Yesterday, I tweeted this:
I am so damn tired of privileged white, straight people playing the victim card. #youveneverbeenoppressed
This was in response to a trend I’ve seen for a while, but is cresting in the particular religious world I live in. In short, it is increasingly the case that those who have historically been in the majority on several issues are now not, and it is making folks crazy. There are some that, to their credit, are doing the very hard work of trying to reframe their understanding of living in a community that they do not wholly resonate with, but so many more are playing a game I find deplorable.
Persons who have historically occupied positions of privilege have begun to declare that the tables have now turned and that they are the victims of marginalization and oppression.
What is at play is a lack of understanding of regarding the actualities of marginalization. Given that these persons have rarely (if ever) had to function in an environment where their behaviors and understandings were not the dominant norm, when they enter into a situation where their options for control are limited they begin aping what they believe they have heard from other marginalized persons or groups and mistakenly apply those to their present situation. They declare that they are now being marginalized and demand to be accommodated.
This betrays a belief that life is a zero sum game and the best strategy to win it is to seize control. This is problematic in a Christian religious environment, where we have historically affirmed that God is always creating and that there is “always room at the table.”
So (in a nod to Godwin’s Law) I now offer “Landon’s Law of Declarations of Oppression”:
As the influence of a person or group of privilege decreases, declarations of oppression and marginalization will occur in the inverse.