The White Gentile Owning Class

Young people’s oppression is in all homes. All children are dominated and oppressed by their parents, and they all receive inaccurate and oppressive messages about themselves, their families, and other constituencies.

Also, most children see their parents go into a world in which the parents are oppressed by classism, racism, anti-Jewish oppression, and other oppressions. They see them battle those oppressions, stand up for themselves and their people, and sometimes be defeated. They see the parents who dominate them at home be dominated in the world. They see where the harshness at home has come from. Seeing their parents stand against being dominated shows them that a stand can be taken.


White Gentile owning-class children, however, see their parents make and “benefit” from the oppressive policies that systematically harm people and the earth. There are few places where they see them struggling against oppression, so they have little to no perspective outside of the patterns of domination that come at them.

White Gentile owning-class children are dominated at home by parents who dominate people in the world. Then they are told that this is the “good life,” that they are lucky to be “escaping” the oppressions that “ruin” the lives of all those other people. They are given material goods, beautiful and spacious environments, good educations, and nice vacations—in place of human connection and lives of integrity and as proof that their lives have not been “ruined.” They are told that the efforts to obtain wealth at the expense of others are struggles for integrity and “making things right.” When their parents do engage in real work or struggles for justice, the parents are also usually “benefitting” from the policies that are causing the harm that they are standing against. All of this is terrifying and confusing for the young people.


The white Gentile owning class is the group with the longest history of playing the role of oppressor. We have colonized the world, perpetrated many genocides, and designed the systems of racism and anti-Semitism. Over the centuries, the Catholic and Protestant owning classes have fought each other for domination. Currently the Protestant owning class holds sway in some nations and the Catholic in others.

Class inequities are becoming more apparent. Our current economic system is collapsing under the weight of its own inner contradictions. In the past when economic systems have collapsed, we, the white Gentile owning class, have disappeared from view, after pointing a finger at a scapegoat, the Jewish people. We have left them to take the fall [the blame] while we quietly accumulate more wealth and control of wealth and emerge, as the dust settles, as “the good guys.”

We are doing that now. Many of us are quietly accumulating wealth while working for the good of the world. In RC we are showing up [coming] less often to owning-class workshops. We are lowering our profile as the owning class.


All women are oppressed by sexism in their homes and in the institutions of society. However, white Gentile owning-class parents tell their daughters that they have escaped sexism because of their wealth. Although as young women we are often denied control of the family wealth, we are given material “benefits” to prove that we have escaped sexism. These “benefits” include access, which many women do not have, to education and playing sports. Because we often do not do “women’s work”—like cooking, cleaning, and parenting (we hire others to do it for us)—we are told that we are not oppressed by sexism. Not learning how to care for ourselves or earn a living leaves us helpless and dependent on the “benefits.”

We white Christian owning-class women support the oppressive policies made by white Christian owning-class men. Historically we were part of the wealth that was owned and the property that was traded. Currently we are the kind face on oppressive policies. We do the emotional propping up at home. We do the work that softens the harsh edges of the oppressive policies made by men. Some of our efforts are real and good. But even our best efforts are undermined when, instead of taking a stand, we accept the “benefits” we are convinced we cannot live without.


White Gentile owning-class Co-Counselors have taken courageous stands. We have taken working-class jobs and stopped accumulating wealth. We have looked directly at what our owning-class legacy has done to us and how to get ourselves out. We have reached for our families and other white Gentile owning-class loved ones. Often we cannot see this; we cannot see that there is any good in us.

There is good in us. We do have integrity. All people are born just and with integrity. Only extreme harness and isolation have made us lose it. We have fought to keep our integrity, and that fight is still in us. It is who we are.


Because there was almost no place where we saw our parents be human, we are terrified. Because we were sold so many lies for generations, we do not know what being human looks like. We can act selfish as we “think” we are acting for the greater good. Below are some things I am trying, which I fail at over and over again and intend to keep on trying:

  1. Working on my earliest isolation and where I gave up on having people
  2. Discharging on coming from a long line of people who enslaved, murdered, and committed genocide and on feeling like I’m an inherently evil person, like evil is in my blood
  3. Consulting with and following the lead of a close working-class ally, even when I’m sure that what they are telling me about myself is wrong and insulting; also discharging when I’m sure that what they are telling me to give up is something that I deserve and need (I have no idea what I need or don’t need)
  4. Discharging on not having gotten the human connection I actually need
  5. Deciding to love myself and my family, no matter what, and discharging on everything that comes up as I do so
  6. Making messes and staying (in a large home, I could always be sent to another space, so the family didn’t stay together and work out differences; I get to decide to stay)

Tamara Damon

Brooklyn, New York, USA

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

Last modified: 2019-05-13 15:12:23+00