How does the oppressor control the oppressed? How is it done today? Herland Report YouTube host, Hanne Nabintu Herland speaks to Dr. Reginald Davis about slavery, oppression, exploitation and how the oppressor controls the oppressed. SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube Channel here!
How the elites oppress unwanted groups: “When you are creating a system of oppression, you have to have people on the top and people at the bottom.”
“The people at the top will have a different set of beliefs and values, but they are going to teach the people at the bottom a different set of beliefs and values, because they got to maintain those top-bottom structures.”
“There is always going to be a set of double standard. The system depends on it. The people at the top want to maintain that social structure to retain control,” says Dr. Reginald Davis.
Dr. Reginald Davis is a well-known professor, author, frequent radio guest and lecturer in America, and the pastor of the historic First Baptist Church in Virginia, founded in 1776. He is also a regular contributor to The Herland Report.
“If you follow what the oppressor say, you will never get out of the situation of oppression. Because the oppressor has the power to define, to label. So, if I decide that I am going to do something to get out of my context of oppression and suffering, my oppressor is going to label it as being radical, revolutionary.”
“If we really are going to be free, we cannot continue to embrace the values and the worldview of the oppressor. We have to come from another frame of reference. This is what made Jesus so dangerous. Because, Jesus did not teach the values of the Roman Empire, the values of those in power. He brought us a different set of beliefs, principles and values based upon the kingdom of God. That was labelled as revolutionary and very dangerous.”
In a series of Herland Report TV interviews, we are speaking to some of the leading voices in the US about what went wrong with American culture. The superpower used to be known for being a multiracial society where people were unified by American national identity, today society is disintegrating and fractured into sub-groups based on race, religion, gender and class. How was America corrupted and what is the remedy to the current malaise?
How the elites oppress unwanted groups: “When you have racism, terrorism, ethnocentrism, nihilism, it all equals a living hell. So, the slaves lived in hell, but they were able to somehow survive that horrific experience of slavery,” says Dr. Reginald Davis.
“One way the slaves were able to survive is that they were singing songs. The singing of the spirituals gave them split moments of transcendence to give them hope that they could not find within the human context. One of these songs was “Nobody knows the troubles I see, nobody knows but Jesus”. As they were singing, somehow the Holy Spirit would get among the people. They now could believe in a better day, that troubles don’t last always.”
“In the slave songs, the spirituals, they were singing what they were experiencing socially. If you come into the African American church today, you are going to find singing and preaching. The songs make Babylon more bearable. It is a coping mechanism to help us to bear the burdens of the day.”
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How the elites oppress unwanted groups: “The concept of oppression is very relevant today. When you are creating a system of oppression, you have to have people on the top and people at the bottom.”
“The people at the top will have a different set of beliefs and values, but they are going to teach the people at the bottom a different set of beliefs and values, because they got to maintain those structures.”
“The oppressor has the power to define, to label. For example, race is just the tool that the oppressor used to keep us divided. If we really are going to get free, then we cannot continue to embrace the values and the worldview of the oppressor. We have to come from another frame of reference.”
“This is what made Jesus so dangerous. The true Jesus was revolutionary. Because, Jesus did not teach the values of the Roman Empire, the values of those in power, He brought us a different set of beliefs, principles and values based upon the kingdom of God. That was labelled as revolutionary and fought against by the elites.”
“Jesus said “I came to release those who are held captive”. If I am held captive, I am held captive by a power that keeps me in that position. The oppressor will never tell the oppressed how to get out of your oppression.”
“Only the oppressed will have to devise how they are going to come out. Therefore, if we are going to follow Jesus, he is our liberator. If He was persecuted, if He was lynched, if he was betrayed, the same thing will also happen to us in our quest to release those who are held captive. This is the price we are willing to pay.”
“Jesus Christ came to transform the people. If you transform people, you have to get them to think different from the way that they have been taught. Many times, oppressed people have been taught and indoctrinated in such a way that they become the protectors of their own oppression.”
“That’s hard to get people to think new thoughts. It’s hard to get people to see that you got your hand in your own oppression. This Jesus that we have, we have sanitized, romanticized, deodorized, de-emphasizing the true Jesus.”
How the elites oppress unwanted groups: “Now, we have to watch out for our leaders, because either our leaders are going to maintain oppression, or work to help undermine oppression. Christ, Moses and people of God in history have sought to help the oppressed. “Blessed are the poor” Jesus said. Moses wanted to help the oppressed people of God in Egypt.”
“God has sympathy for the people that are forgotten, that are oppressed and weak. That’s what it is. The whole Gospel is tilted toward that.”
“So, what about the rich? Well, the rich got everything they need. They don’t need to appeal to anything outside of the human realm, because they got everything. They got their material wealth, they got money and can get everything they want. But, the people at the bottom don’t have that. Therefore, the religion of Jesus Christ is tilted toward meeting those in need and releasing people at the bottom that are held in captive.”