Hard, Necessary Work

I went to a middle-class workshop in May and the middle-class leaders’ conference [see previous article] in June.

Working on middle-class liberation brings up a lot of unpleasant feelings. Because the work is currently dominated by white people, I have to discharge a lot about racism to do it. And when I work on class oppression with other People of the Global Majority, I have to notice my oppressor role. White people have told me that it feels hard and unpleasant for them, too. I think it must be hard to face how much we’ve been lied to and set up.

I like openly acknowledging that this work is hard and unpleasant. It makes it less confusing to tackle. And it helps me appreciate myself and everyone else who has taken it on.

We have been disconnected. At one of the workshops it was both horrifying and interesting to notice the number of unaware, oppressive moments I witnessed or was part of, as target and as agent. I can only guess that we were all scared, and since we have been disconnected from each other, we can’t see the effects of our actions on others.

Why should middle-class people take on ending class oppression? Our basic role as middle-class people is to maintain class oppression. So in order to no longer play that role, we have to end the oppression. Our liberation requires it.

JeeYeun Lee

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Reprinted from the RC e-mail discussion list for leaders of middle-class people

(Present Time 186, January 2017)

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00