White Christian Male: “I Feel Oppressed!”

Recently I was talking to a friend of mine. He is a 50-ish Caucasian male, Christian, employed, and heterosexual/married. He informed me that he feels oppressed. My jaw dropped in amazement. After a moment of silence on my part, while I processed this, he went on to tell me WHY: he thinks that he and his kind are now persecuted and ridiculed by the media, that everyone else has governmental protections for their rights-he cited those protecting minorities and equal rights for women, and that Christians are daily being harassed. Now, mind you, this is in a smallish town in the mostly white white white Appalachian foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains where there is nothing BUT Christians around! I can hit four churches with a rock from my apartment…and those are just the ones from the MAJOR denominations. This place is still tribal and patriarchal. I could not stay quiet in the face of this errant nonsense.  I understand that if you watch a steady diet of right-wing news, you will get fed this erroneous view.  I find it on Fox and Breitbart and Infowars, sites that I visit regularly. I do so in order to find out just what people like my friend are viewing. (Trust me, this is not something I enjoy.) I challenged him to give me some concrete examples of HOW he was oppressed: Had he ever been arrested for “driving while white” or had the local police view him with suspicion b/c of his skin color? Had he or his ancestors ever been forced to leave a region or country b/c of their race or religion? Had he ever been denied a job or promotion b/c of his gender or sexual orientation? Had he ever been denied the right to vote b/c of his race, religion, gender or sexual orientation? Had he ever been denied the right to run for office b/c of his religion? Had he ever threatened with death b/c of his race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation? He was quite taken aback by these questions. He wanted to know why I was asking them. I told him that unless he could answer YES to any one of these questions, he had no right to say he was oppressed, that oppression had not to do with a “feeling” or “discomfort” but with real consequences in the world and to THINK ABOUT THAT the next time he heard a white Christian man talking about his oppressed status. I told him about my relatives who never made it out of the German death camps b/c they were the wrong religion (Jews). Then I told him about friends who were fired from jobs for being queer. Women are STILL paid only 79 percent of men’s hourly wages. And 7 states currently have laws even now prohibiting atheists from running for public office. So…HE wants to talk about feeling oppressed??? Smh. And the internet trolls all whine about liberals being crybabies!

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