I can’t wait to oppress someone today.

Yep, that’s what I say every morning when I get up and look forward to my day, “who can I oppress today?” I can’t really help it you see. I’m an American white male. Does the fact that it’s my nature to oppress others give me a pass or something? No way. Other identity groups may claim they can’t help themselves either, but that excuse is only acceptable for those who have accumulated enough oppression points (you’ll find out what I mean directly). My biggest fear was running out of identity groups to oppress, until a high school in “flyover country” gave me fresh ideas. John F. Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is using a “Diversity Toolkit: A Guide to Discussing Identity, Power and Privilege” that includes education on gender-neutral pronouns, discussions of sexuality, and anti-white propaganda for an English class! According to the genius who created the program: “Most individuals are both a target and an agent of oppression, due to ‘internalized subordination’ and ‘internalized domination’. Because of these internalized factors, individuals have ‘unearned privilege’.” Wait. Doesn’t the word “privilege” itself denote an unearned advantage? I guess they teach everything but English vocabulary in this English class.

Now it’s time for Uncle Curmudgeon to teach about oppression points. Below is a chart from the toolkit showing “target groups” (the oppressed) and non-target groups (the oppressors or agents of oppression).

The chart leaves out the latest oppressed group, so I direct your attention to the graphic above the title of this blog post. Notice that person all the way to the right, who appears to be a female with red hair. (By the way what’s up with the agent of oppression having red hair too? I have brown hair, am I only a half-assed agent?). You may wonder what group does she represent? The answer is a new oppressed group called gamers, many of whom were formerly known as Goths, people who keep to themselves and are outcasts in general. You see, anyone can be added to a target group or a new target group created, but only white male Americans can be oppressors. Each target group is worth a certain number of points, and the more groups you can claim membership in–hello Elizabeth Warren–the more oppressed you are! The highest score wins! What? I don’t know, maybe sympathy hugs. Just make sure that the trans male who hugs you doesn’t grab your ass.

This toolkit is such a great idea that they want to hoard it, so students are supposed to abide by a Confidentiality agreement: “Each participant within the community needs to feel that he/she can trust that what is shared with peers will not be shared outside of the group.” I can’t imagine why the school district would not want the students to share their enlightenment with their parents????

Now let’s see, I’m in a target group for disability and Vietnam veteran, but a non-target/agent for everything else, so how many oppression points do I get? The answer is none, because my oppressor score significantly outpoints my oppression score. Bummer! Seriously folks, have you been “marginalized?” I am not talking about real physical harm here, nor legal or financial crimes, but more rather stuff that you got emotionally upset about. If so, you can continue to moan and march, or you can take the advice of my hero, Booker T. Washington. Any of these would change your life:

Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.
If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.
Associate yourself with people of good quality, for it is better to be alone than in bad company.
Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way.
Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust him.
Nothing ever comes to one, that is worth having, except as a result of hard work.
No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem.
I will permit no man to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him.
There are two ways of exerting one’s strength: one is pushing down, the other is pulling up.
You can’t hold a man down without staying down with him.