Top Oppression Quotes

Browse top 228 famous quotes and sayings about Oppression by most favorite authors.

Favorite Oppression Quotes

51. "In this way, writers are indeed, as Henry Miller suggested, traitors to the human race. We may turn a light on inequity, injustice, and oppression from time to time, but we regularly kill what we love in insidious fashion."
Author: Anthony Bourdain
52. "Love liberates one from the oppression of independence. It locks one out of the egalitarianism of solitary confinement."
Author: Bauvard
53. "What had begun as a movement to free all black people from racist oppression became a movement with its primary goal the establishment of black male patriarchy."
Author: Bell Hooks
54. "..the struggle to end sexist oppression that focuses on destroying the cultural basis for such domination strengthens other liberation struggles. Individuals who fight for the eradication of sexism without struggles to end racism or classism undermine their own efforts. Individuals who fight for the eradication of racism or classism while supporting sexist oppression are helping to maintain the cultural basis of all forms of group oppression."
Author: Bell Hooks
55. "Simply put, feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression. This was a definition of feminism I offered in Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center more than 10 years ago. It was my hope at the time that it would become a common definition everyone would use. I liked this definition because it did not imply that men were the enemy. By naming sexism as the problem it went directly to the heart of the matter. Practically, it is a definition which implies that all sexist thinking and action is the problem, whether those who perpetuate it are female or male, child or adult. It is also broad enough to include an understanding of systemic institutionalized sexism. As a definition it is open-ended. To understand feminism it implies one has to necessarily understand sexism."
Author: Bell Hooks
56. "In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people."
Author: Benjamin Franklin
57. "Denial is the first line of defence against a problem and also the easiest, since it requires no action. In Saudi Arabia, denial is almost an institution ... it suits the authorities to deny that homosexual activity exists in the kingdom to any significant extent, and it suits gay Saudis (who well understand how the rules work) to assist that denial by keeping a low profile. If it reaches a stage where denial is no longer, possible, however, the authorities are obliged to respond. The choice then is between tolerance and oppression ..."
Author: Brian Whitaker
58. "The cruelties of property and privilege are always more ferocious than the revenges of poverty and oppression. For the one aims at perpetuating resented injustice, the other is merely a momentary passion soon appeased."
Author: C.L.R. James
59. "Unjust! - unjust!' said my reason, forced by the agonising stimulus into precocious though transitory power; and Resolve, equally wrought up, instigated some strange expedient to achieve escape from insupportable oppression - as running away, or, if that could not be effected, never eating or drinking more, and letting myself die."
Author: Charlotte Brontë
60. "Pride in what and who you are is a strong foundation, but don't be defined by your oppression; use your anger, don't let it use you."
Author: Dave McKean
61. "Rap's conscious response to the poverty and oppression of U.S. blacks is like some hideous parody of sixties black pride."
Author: David Foster Wallace
62. "That God should play the tyrant over man is a dismal story of unrelieved oppression; that man should play the tyrant over man is the usual dreary record of human futility; but that man should play the tyrant over God and find him a better man than himself is an astonishing drama indeed."
Author: Dorothy L. Sayers
63. "That only a few, under any circumstances, protest against the injustice of long-established laws and customs, does not disprove the fact of the oppressions, while the satisfaction of the many, if real only proves their apathy and deeper degradation."
Author: Elizabeth Cady Stanton
64. "As it is, the profusion of commodities is a genuine and powerful compensation for oppression."
Author: Ellen Willis
65. "People need hard times and oppression to develop psychic muscles."
Author: Emily Dickinson
66. "When a system of oppression has become institutionalized it is unnecessary for individuals to be oppressive."
Author: Florynce Kennedy
67. "Ethical veganism results in a profound revolution within the individual; a complete rejection of the paradigm of oppression and violence that she has been taught from childhood to accept as the natural order. It changes her life and the lives of those with whom she shares this vision of nonviolence. Ethical veganism is anything but passive; on the contrary, it is the active refusal to cooperate with injustice"
Author: Gary L. Francione
68. "What people don't know about oppression is that the oppressor works much harder. You always grew up being told you were not smart enough or not fast enough, but we all lived from the time we were children to beat the system."
Author: Hugh Masekela
69. "The first meditation is the meditation of love, in which you so adjust your heart that you long for the weal and welfare of all beings, including the happiness of your enemies. "The second meditation is the meditation of pity, in which you think of all beings in distress, vividly representing in your imagination their sorrows and anxieties so as to arouse a deep compassion for them in your soul. "The third meditation is the meditation of joy, in which you think of the prosperity of others, and rejoice with their rejoicings. "The fourth meditation is the meditation of impurity, in which you consider the evil consequences of corruption, the effects of sin and diseases. How trivial often the pleasure of the moment, and how fatal its consequences. "The fifth meditation is the meditation on serenity, in which you rise above love and hate, tyranny and oppression, wealth and want, and regard your own fate with impartial calmness and perfect tranquillity."
