I think these two quotes pretty much describe the internal battle I haven’t managed to resolve for myself. Sometimes I lean more towards the one than the other, but more and more as I age I feel that our efforts are best spent internally without our communities…because the ‘educational’ efforts we put in so rarely give back, while the work we do together is truly energising.
I feel that both quotes are true, but that focusing all one’s time and energy on the first approach means disaster, because it drains us and leaves us no further ahead as peoples.
Anyway, your thoughts?
Because it is a distortion of being more fully human, sooner or later being less human leads the oppressed to struggle against those who made them so. In order for this struggle to have meaning, the oppressed must not, in seeking to regain their humanity (which is a way to create it), become in turn oppressors of the oppressors, but rather restorers of the humanity of both.
This then, is the great humanistic and historical task of the oppressed: to liberate themselves and their oppressors as well. The oppressors, who oppress, exploit, and rape by virtue of their power, cannot find in this power the strength to liberate either the oppressed or themselves.
-Paolo Freire, “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” p.26.
Black and Third World people are expected to educate white people as to our humanity. Women are expected to educate men. Lesbians and gay men are expected to educate the heterosexual world. The oppressors maintain their position and evade their responsibility for their own actions. There is a constant drain of energy which might be better used in redefining ourselves and devising realistic scenarios for altering the present and constructing the future.
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- gospeodcukra said: the first one is claptrap, the second one is right - people are avoiding responsibility for their own actions, all of the “I would change but I don’t know how unless you teach me” is bull and ignore it.
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