The criticism of one’s opinion is never equal to the oppression of another. And I don’t just mean oppression in the sense of genocide or other extremities. It can be found in slurs remarked in half-heard conversations. In a friend confessing their worries about getting kicked out for being gay. In hearing news that a relative lost a job interview merely because of her gender. In the posts scattered through social media describing the most recent death due to police brutality.
Moments like these have become normalized in today’s society, and in the process, further established the oppression of marginalized groups. When this normalized oppression is spoken out against, privileged individuals, who often, have never felt any true effects of oppression, explain how it’s unavoidable and how it should just be accepted. When further debated, they turn it around and complain about how they face oppression due to their criticized opinions.
This is displayed in Being Trump Supporter Proves Difficult in Liberal Community, an article discussing how in a predominantly liberal community, Trump supporters are often labeled as discriminatory. For example, the article described the belief that Republicans are not able to express their political opinions without facing criticism or being called discriminatory. “Opinions are valuable, and I believe in that no matter how terrible the opinion sounds to me, living in Massachusetts, I have learned that things don’t always work that way for Republicans” (Quinlan). In this statement, and throughout much of the article, the author expresses his fear of criticism. Standing alone, it isn’t necessarily problematic. It becomes so due to how the author displays the respect of his opinion as a right.
Ironically, when this supposed “right” is violated, these individuals, including the author of the article, go crying about oppression, when in reality, they often are the oppressors. President Trump has acted in ways resulting in individuals fearing for their lives and freedoms, but of course, it is absolutely tragic that his supporters are being criticised for their support of this. Are children kicked out solely because of their political opinions? Are people denied jobs because of it? Are they murdered solely because of this? People need to move on from the idea that their opinions need to be protected and accepted. You have a right to an opinion, but acceptance of that opinion is not a right. Until we can move away from this toxic idea, underprivileged groups will continue to have their rights equaled to the mere opinions of their peers.