Author: James Allen
70. "Minorities have a right to appeal to the Constitution as a shield against such oppression."
Author: James K. Polk
71. "In the unceasing ebb and flow of justice and oppression we must all dig channels as best we may, that at the propitious moment somewhat of the swelling tide may be conducted to the barren places of life."
Author: Jane Addams
72. "[F]or me, being a Jew means feeling the tragedy of yesterday as an inner oppression. On my left forearm I bear the Auschwitz number; it reads more briefly than the Pentateuch or the Talmud and yet provides more thorough information. It is also more binding than basic formulas of Jewish existence. If to myself and the world, including the religious and nationally minded Jews, who do not regard me as one of their own, I say: I am a Jew, then I mean by that those realities and possibilities that are summed up in the Auschwitz number."
Author: Jean Améry
73. "Our invisibility is the essence of our oppression. And until we eliminate that invisibility, people are going to be able to perpetuate the lies and myths about gay people."
Author: Jean O'Leary
74. "Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one's own beliefs. Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others."
Author: John F. Kennedy
75. "If you want a free society, teach your children what oppression tastes like. Tell them how many miracles it takes to get from here to there. Above all, encourage them to ask questions. Teach them to think for themselves."
Author: Jonathan Sacks
76. "They believed their words. Everybody shows a respectful deference to certain sounds that he and his fellows can make. But about feelings people really know nothing. We talk with indignation or enthusiasm; we talk about oppression, cruelty, crime, devotion, self-sacrifice, virtue, and we know nothing real beyond the words. Nobody knows what suffering or sacrifice mean- except, perhaps the victims of the mysterious purpose of these illusions."
Author: Joseph Conrad
77. "False riches, consisting of money, houses and lands, acquired by selfish means at cost to others and thereafter used selfishly, are almost always used for the oppression of other persons."
Author: Joseph Franklin Rutherford
78. "God allows himself to be humiliated and crucified in the Son, in order to free the oppressors and the oppressed from oppression and to open up to them the situation of free, sympathetic humanity."
Author: Jürgen Moltmann
79. "An indescribable oppression, which seemed to generate in some unfamiliar part of her consciousness, filled her whole being with a vague anguish. It was like a shadow, like a mist passing across her soul's summer day. It was strange and unfamiliar; it was a mood. She did not sit there inwardly upbraiding her husband, lamenting at Fate, which had directed her footsteps to the path which they had taken. She was just having a good cry all to herself."
Author: Kate Chopin
80. "Labelling is no longer a liberating political act but a necessity in order to gain entrance into the academic industrial complex and other discussions and spaces. For example, if so called "radical" or "progressive" people don't hear enough "buzz" words (like feminist, anti-oppression, anti-racist, social justice, etc.) in your introduction, then you are deemed unworthy and not knowledgeable enough to speak with authority on issues that you have lived experience with. The criteria for identifying as a feminist by academic institutions, peer reviewed journals, national bodies, conferences, and other knowledge gatekeepers is very exclusive. It is based on academic theory instead of based on lived experiences or values. Name-dropping is so elitist! You're not a "real" feminist unless you can quote, or have read the following white women: (insert Women's Studies 101 readings)."
Author: Krysta Williams
81. "OppressionNow dreamsAre not availableTo the dreamers,Nor songsTo the singers.In some landsDark nightAnd cold steelPrevail--But the dreamWill come back,And the songBreakIts jail."
Author: Langston Hughes
82. "Ce qui m'effraie, ce n'est pas l'oppression des méchants; c'est l'indifférence des bons."
Author: Martin Luther King Jr.
83. "You know my friends, there comes a time when people get tired of being trampled by the iron feet of oppression. There comes a time my friends, when people get tired of being plunged across the abyss of humiliation, where they experience the bleakness of nagging despair. There comes a time when people get tired of being pushed out of the glittering sunlight of life's July and left standing amid the piercing chill of an alpine November. There comes a time."
Author: Martin Luther King Jr.
84. "Teaching and learning _religious plurality often ends up privileging religious _texts_ over _practice_ and largely ignoring the social and historical contexts and the lived experience of people who shape, situate, and structure these religious texts. Furthermore, adopting the politics of recognition as a pedagogical principle in teaching can lead to an _uncritical silence_ about the various forms of oppression and domination of certain religious groups. Here people often use _religious difference_ as a _religious alibi_ for the oppression or violation of human rights of certain groups of people, such as women or LGBT people."
