To Repeat: Being Anti-Racist isn’t based on how many friends of colour you have, it’s how many of your white friends and family you are willing to talk about and call out on racism.
One of the not so cool things about the internet is that it has helped to produce a class of people who are, relatively speaking, quite comfortable in their general anti-oppression stance. Anti-oppression discourse, nowadays, isn’t even about a politics (i.e. working collectively to change the world you inhabit) as much as it is about style—about speaking the right language, using the right terms, expressing outrage at the right moment, etc. Unlike previous generations of people discussing anti-oppression ideas, we who are members of this class don’t need to go to long, drawn-out meetings or to join activist groups in order to satisfy our desire to be against oppression. The discussion, in many ways, comes to us—just follow the right people, read the right blogs, etc. Anti-oppression, that is, arrives to us with the slick, polished ease of a commodity.…
But the fact that an entire industry has emerged to produce evidence about oppression without doing much at all to fight it should tell us something about where we’re at in terms of capitalism. Anti-oppression has become a commodity, too, and “we” are part of the machine by and through which that commodity is made and consumed. I’m not trying to trivialize or downplay the existence of oppression—oppression exists, and exists on a scale any in ways I am not even in a position to know or speak about. But I am trying to begin to understand how capitalism has enabled people—especially upwardly mobile, college educated people like me—to generate an anti-oppression discourse that allows many of us to feel as if we are doing much more to fight it than we actually are.—
But without oppression, how would it be possible to create segments of the economy that are easy to financially exploit (by labour or price gouging) so that capitalist investors can maintain or increase their personal profit margins?
Without oppression there would be no opportunity for rich people to be rich people…
And what about those people who have lifestyles that depend on cheap labour to enable their lives of comfort?
Without oppression I might have to, you know, actually work hard for a living. Rather than supporting a system that forces some people in the world to work insanely hard in order to finance my quality of life.