Sunday, November 25, 2012

Talking Points #12

Interrupting the Cycle of Oppression: The Role of Allies as Agents of Change
Andrea Ayvazian


In Interrupting the Cycle of Oppression: The Role of Allies as Agents of Change by
Andrea Ayvazian, the author explains, “In each form of oppression there is a dominant group… and a targeted group” (Ayvazian, 599).  Ayvazian describes the dominant group as the group “that receives the unearned advantage, benefit or privilege” and the targeted group as the group “that is denied that advantage, benefit or privilege” (Ayvazian, 599). I connect this idea of oppression having dominant and targeted groups to the film we saw in class titled, Tough Guise. In Tough Guise it is mentioned that the dominant groups in comparison to the targeted groups, are the groups that barely get paid attention to positively in regards to the fact they can also be oppressed and are never talked about. In the film for example, it was explained that when we think of race, we think African American people, Asian American people, Latin American people, but we never think of White people. When we think of sexual orientation, we think lesbian, queer, bisexual but we never think of heterosexuality. When we think of gender we think female, but we never think of male. The point is that we tend to think of only the oppressed group and forget to focus on the dominant groups which include, white people, heterosexuality, and the male gender.

As I kept reading along, I began to learn about what being an ally really means, what it is about, and what it entitles. An important quote from In Interrupting the Cycle of Oppression: The Role of Allies as Agents of Change by, Andrea Ayvazian, that summed it all up for me is: “Allied behavior is clear action aimed at dismantling the oppression of others in areas where you yourself benefit – it is proactive, intentional, and often involves taking a risk” (Ayvazian, 599). An ally usually has more power than the target and that is why they are able to become that ally and so it is important that they take that step forward in even taking that position as an ally to make a difference and stand up for justice, for hope, for kindness, for equality, etc and challenge the perpetrator.

I went on to the internet to find out more information about what being an ally is all about and I found these really great informative websites that could give you a better understanding of what being an ally really means. If you are still a little unfamiliar to the whole idea of what it takes to be an ally or become an ally for someone else who needs it definitely take a look through the websites below. I can guaranteed that you’ll probably have questions regarding to what you will find but you’ll definitely get a better understanding for you yourself first.
Stand up for oppression, discrimination and inequality.

Combatting Intentional Bigotry and Inadvertently Racist Acts
Fletcher A. Blanchard


“The elasticity of privately held views regarding racism appears to reveal a lack of knowledge about the nature of racism and uncertainty about how institutions and individuals might appropriately respond to expressions of racism.
I suspect that one of the reasons that opinions about racism are so easily influenced derives from the high level of racial segregation that still characterizes contemporary American society. Indeed, one wonders just how much people’s ignorance about racism and lack of contact with other races contributed to the verdict in the King case Although recent survey People for the American Way indicated that many young Americans say they have a friend of another race, most still know little about other racial and ethnic groups.”

I think that although some people have friends of another race, they know little to nothing about their racial or ethnical group because yes they can be friends because they hang out in school, but that doesn’t mean that they hang out at each other’s houses. They may just see each other at school so they don’t get that full experience of getting to know each others families where you would really get a taste of one another’s cultures whether it is through the kinds of foods you eat, what language is spoken mostly at home, or the daily activities they take part in as a family or individually. Your economic social status and the neighborhood you live in are some factors that influence those activities you would take part in. For examples, there are some families that take time to watch the news together, which is something I never really did with my family. It would be coincidences if we all sat down to watch it together.   

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