I see you there with your baseball cap on. Several times, it’s one that sports the MAGA logo. Other times, it shows support for your favorite sports team, unable to play in the current climate.
You love to talk about freedom.
Liberty is practically your middle name.
Yet, peaceful protests and a common call to decency rile you up faster than poking a hornets’ nest.
You like to use the First Amendment as a call for your rights, for your freedom. Your freedom of speech. You protest change. Anything that challenges your status quo. Lately, you’ve said you’re oppressed.
No. A very simple no on that.
Oppression is what many Americans’ ancestors experienced as slaves. It’s also using the 13th Amendment to disproportionately detain people of color as modern slaves, except we call them prisoners. Their crimes are petty. Like you. Being oppressed is when you have a visceral fear of being stopped for a tail light being out and being charged with the crime of being black in America.
Oppression is hiding in bars that are raided by Vice. It’s pretending the love of your life is your roommate because being gay is only recently accepted in a legal forum. Oppression is fear of rape that’s inflicted to prove “it only takes the right dick to turn me straight.”
So, John and Karen, you’re not oppressed.
Oppression isn’t being asked to wear a mask during a global pandemic. Oppression isn’t when other races ask for the same rights your race has. Moreover, oppression isn’t when you finally treat other races as equal. And oppression is definitely not when LGBTQ+ couples get the same legal rights as cis heterosexual couples.
Black lives matter. Gay rights matter. And if you believed all lives mattered, you’d wear a mask during a global pandemic. But you don’t want to. Your rights, your rights! Right?
Well, your rights never left. Science simply won for a nanosecond and we are asked to wear masks to protect ourselves and others. You are mistaking inconvenience for oppression.
Wearing a mask is in no way a political issue. Furthermore, neither are basic human rights. Why, Karen, do you say the police officer was “just doing his job” when busting into an African American person’s private home, yet wearing a piece of cloth on your face only while in public spaces is completely unjust? Oh, and those things called seatbelts — do you think that’s oppression too, since they’re required while driving?
It’s not oppression. It’s a minor inconvenience. A history lesson is in order, or perhaps a vocabulary lesson, when we’re all allowed to return to school, so you can be educated on the difference.
In the meantime, please wear a mask. After all, don’t “all lives matter?”