When Rights are Just a Theory
Is it too early in the week for a little thought experiment?
Let's say you've just purchased a brand new car, sight unseen. You felt confident doing so, because you have a right to a full refund if there are any issues.
The car arrives. There's an issue. When you reach out to remedy the situation, you discover that suddenly the company no longer exists. No, they didn't go bankrupt, so there are no legal actions to take. They vanished completely into the ether. There is NO access to the business---no tangible proof of its existence---and therefore no chance for a refund. Your "right" to a refund has essentially been rendered null and void.
Ridiculous, right? But remember... thought experiment.
For many people in America this is how rights work.
Some people have rights but their rights are theoretical.
The issue is a lack of access---maybe due to socio-economics or disability or both or something else altogether.
This might impact anything from voting to personal and community health.
There are powers that understand that you can't limit or eliminate certain rights, so instead the ability to fully access these rights are destroyed...until, of course, they dismantle the rights altogether.
When you've always had access, and therefore the ability, to benefit from the rights you hold, this kind of oppression is invisible to you. Those same powers depend on that invisibility, because then you don't notice until they come for YOUR rights. And they have... and if they haven't yet, they will.
I don't say any of this to sound ominous, though, naturally, it is.
I say it as a pathway to action. Because the more you recognize oppression before it impacts you personally, the better equipped you are to stop it.
Oppression doesn't ultimately care who and how many it takes down. As long as someone gets to stay on top as a result. And that "someone" might not be you.