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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 3/11/12

What Does Oppression Look Like?

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Message Lenore Daniels


This is what the dissent by the oppressed looks like.


The one smiling would be reprimanded while the other might be murdered. And this we call equality in the U.S., the oppression of democracy.


If, for these two men, gainful employment is not to be found because the accumulation of profits for the Nikes, Wal-Mart, Apples and Microsofts, demands these corporations bottom line substitutes union workers in the U.S. for workers in China and India, then these two young men, of course, could go to war--and defend democracy.


Pick any place: Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan--Iran, maybe soon? If these two men survive combat, yet sustain mental and/or physical injuries, medical attention might be problematic.   In fact, the medical attention they do receive is certain to be short terms and inadequate. If the men are still unable to find work and face the possibility of homelessness, if one or both are fathers, how would they act on learning that they are   non-persons and they always were non-persons while Lockheed Martin and General Electric and others, are persons. How would they respond to learn finally that these persons have the right to fund the campaigns of politicians who, in turn, must defend the rights of the corporations, or risk losing their political lives while corporate executives enjoy life, liberty, in pursuit of their happiness?


If our two young men return in coffins, the steel-like "patriotism" of wartime counselors, generals, and presidents, will be represented by the metals decorating the uniforms concealing the horrific wounds they sustained and the local press will print the word "hero" alongside their names. But only family and the community of friends and neighbors speak of "love" and their humanity.


And it will not matter then if one perceives the other as less Black, less threatening and the other, then. An American flag will drape the Black man's coffin, too.

And the "Black" president will continue to speak of "smart" drones because he is a "smart" man and solitary confinement or coffins is all the same means of keeping Goldman Sachs and Larry Summers in pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. Barrack Obama collected, last year alone, 220 million dollars for his war chest, mostly from super PACs and independent groups (Huffington Post, January 12, 2012).   Our two young men behind me, "alive," would defend Obama. He doesn't want to do it, but the
"system" makes him do it.


By no means would they be alone in their defense of Obama. For the same system that destroys jobs here in the U.S. and enslaves workers in China and India, the same system that forecloses on homes, and cannot provide children here with nourishing food or proper health care, is the same "system" already grinning and speaking of better days ahead--in the next term.


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Dr. Lenore J. Daniels, Black Commentator, Editorial Board and Columnist, Doctorate in Modern American Literature/Cultural Theory
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