"The oppressors do not perceive their monopoly on having more as a privilege which dehumanizes others and themselves. They cannot see that, in the egoistic pursuit of having as a possessing class, they suffocate in their own possessions and no longer are; they merely have."
Paulo Friere, in Pedagogy of the Oppressed
He goes on to write:
For them, having more is an inalienable right, a right they acquired through their own ‘effort,’ with their “courage to take risks.’ If others do not have more, it is because they are incompetent and lazy, and worst of all is their unjustifiable ingratitude towards the ‘generous gestures’ of the dominant class. Precisely because they are ‘ungrateful’ and ‘envious,’ the oppressed are regarded as potential enemies who must be watched.
Ok. Now think about this in terms of the youth of color rioting in England. Friere is describing here the justification for police/state violence against poor people who are now destroying the material property of the oppressor class. As the news insinuates, “we must arm ourselves (with police) against those dark-skinned youth who just can’t be satisfied to not have what we have all worked so hard for.”
To this, Friere would say, “you no longer are, you merely have.”
Well, Friere’s words apply perfectly in the context of WHITE PRIVILEGE. However, I have some issues with the comment above:
“youth of color rioting in England”
“poor people who are now destroying the material property of the oppressor class”
Stop making it about RACE !!! From what I have seen and read the rioters were from very diverse origins and walk of like. The idea that most of the rioters and looters were poor blacks is a TOTAL FABRICATION.
A significant number of those caught were actually middle-class. Also, they were NOT destroying “the material property of the oppressor class”, but little businesses, charity shops etc…