I’ve heard from people, usually those trying to justify their stereotyping, that it is hard to differentiate between opinion and oppression. That since we live in a free country, we have the right to voice what we think, the right to perhaps bring an action to our opinion.
While the latter sentence is true, I don’t, however, think that it is really all that hard to find a difference between an opinion and an act of oppression.
An opinion can be anything, it doesn’t always have to be political. Someone might not particularly like the color purple, it is their opinion. What is not an opinion, however, is if someone doesn’t “like” a group of people solely based on their race, sexuality, sexual orientation, etc. Because not liking a person or group of people due to inherent stereotypes is not simply having an unfavorable opinion – it is oppression.
Recently, there have been many anti-Semitic attacks surfacing in the United States and there is one very blatant thing they have in common with anti-black KKK attack, besides fascism, is that everyone associated with them somehow justify their hatred by saying that they have a right to free speech and the right to have an opinion.
But the fact is, while everyone may have the right to free speech, it does not mean that we also have the right to be protected against its social repercussions. So when a Nazi receives backlash for their fascist beliefs, it is not an attack on their freedom to articulate an opinion, but it is an attack on their oppression of a certain section of society.
As we grow into an interconnected world where there are vast differences in opinion, it is becoming increasingly important to understand and identify the clear line between expressing your opinion or exercising oppression.
So the next time some sexist or racist or just an overall prejudiced dude tries to tell you that you don’t deserve something that you’re entitled to and then proceeds to hide behind the facade of freedom of expression, make sure that they hear loud and clear that their “expression” isn’t an opinion if it undermines the existence of someone else.
(originally published on: https://paakhibhatnagar.wordpress.com/)
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