It appears now, more than ever, that we are living in the times that we once learned about in our history books. The purest validation of “history repeats itself” as the clock appears to dial back right before our eyes in a swift and undeniable fashion.
Freedom ain’t so free...now is it? There’s a price to pay for everything because oppression comes with limits. You can take a knee on a football field, but only before the anthem plays and when it’s used to demonstrate your longing of respect for your job - not a cry for the lives of young Black men taken away unjustly by police. You can work in our country and gratefully complete the jobs that we find too distasteful to do, but once we find out you’re undocumented, we will rip you away from your family, throw you past a wall, and send you back to famish, countries that kill you for being gay, and genocides. You can use the bathroom only if it discreetly matches your assigned gender and even when we do provide a unisex bathroom, we will complain about ever having to make one. You can get an education because you can never make it our world without it, but we can pick and choose where you are allowed to attend based on gender, sexuality, and race to meet a status quo. You can serve in the military, but only if you agree to keep a closed mouth about the one you love while your battle rants and raves to the lieutenant about his wife and kids. You can enlist in the military and sacrifice your life while you fulfill your childhood dreams of serving your country, but only if you can prove that what lies beneath the fabric of your uniform is what you were born with.
Oh, but you say you’re tired of race and sexuality continuously being thrown into the mix? Yet, oppression has always meant permission. I can only have my rights after I have asked to do so, but that possibly only exist when I ask in a way that’s respectful to your liking as I promise to keep my actions comfortably out of your sight. It’s ridiculous to know that we still live in a country that emits broken promises of “life, liberty, and justice for all.” A world that dooms us to succumb to our oppressive puppeteers as we live by, “think as you say, but don’t do as we please.”
The strange fact of the matter is that most of us have resulted in developing the mindset that we will do whatever we have to just to get by and we’ll remain quiet just to stay out of the way, but we will never truly succeed until we make the oppressor the victim and make those born into oppressive behavior consider the privilege they have in doing so. In visual terms, you are indeed making the oppressor your bitch, but understand that the oppressor isn’t always a person. An oppressor is whatever is holding you back from being your authentic self and keeping your internal being boxed away just to satisfy the need of others to feel externally comfortable. Allowing your light to be dimmed by anyone or anything is not only hurting yourself but, most importantly, it is hindering the world from witnessing your true glow. A glow that made you unique and differentiated in your creation...one that changes the world in its own right. If anyone is uncomfortable with who you are, who cares? Let them be the ones that have to adjust, and if they can’t, so be it because you should always live, love, and be who you are, unapologetically!