As the nation, and indeed the planet, attempts to grapple with how to recover both economically and as a community in general from the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, some are beginning to chafe under the stay-at-home ordres still in place throughout the states. Some states are starting to re-open their economies while others have formed pacts with one another to only open once effective, accurate, and widespread testing for the novel coronavirus has been established. Others, however, have taken to protesting the orders.
In Michigan, armed protesters showed up at their state’s capitol building last week, brandishing rifles and demanding the governor rescind her orders. However, despite the pressure put on her by the militia/domestic terrorists in her state, Michigan’s governor did not relent, and instead pushed her stay-at-home orders out for another few weeks anyway. Needless to say, those that feel they are being oppressed by the governor are not handling this news well.
One bone of contention seems to be public beaches. Governors in some states have attempted to keep them closed to discourage sunbathers and surfers from flooding them. Some feel this decision to help a public health crisis is a step right into totalitarian dictatorship.
Millions of Americans might be starting to tire of the stay-at-home orders, but still millions more have accepted them as a necessary inconvenience to keep as many people safe and uninfected as possible. All this talk about whether American citizens are justified in feeling oppressed made us here all realize that perhaps what people need is some kind of test they can self-administer which would tell them whether they are really oppressed, or just being asked to temporarily stop sunbathing at the beach for a month so that humanity has a better chance at surviving a global pandemic.
So we consulted with the experts, and when they were too busy to give us answers because they were out actually fighting COVID-19 and researching cures for it, we explored common sense and critical thinking, and here’s what we came up with.
5 Signs You’re Oppressed and Not Just Being Asked to Skip Sunbathing So Humanity Survives a Pandemic
5. You Go To Jail For Being Where Not Supposed to Be
Have you noticed how the people showing up to protest lockdowns where they’re not supposed to be — sometimes with semi-automatic rifles — don’t end up getting arrested? Have you also noticed they basically get to shout at cops and call them all kinds of names — again, sometimes with rifles slung over their shoulders — and nothing, really happens to them? They don’t get arrested; they don’t go to jail.
That’s because we don’t live in authoritarian dictatorship. We don’t live under fascist rule, yet. So in a free society, morons are free to be morons. If we did live under the kinds of tyranny that some feel lockdowns represent, chances are there’d be a lot more gun nuts behind bars in Michigan right now.
4. A Cop Shoots You For Being Where You’re Not Supposed To Be
Granted, if you’re a person of color in America, this might kind of apply to you already. It’s just that the places you’re deemed not worthy to be in can vary drastically depending on which white person is being an idiot at the moment. But we’re talking about official government orders to close certain places to the public, not un-official, tacit approval of discrimination under Jim Crow laws. If this item was titled, “A Cop Shoots You For Being Where He Thinks You’re Not Supposed To Be And Because You Have the Same Skin Tone as a Suspect Six Towns Over From Yours,” then it would ONLY be about people of color and not applicable to this list.
In a nutshell, if your government forbids you from congregating in a public space and then shoots you or runs you over with a military vehicle for being there, then you’re oppressed; otherwise, you’re inconvenienced. Which can definitely feel like oppression to entitled brats, but isn’t actually oppression according to common sense and critical thinking.
3. You Get In Trouble For Bitching About the Lockdown on Facebook
One clear and consistent hallmark of tyrannical regimes is the limitation of speech. There’s a reason we have a First Amendment in our Constitution, and it’s not so you can tell that “super funny” racist joke at your place of work without getting fired. It’s so no governmental agency can jail you for having an opinion. The fact that you can go into your Facebook group for like-minded uber-patriots like you and bitch openly about the lockdown orders and not go to jail probably means you’re not being oppressed, no matter how much you want to blame the algorithm for “censoring” your content that no one wants to see.
2. You’re Not Even Allowed to Complain About Not Being Allowed to Complain
In truly oppressive regimes, you not only can’t complain about things, you can’t even complain about not being allowed to complain. The more you talk, the more you open yourself to being hauled off to jail, or worse, in the kinds of places you think you might live right now. Being asked to stay off beaches and out of parks for a few weeks isn’t really the same as having literally all your rights taken away under the threat of extremely harsh and draconian punishments.
But sure, it’s super inconvenient that you don’t get to visit a beach you hardly ever go to the rest of the year, when we’re not all facing a global catastrophe, Karen.
1. You Don’t Live in the United States and/or You Aren’t White
The simple reality is that the best way to tell if you’re being oppressed or if you’re just being asked to take some responsibility for your freedom and “rights,” is by taking a look at where you live and then taking a look at your skin color. If you don’t live in the U.S., that doesn’t guarantee you’re being oppressed, but it greatly increases your odds. Of course, if you’re a person of color living within the United States, that could mean you genuinely are oppresed.
Wondering whether you’re a person of color and quite tell by looking in the mirror? Go to a store and walk in. If you’re able to shop hassle-free, you’re white AF.
Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook, Spotify, and Instagram, but not Twitter because Twitter is a cesspool.