied with their shitty statuses in our America. We’re the only people who can’t ask for anything, and when we do, we allow Whites to tell us to wait, they tell us it’s too much, or they do like Biden did, they flat out tell us what they aren’t going to do and still support him and his broken back mountain party. Asking for nothing, no demanding nothing implies you’re good with nothing.
  4. Be content with scraps. America loves for us minority groups to fight for scraps while White people get to keep the biggest pieces of the pie and all their power/positions in society. The oppressors love watching us Blacks fight other minorities for scraps while we forget they have the most pie. Oppressors love throwing folks scraps. Watch any movie about slaves.
  5. Pretend assimilation works. White people love it when we act like their model [fill in blank of the token ethnic group here] minority. Nothing says the program works better than us selling it to our own people. We even sell assimilation to our kids.
  6. Forgiving is a tool of the oppressor. If your oppressors can get you to forgive them, they never have to pay for their sins. White people love to ask us to forgive them. Forgiveness is all about their fears, not atonement for their offenses. Forgiveness has nothing to do with their offenses. As long as you keep forgiving and forgiving the sinners, your sinners will keep slapping you. Just ask Black people.
  7. Loving your abusers. White people in America love to tell us, Black folks, violence doesn’t solve our problem, yet they inflict the most violence against us. We’re in a domestic violence relationship and our abusers are constantly love-bombing us. Black folks are in a domestic violence relationship with America.
  8. Loving the rich, hating the poor. There are more poor people in America than rich people. There are more middle-class folks than there are rich people too. Anf while there are fewer rich folks, but they have more power yet America teaches us to love the cheaters in power and hate the poor with no power (and minorities, and children, and old people, and working-class people). Loving and envying the rich keeps us oppressed, and apparently, a lot of you like it. In a capitalistic society, the poor are required to keep the rich wealthy. If you’re not rich, you’re helping the rich get rich. If you’re envying the rich, they appreciate it. You keep them eating well. Instead of envying them, you should be fighting them. They are not our friends, they all are thieves, liars, and oppressors. Even your faves.
  9. Staying entertained. One of the ways America keeps people of all ages oppressed is through entertainment. Video games, cell phones, and mobile devices, sports, trash music, videos, 24/7 news, social media, YouTube, the dark web, porn, Sci-Fi movies, fictional book, etc., all keep us distracted as the oppressors devise ways to keep us oppressed. America will be stealing your underwear and most of you wouldn’t know it. We know more about Star Wars than we do about the real wars rich White men start with our tax dollars. We spend millions of dollars on war daily, and we can’t get money to care for the workers who make our wars possible. Ya’ll don’t hear me. Staying entertained keeps all of us oppressed. Read some books.
  10. Not reading the writing on the wall. We keep sending our kids to public school telling them they can be whatever they want to be when the truth of the matter is public school has one purpose, and that’s to prepare our children to be workers and contributors to our economy. If you’re raising future workers, failing to understand the trends set by politicians, you’re raising America’s future poor, There is a lot of stuff happening that politicians don’t tell you about. Reading is fundamental. Read more than you listen to the polished liars. They will tell you anything, but read those draft bills, learn to analyze political speak, and understand words matter. The oppressor tells us everything, even when they say nothing.
  11. Sleeping with your oppressor. Too many people love to sleep with their oppressors. I don’t mean folks are having sex with oppressors. I just mean collaborating with them, doing their bidding, working for your oppressor, helping to keep your own people oppressed for pennies, working in career fields, and on jobs that keep people oppressed, or working in career fields that aid in upholding the oppressor. Sleeping with the master never works. It’s like a lamb unknowingly going into a slaughterhouse.
  12. Being afraid to fight. Your enemies know when you can’t fight. So do your oppressors. If you’re afraid to fight, your enemies and oppressors know you don’t plan on leaving because you’re afraid to fight. They can treat you any old way. Failing to fight means you’ll tolerate anything. If you won’t fight for your freedom, you‘ll never be free.
  13. Being dependent upon your oppressor for your basic needs. If you need your oppressor to feed you (job), clothe you (paycheck), food, care for your children (school, etc.). If you can’t take care of yourself, you’ll do anything to survive. The oppressor knows this and works diligently to keep you entangled and in bondage to debt and other shiny objects. If you can’t feed yourself without going to work in bondage, you can’t fend for yourself, stave off starvation, or make it should the oppressor find a new oppressed group to invest in for their benefit, you’re sure to remain oppressed and eventually discarded.
  14. Not speaking up/standing up for yourself. Oppressed Black people are always seeking a leader to lead them out of oppression. They are afraid to fight alone. Allowing folks to run over you lets the oppressor know you won’t leave the abusive relationship unless someone rescues you. Your oppressor(s) will make sure that person(s) never arrives. If you’re following people who won’t stand up for you, you both are helping with your oppression.
  15. Failing to recognize enemies and friends of enemies. The one thing I hate about us Black folks is we give folks passes who don’t deserve them, and we ride for enemies. We live in a fantasy world like we have lots of consistent friends and allies. The only people Black people have in their corner consistently are Black people, and we’re pretty shitty to each other, A LOT! Black folks put too much energy into riding for the oppressors' people and tools. They don’t need our help. Trust me, they’ll be just fine without you. If you’re not around helping them, they won’t be able to get as far. Know your enemies and the friends of your enemies folks.
  16. Not thinking critically. If you engage in groupthink, you’re not thinking critically. If you’re unable to think critically, you can’t see danger, even if it has on a nice suit, good time, hard bottom shoes, and is named Mr. President. Some things we Black folks do are out of tradition and it makes no logical sense. Some things we do as Black folks because White folks have programmed us to do it and it does not benefit us at all. We don’t take the time to inquire why we do certain things, vote certain ways, align with certain groups, etc. We gotta do a better job of thinking critically. If you accept whatever the oppressor sells you, you’re going to be suckered.
  17. Chasing money. America is a capitalistic society. They sell us stuff the way junk car salesmen sell buyers junk cars. We’re so busy consuming and trying to keep up with the Joneses, chasing more money, competing with each other for scraps, and trying to move up to noplace fast, we don’t realize all we’re doing is chasing stuff that has no value, won’t make us feel better, and helps rich folks stay rich. Chasing money instead of living a meaningful life will keep you oppressed. Debt is an oppressor. Chasing money is too. The more you have, the more you want. No one is satisfied. In my opinion, rich people may have more fun, but poor people live the richest lives.
  18. Letting White people dictate what’s racist. I’ve said this numerous times and I’ll say it again, White people should never be in charge of dictating what is and what isn't racist. White people/White Supremacy created racism and helped it evolve over the centuries for Godsake! The moment you allow White people to start dictating how to talk about the way we Black people experience racism or what we should do to help them understand, you’ve relinquished all of your power to the oppressor. You’ve made a decision to stay oppressed.
  19. Sticking up for racists. Black people have a habit of defending the indefensible. I don’t know why we do that. We’re always seeking to be liked. Racists don’t need defense, they need to be called out. Whatever happens after that isn’t our business! We can’t help our own damned selves, how in the hell are we out here trying to help people actively trying to hurt us? Racists and colorists need to reform themselves and that’s not our business. When we help racists, we’re putting down burdens and troubles they’ve caused us to help the root cause of the burdens and troubles. Stop taking up for racists. Trust me, they aren’t sticking up for you.
  20. Engaging in White Supremacy. Any Black person engaging in White Supremacy is helping to oppress themselves and other Blacks, minorities. You’ve co-signed with all the codes, programs, propaganda, dreams, and nightmares. You’re willing to put aside all White people and their allies have done to us in order to live out a fantasy. Capitalism is rooted in White Supremacy. Racial discrimination is rooted in White Supremacy. Inequity in America is rooted in racial discrimination. Gatekeeping is rooted in slavery. Everything in America is rooted in White Supremacy. The structure is intact and thrives when White folks can grandfather the rest of us suckers into it. When we help White people maintain their structures, they win, we don’t. We are vested in remaining oppressed.

