All posts by Phyllis G. Williams

Phyllis G. Williams

About Phyllis G. Williams

Phyllis is a storyteller who expresses herself through visual, vocal, and written means. Her mission is to inspire, inform, and ignite change by encouraging others to look inward. Her passions are culture and community. | @progresspromoter & @livingtheprinciples

17May/20

Inconvenienced, not Oppressed

Years ago, there was a hashtag called #FirstWorldProblems. It showed the entitlement of mostly Americans. For example, there would be a picture of a person in agony as if they were experiencing severe grief or pain. The caption above the picture would read, “When you can’t get WI-FI throughout the house and want to game.” It shouted privilege and entitlement.

Now, entitlement has risen again in the midst of this pandemic, but sadly it’s not online. It is in real-life. Entitlement shines like a raggedy lace front. Others are watching baffled while the person wearing it doesn’t realize they look a hot mess. What really burns my grits with this display of collective whining is the use of the words “oppression” and “freedom.”

They aren’t oppressed. Their freedoms haven’t been removed. They are inconvenienced!

via the Milwaukee Independent

As a Black Southern woman, when I hear oppression I imagine the life of my ancestors. I don’t have to go too far back in time because my mom grew up during the Civil Rights Era. My grandparents grew up in the Jim Crow era. Seeing as I did an ancestry test and have a small percentage of European DNA in my veins, it’s suggested that one of my great-grandmothers was given no other choice but to lie down with a man that had power over her. Have you seen some of the things that enslaved Africans around the world had to endure? Does your paper thin mask bring you as much pain as an iron bit, pronged collar, and shackles?

They aren’t oppressed. Their freedoms haven’t been removed. They are inconvenienced!

As a Marine veteran, I think about my last deployment. While deployed to Iraq, I would see Muslim women with their faces fully covered. Their faces were fully covered and it was over 110 degrees in the desert! Some Muslim women in the Middle East make a choice to cover and some obey the wishes of their husband to avoid torture. This extreme display of patriarchy exists in other countries resulting in the policing and managing of women’s body. Have you seen some of the issues trending in the Middle East and Africa? Does your inability to not get a haircut bring you as much pain as genital mutilation?

They aren’t oppressed. Their freedoms haven’t been removed. They are inconvenienced!

The irony of these whiners is they often tell other people to get over it and pull themselves up by the bootstraps. Yet, they are angrily protesting keeping six feet of distance, having less than 10 in a group, cancelled concerts, and no haircuts – THIS oppresses them. I’m convinced that many of these people are toxic, damaged, and/or hateful on the inside. They are forced to spend time with themselves and now are realizing how harmful they truly are. Their own nefarious energy is eating away at them but, rather than look inward, they point a finger at a person or group of people, not acknowledging the true definition of oppression or freedom stricken. Not realizing the irony that they are oppressing others and removing their freedoms. Only because of an inconvenience…

Featured Photograph: Seth Herald/Reuters