Author: Namsoon Kang
85. "Because some people have sex with people of the same sex, an entire culture has been created, broadly speaking, out of oppression. Which in a rational world would not be an issue."
Author: Neil Tennant
86. "America. The enemy. The rival. The land of jeans and rock and roll, of crime and capitalism, of poverty and oppression. Of home and freedom."
Author: Orson Scott Card
87. "Both capitalism and Marxism promised to point out the path for the creation of just structures, and they declared that these, once established, would function by themselves; they declared that not only would they have no need of any prior individual morality, but that they would promote a communal morality. And this ideological promise has been proved false. The facts have clearly demonstrated it. The Marxist system, where it found its way into government, not only left a sad heritage of economic and ecological destruction, but also a painful oppression of souls. And we can also see the same thing happening in the West, where the distance between rich and poor is growing constantly, and giving rise to a worrying degradation of personal dignity through drugs, alcohol and deceptive illusions of happiness."
Author: Pope Benedict XVI
88. "Most of the Bible is a history told by people living in lands occupied by conquering superpowers. It is a book written from the underside of power. It's an oppression narrative. The majority of the Bible was written by a minority people living under the rule and reign of massive, mighty empires, from the Egyptian Empire to the Babylonian Empire to the Persian Empire to the Assyrian Empire to the Roman Empire.This can make the Bible a very difficult book to understand if you are reading it as a citizen of the the most powerful empire the world has ever seen. Without careful study and reflection, and humility, it may even be possible to miss central themes of the Scriptures."
Author: Rob Bell
89. "Oppression is something that one group of people commits against another group specifically because of a threatening characteristic shared by the latter group."
Author: Robin Morgan
90. "The present Arab uprising didn't stem from Israel. The old guard is trying to keep down the young chickens. The old guard is better organized. They may win elections, but unless they have a solution to poverty, to corruption, to oppression, they will not last. I am with the young people."
Author: Shimon Peres
91. "There are other grounds for believing that gays and lesbians should be respected and protected from oppression: their right to privacy and freedom of actionand expression; the "victimless" nature of homosexual relations; and the many valuable contributions that gays and lesbians make to society."
Author: Simon LeVay
92. "All oppression creates a state of war."
Author: Simone De Beauvoir
93. "It is not a Buddhist approach to say that if everyone practiced Buddhism, the world would be a better place. Wars and oppression begin from this kind of thinking."
Author: Sulak Sivaraksa
94. "A desire to resist oppression is implanted in the nature of man."
Author: Tacitus
95. "All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression."
Author: Thomas Jefferson
96. "What are the present governments of Europe, but a scene of iniquity and oppression? What is that of England? Do not its own inhabitants say, It is a market where every man has his price, and where corruption is common traffic, at the expense of a deluded people? No wonder, then, that the French Revolution is traduced."
Author: Thomas Paine
97. "He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself."
Author: Thomas Paine
98. "How shall Integrity face Oppression? What shall Honesty do in the face of Deception, Decency in the face of Insult, Self-Defense before Blows? How shall Desert and Accomplishment meet Despising, Detraction, and Lies? What shall Virtue do to meet Brute Force? There are so many answers and so contradictory; and such differences for those on the one hand who meet questions similar to this once a year or once a decade, and those who face them hourly and daily."
Author: W.E.B. Du Bois
99. "It should not be denied... that being footloose has always exhilarated us. It is associated in our minds with escape from history and oppression and law and irksome obligations, with absolute freedom, and the road has always led West."
Author: Wallace Stegner
100. "I SIT and look out upon all the sorrows of the world, and upon all oppression and shame; I hear secret convulsive sobs from young men, at anguish with themselves, remorseful after deeds done; I see, in low life, the mother misused by her children, dying, neglected, gaunt, desperate; I see the wife misused by her husband—I see the treacherous seducer of young women; I mark the ranklings of jealousy and unrequited love, attempted to be hid—I see these sights on the earth; 5I see the workings of battle, pestilence, tyranny—I see martyrs and prisoners; I observe a famine at sea—I observe the sailors casting lots who shall be kill'd, to preserve the lives of the rest; I observe the slights and degradations cast by arrogant persons upon laborers, the poor, and upon negroes, and the like; All these—All the meanness and agony without end, I sitting, look out upon, See, hear, and am silent."
Author: Walt Whitman

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Nay, could their numbers countervail the stars,Or ever-drizzling drops of April showers,Or wither'd leaves that autumn shaketh down,Yet would the Soldan by his conquering powerSo scatter and consume them in his rage, That not a man should live to rue their fall."
Author: Christopher Marlowe

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