Intersectionality, which is how social, economic, and other categories overlap and intersect in a greater framework of oppression. In the United States sexism, racism, ageism, classism, anti-Semitism, and other isms have deeply affected every fabric of human connection and it has become systemic. In this environment, it is one thing to be a white male, and it is another thing to be a gay black man; it is one thing to be a black woman and it is still different to be a Muslim woman who migrated recently from Asia or middle eastern culture.
When a Muslim woman comes to the US, her reality would be worse than mine. She has one more layer of experience for oppression and Intersectionality. As a person of color, she is already systematically oppressed; the sexism brand of oppression still affects her, because she is a woman. Religious discrimination puts her down because she is a Muslim. This is the reality that is shaping many lives in the US.
As a black woman who moved to the US recently, I am a living witness for the oppression and intersectionality. My knowledge of the US was like the song in the anthem “the land of the free and the home of the brave”. However, the current national reality and my personal experience at workplace forced me to think differently. This doesn’t mean that I don’t have things to be grateful for, there are many, however, it is unfortunate to have such kind of systemic realities in post-modern America.
My first job as soon as I arrived in the US was at the Airport. Most of my workmates were woman and migrants. The manager was a white male. My first experience of hatred, disrespectful, and oppression was during my work environment. The manager had a systemic way of oppressing the migrant women, who lack some communication skills. He was insulting us, abusing us, and at the same time threatening us that we may lose our job.
My other experience of oppression and intersectionality was during my work at the Assisting Living facility. Naturally, I have a good work ethic and I am well mannered when it comes to a workplace. As far as I know, I was respectful, friendly, and on time on my job duty. However, when a problem has occurred, someone had to be ‘scape-goat’ in order to cover the situation. And without my knowledge, I was forced to sign admitting that I caused the problem and if anything, happens I would be the first person to get fired from my job.
Martin Luther King Jr., said, “I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the startles midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”
I am hoping that, as we are more enlightened, transformed, and genuinely processed the nature of true humanity, we will have less of all these different forms of oppression and intersections. I hope my new country will be true “land of the free and home of the brave” for all people, all gender, everywhere and all the time. That is my dream.