Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

Teaching About Oppression – Brief Video with Legos

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I tweeted out this video explaining the 4 I’s of Oppression (Ideological, Institutional, Interpersonal and Internalized) explained with LEGOS!

People liked it a lot (thanks to my new friend Andre for sharing it with me) so I thought I’d post it on my blog so it’s easier to find it again. What I love about this video is it tackles so many dimensions of the matrix of oppression as it explains all the I’s, including ones missing from the matrix of oppression (like Islamophobia and ableism). Here, it’s less than 4 minutes:

There is a side thought that came to me as I watched this video, and I’m not sure if I’m thinking about it right… but here it is.

The terms “Islamophobia” and “xenophobia” and “homophobia” versus the terms “sexism” and “racism” and such. There isn’t, I think, a term that encapsulates the oppression of colonized/imperialized people, is there?

Anyway, actually, my point was the “phobias” vs the “isms”. It’s making me think… about how the “phobias” make them seem more tame, like they are a pathological fear, such that the person who is having these Islamophobic reactions have no agency over their thoughts and behavior… as opposed to racism or sexism, which seems more intentional? Does that make sense? That naming oppressive behavior as a phobia, a fear, justifies it somewhat, makes you empathize with the person who’s having it, perhaps even makes you think “oh yeah, some Muslims are terrorists and therefore it is possible that someone legitimately becomes Islamophobic”, rather than it being an inexcusable oppression. What do you think? Speaking of xenophobia, I need to blog about the recent #StudentBan thing in the US… but separately…

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