Oppression Eclipses Democracy

As millions of people across the country gaze skyward today at the rare astronomical event, let us compare it to a growing human condition. 

Just as the moon blocks out the sun during a total eclipse, oppression blocks out authentic democracy.

Oppression is social, economic and political. Examples in the past in the U.S. by individuals and institutions – including corporate entities and the U.S., state and local governments – are slavery, genocide, lynchings, mass rapes, broken treaties, beatings, human experiments, arrests “for being black,” voter suppression, internments, income disparities, deportations, media distortions, lacking physical access, and housing, education and employment discrimination, plus others. Sadly, many of these remain.

Racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism and other forms of institutional and cultural discrimination have been used throughout history to impede self-expression, self-identification and many other forms of self-determination. This is especially true at the moment as many within the power elite and those who seek to join them pit oppressed groups against one another (e.g. divide and conquer), blame oppressed victims, and use cooptation to assimilate movement leaders into the power structure. In doing so, people power is weakened. 

Authentic self-determination, individually or collectively, is difficult to achieve when oppression originates from individuals. It’s more difficult when extremist right-wing hate groups – many being emboldened and legitimized by some politicians and political candidates – target people of color, Jews, trans individuals, women and others with threats and violence. Yet, it’s even more difficult when governments and corporate entities overtly or covertly initiate oppression and/or defend individuals or groups, which legitimizes or legalizes oppressive acts.

Efforts to create real democracy must face oppression head on. Unlike natural eclipses that are beyond our control, oppression that eclipses democracy is human-created. It’s not inevitable or irreversible. It’s not “God’s will.” 

Move to Amend has always been committed to ending oppression in all its forms. It’s one our core Statement of Values. It’s a major focus of our documentary, Legalize Democracy. And it’s an important component addressed in many lessons of our Movement Education Program curriculum.

Move to Amend is firmly committed to enacting the We the People Amendment to end corporate rule and money as speech. But we understand that we will never have an authentic democracy if oppression remains. 

While the appropriate reaction this day to the natural eclipse should be to safely watch with wonder and awe, passive spectating to human oppression is not an option. Being active change-agents, done best with others in social movements that are on the rise organizing to end oppression and the creation of real self-determination (for the very first time) is the only responsible response.

Ending oppression not only liberates the oppressed, but everyone by allowing the dignity and democratic input of all people to clearly shine through. 

Gazing forward (and for some upward) together,

Ambrosia, Cole, Shelly, George, Daniel, Jennie, Keyan, Michael, Katie, Margaret, Alfonso, Jessica, Jason, Tara, & Greg

Move to Amend National Team