The reading in Pedagogy of the Oppressed takes an interestingly academic look at oppression. I was very interested at how Freire looks at oppression as a system of power. Very often we look at discrimination from separate viewpoints and very rarely do we globalize it the way that Freire does. A few questions that came up in the reading for me:
If oppression is overcome by liberation, the rehumanization of people, then can oppressors make the conscious humane choice to become allies? In other words, our nature as humans is to gain an advantage in life to achieve self-preservation (privilege) and once we can gain this advantage (privilege) we hold on to it and consolidate “power”. Can we as humans “defy” human nature and change the way we use privilege as power? Can we use privilege for the liberation of oppression?
Another point raised is that the pedagogy of oppressed people is one that must be made with those who are oppressed. Freire points out that there is no better group to educate on oppression than those who are oppressed. This sounds completely logical but we often forget about this simple fact. In my opinion, much of social activism is elitist in itself because those who use oppression theory to educate oppressed populations that they are not a member of often forget the qualifications they lack. This is also called to my attention the dialectic tension between teacher and student. How much education is enough? When do you let people discover? How do you know your own limits as a student or teacher?
This speech by reverend Dr. Jeremiah Wright is all about using privilege to challenge oppression and the way we view difference. Reverend Wright is always performing. Theres 4 parts Ill just post the first.