This is statement contains one of the biggest lies ever told.
It helps the oppressor, not the oppressed.
The most oppressed people in any society are not the ‘weakest’ among us.
They are the strongest. They are not weak. They are being put down by others. Calling them weak helps put them down. We have to change our language. Let me illustrate this for you.
I grew up with a narcissistic parent. In narcissistic family systems there is always a scapegoat. The scapegoat is portrayed as ‘weak’ and inherently flawed. We grow up thinking we deserve such treatment because there is something wrong with US.
Therapists have said in these situations the presence of a scapegoat is always a sign of a sick family system. If you think of the oppressed in this way — the scapegoat of society — you can begin to understand that it is typically the strongest of the group that is cast in this role. There is nothing inherently wrong with those who are oppressed, and you can start to see how this narrative of the ‘weak’ as the oppressed actually aids in their oppression.
There IS something wrong with the oppressor; not those they oppress.
The oppressed are not weak. They are strong. They withstand things that would make most of us hide out in fear. They bare the burden of all that is wrong with society — with or without contributing to wrong doing. They overcome expectations that are almost always negative. They live in a perpetual state of ‘damned if you do,’ and ‘damned if you don’t,’ that is inescapable. Others do this TO them. From the outside.
Oppressors subjugate others because THEY are weak; not because those they oppress are weak.
Being scapegoated causes people to feel weak. But to survive under those conditions is a testament to the exact opposite of that narrative. I am not in any way suggesting that as a white woman, others are not more oppressed, scapegoated with even more burden than I am.
They absolutely are.
I am saying there is nothing wrong or weak about the most oppressed among us. I am saying, that to call them weak is to hand an excuse to the oppressor. I will not lend credibility to the oppressor’s story.
Instead, I will say that someone who is more oppressed than I am does not mean that those people are weaker than me. Instead I will insist what I know to be true —
They are stronger than me and they understand this situation a hell of a lot better than I do.
I will also say that the original post, in my opinion is absolutely correct. Triage. Not for the ‘weakest’ — for those who have been hurt the most by the weakest among us — the oppressor. I am not weak. I am not weak enough to assist the oppressor. I don’t need to see those who are more oppressed by others as ‘weak’ to want to help them heal. I want them to heal because they are strong and I need them to lead the way.
Even the strongest humans feel pain. They grieve loss. They need healing and assistance. In fact, they ASK FOR HELP. The weakest among us don’t ask for help. They TAKE from others. They think having the brains to understand that they need help IS weakness. They believe they have all the answers already. They call those they oppress ‘weak’ and this is the ultimate of all their projections.
They are wrong about those they oppress; they are talking about themselves.
Go to the link I shared here. More often than not it is the scapegoat who goes looking for answers in the narcissistic family system. They do that because they are the healthiest mentally and emotionally and they are the most resilient. They can withstand change, adapt and reinvent themselves in ways you and I never dreamed. All you need to do is look at all they have survived in this system to know what I am telling you is the truth.
Calling them weak is not empowering. Calling them weak is to cast them pitiful. I think there are plenty of people already doing that here. I don’t need to assist.
What I need to do is respect them. What I need others to do is respect them as well. Others like me aren’t going to respect them if we keep up this bullshit of labeling them weak. It is a lie we tell ourselves so we can look down on them with pity.
There is nothing to pity here. The strongest among us carry the heaviest burdens. Our compassion needs to be centered on the real story, not the one we want to tell because it makes us feel better. We think we are being nice with this shit, but we aren’t. We are assisting in their oppression.
We must look up to them as leaders and show them respect. We need to show up, head to the back, close our mouths and open our ears.