The ‘Ground Hog Day’ of Oppression and Allyship

The ‘Ground Hog Day’ of Oppression and Allyship

Whether on social media, major media like radio, tv, movies or news, or real interactions in our lives, we do see repeated issues of oppression. And we see the systemic factors and institutions that perpetuate them. It’s what humanity has always done in it’s efforts to ‘other’ so we can feel better about ourselves. So we can continue our privilege. Without being uncomfortable.

We enforce stereotypes, we feel the feelings and communicate based on how we are shown people are. Rather than getting to know actual people and what their lives are like. Any people who don’t fit into those stereotypes are the ‘good ones’ or the exceptions. Rather than realizing that they just don’t fit anyone.

The systems stay, with little change. The activism done is a series of small acts that don’t really change things. Certainly not the systems.

Even in the pandemic, we have seen how BIPOC are more adversely affected. In the USA’s legal changes that affect the autonomy of LGBTQ and women, we see the slope they could go on. Are going on. And people are trying to advocate for the most affected. But we’re actually at a point where the best thing we may be able to do, is offer them asylum. And I know there’s a petition thru Canada’s Green Party to do just that. (Current ## signed is almost 140,000) I think Canada as a country is trying to grow. I think we also know we have work to do among our own. And given that, how do we ask others to be better? At least we’re trying? At least we know we have work to do? But we’re not that. Nor do we want to be.

It’s a process. And it does need to be that to be effective change. But it is frustrating when you’re the one who is harassed or in danger.

So in the interim, how do we support people most affected by the oppression? Who have to slug it out everyday?

  • Listen to their stories
  • Try to show humility, grace, kindness
  • Try not to take over because they do need to be part of the journey. The plan and the process have to come from them.


You can stop here or you can watch this video. It’s about how media portrays the role of the ally. And it’s not that great. I think it’s an interesting and necessary take on that paradigm that’s worth the almost hour it takes to watch it. It may help you be a better ally, if you wish to be.

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