Black people must do a better job of examining their lives and refraining from the things that help keep us oppressed. You can’t fight sitting down. You can’t fight on the sidelines either. We’re in a war and most people don’t understand Black people are walking with targets on our backs because they are okay with White Supremacy or don’t understand it.

There is a shift happening, and most Black people are missing it. It’s tied up in coded language, culture culturing, shifting priorities, People of Color jockeying for positions, strategic alignments, and flat out ignoring us politically. We can keep pretending that we’re not oppressed. Just because you’re not on a plantation, there isn’t a White man putting thirty lashes across our backs, or we’re not viewed as chattel doesn’t mean we’re not still oppressed.

The evolution of White Supremacy is ongoing, and its goal is to keep their favorite serf-class on the bottom. They have non-White help to help them. Sometimes our own people (and people claiming to be our people) are in key positions to aid White Supremacy.

The way we Black folks see our oppression must change. The way we fight our oppression must change too because White Supremacy is always changing. White Supremacy needs to keep someone oppressed in order for it to remain at the top of the social hierarchy. White people are relying on us not challenging them or their ever-evolving playbook of oppression.

Study all the ways you are oppressed, the figure out the ways to make yourselves free. It won’t be easy. Fighting for freedom never is.

Failing to recognize your oppression guarantees we will remain successfully oppressed. No Black person is free until we’re all free from bondage.

The real question is do Black people enjoy oppression, or do we desire freedom.

Marley K. 2021

Follow me at Marleyisms, or on Twitter.

Sassy writer of unvarnished thoughts on anti-Blackness, racism, politics, Black people. | www.marleyisms.com | www.ko-fi.com/marleyk | Twitter @MarleyK20 |

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