Oppression can be overcome by the very tools it uses

It stands to reason that equality is not a goal of the educational systems within this country. By their defined purposes that Kozol and Weber postulate, educational systems are designed to ensure that inequality is the served purpose. However, Thomas Hobbes wrote, “Nature hath made man so equal, in the faculties of body and mind; as that though there be found one man sometimes manifestly stronger in body, or of quicker mind than another, yet when all is reckoned together, the difference between man and man, is not so considerable, as that one man can thereupon claim as he.  For as to the strength of body, the weakest has strength enough to kill the strongest, either by secret machination, or by confederacy with others, that are in the same danger with himself” (Biestedt, 1959, 86).  What he means is that people are naturally equal, but humanity creates structures that create inequality.  However, this same system that creates the inequality can be attacked by its own tools of oppression: language prescription, social unification, opportunity exposure, and belief in the choice of becoming.  Since people, as Hobbes expressed, are fundamentally equal and if it is true that the weak can overcome the strong through those means he outlined, then the oppressed can rise above the undercurrents that lead to oppression.

Oppression is not, at least overtly anymore, an enemy that anyone can easily detect or identify.  There are some examples where racism still exists; however, as is evidenced in Kozol (1991) and in my own observations, economic constraints have become the system’s main tool.  But, because the oppression has become internalized, that is, the oppressed are largely believing that they are oppressed, there can be no external means applied to these situations described above.  One of the main reasons for that is that the poor do not control the economic power and so, changing budgets or redirecting funds cannot work simply because those who control the economic forces are instruments of a system designed so that there is academic failure.  The result is various groups of people who are awaiting some external force, be it a person, or a law, or a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, or anything else that they think will change their situation for them.

Therefore, I advocate for utilizing the very tools that lead to oppression as the weapons against the undercurrents of the system.  However, the undercurrents must first be identified before they can be attacked.       These tools of oppression can be used against the oppressive system due the system’s own hypocrisy.  The professed egalitarianism can be cited as reason for the oppressed to begin to employ the structures of oppression.


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