This is an opinion of mine and I want discussion about it. I do not mean to offend. No mainpage please. So here we go:
There is a part of me who feels that there are certain oppressions that are worse than others. If you would have asked me before college, I would say that all of me felt like there are worse oppressions than others. I, a Black woman, only interpreted the barriers in my way as a manifestation of racism. No pain or ire could amount to the shit my people got for being Black (or Brown) in society.
And then I changed. The obvious thing would be to say my opinion changed when I was raped, but that was not the (only) catalyst. I matured. I was favored enough to study academic discourse involving discrimination. I matured and saw things outside of my experiences and socialization more often than I did before.
I still feel that there are some oppressions worse than others. I still feel that some groups will never feel or understand the magnitude of being Black in America (not qualitative experience, because no one other than a black person can know the intracacies of being black, just like I will never know how it is to be Native American, for example). I don't know. I've been vascillating with this idea for minute.
My scattered, disorganized opinion on this:
The majority of people within said oppressed demographic can influence the magnitude of the oppression that they face. We all are part of multiple identities, some of them privileged and some of them not. If the Atheist community has a strong contingent of White cis males, can they really claim their oppression as being on the same magnitude as a Black person who just so happens to be Christian? If a oppressed demographic is full of straight able-bodied people, would their plight compare to the LGBTQA or disabled community?
This interpretation of mine is complex as hell. I actually believe that racism stemmed to an extent from classism/extreme capitalism (and the funny thing is that I still believe in capitalism) in order to establish an underclass and a source of labor. But I think that racism (American racism) evolved into an entity of its own, established by the centuries of slavery where Whites associated Blacks with being inhuman non citizens who were cursed by the lord, and further away from the idea that Black were slaves for monetary/labor reasons. Even at its initial origin, I still feel racism's origin had "racism" in it, because there had to be a negative association with the "otherness" of blacks in the first place for Anglo-Saxons to deem Africans as "debase" enough for enslavement.
Or maybe I'm looking at certain privileges as being the ringleaders of hegemonic structures. There are times where I feel Whiteness is the ultimate privilege, with $$ a close second. If a college had to choose between a wealthy White man and a wealthy Asian man for admission with similar resumes for admission (say the Asian man had a slightly better resume), the college will choose the white man. But there are a significant lack of POCs who are in charge. So maybe whoever is in power of our society's institutions will hold the power. Idk.
Maybe I'm misunderstanding as well. In affirmative action debates, many individuals exhorted that AA policies should not be focused on race (some stated gender too but most of the ire was toward race based policies), but on income. I couldn't help but think: if a poor White male person and a poor Latino male with the same qualifications and identity outside of race applied to the same school and had to fight for the same spot, the poor white person would probably be chosen 10/10 times because they still have White privilege. Since there are, numerically, more poor white people than poor Blacks, Latino/as, Asians, those of Middle Eastern decent, etc, you will have more white people getting accepted because of racial bias despite the measures being done to equalize society based on income. But is this an example of racism being worse than classism? Or does the white person in this example belong to more privileged identities than that Latino male? Maybe the reason why Atheists aren't considered as oppressed in similar magnitudes as PoCs or women is because there is a significant sect of atheists who are White cis males who may be economically privileged, and their amount of privileged identities they belong to outweigh the amount of oppressed identities they belong to. What do you all think?