The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.— Steve Biko
Off-limits Oppressor quotations
The most potent weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.
I go where there are no slaves, hangmen or oppressors;
where faith does not kill; where the one who reigns is God.
What hurts the victim most is not the cruelty of the oppressor, but the silence of the bystander.
Action must be taken at once; there is no time to be lost; we shall yet see the oppressors' yoke broken and the fragments scattered on the ground.
Each and every one of us has the capacity to be an oppressor.
I want to encourage each and everyone of us to interrogate how we might be an oppressor and how we might be able to become liberators for ourselves and for each other.
I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.
If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.
Oppressors can tyrannize only when they achieve a standing army, an enslaved press, and a disarmed populace.
Oppression costs the oppressor too much if the oppressed stands up and protests.
The protest need not be merely physical-the throwing of stones and bullets-if it is mental, spiritual; if it expresses itself in silent, persistent dissatisfaction, the cost to the oppressor is terrific.
Man has the right to deal with his oppressors by devouring their palpitating hearts.
Take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.
Dehumanization, although a concrete historical fact, is not a given destiny but the result of an unjust order that engenders violence in the oppressors, which in turn dehumanizes the oppressed
Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.
To punish the oppressors of humanity is clemency; to forgive them is cruelty.
An artist is above all a human being, profoundly human to the core.
If the artist can't feel everything that humanity feels, if the artist isn't capable of loving until he forgets himself and sacrifices himself if necessary, if he won't put down his magic brush and head the fight against the oppressor, then he isn't a great artist.
Oppressors do not get to be oppressors in a single sweep.
They manage it because little by little, we make them that. We overlook too much in the beginning and wonder why we lost control in the end.
Beware of the words "internal security," for they are the eternal cry of the oppressor.
The true focus of revolutionary change is never merely the oppressive situations that we seek to escape, but that piece of the oppressor which is planted deep within each of us.
[We need] someone bold, to put himself at the head of the disaffected and rally them against the oppressor. Some great character who could captivate the people... someone wise who could direct the actions of an unbridled and floating multitude.
The Church in the colonies is the white people's Church, the foreigner's Church.
She does not call the native to God's ways but to the ways of the white man, of the master, of the oppressor.
If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
But for the use of physical punishment by, and fear of their oppressors, animals would never be a part of a circus.
For me, men are not divided into believers and atheists, but between oppressors and oppressed, between those who want to keep this unjust society and those who want to struggle for justice.
The oppressors do not perceive their monopoly on having more as a privilege which dehumanizes others and themselves. They cannot see that, in the egoistic pursuit of having as a possessing class, they suffocate in their own possessions and no longer are; they merely have.
Unjust social orders do not fall merely by appeals to the consciences of the oppressor, though such appeals may be an important element; history teaches us that they fall because a large enough number of people organize a movement powerful enough to push them down. Rarely do such revolutions emerge in a neat and morally pristine process.
Every time I sit down to eat, I cast my lot: for mercy, against misery;
for the oppressed, against the oppressor; and for compassion, against cruelty. There is a lot of suffering in the world, but how much suffering can be addressed with literally no time or effort on our part? We can just stop supporting it, by making different choices.
But it is not really difference the oppressor fears so much as similarity.
We shall never secure emancipation from the tyranny of the white oppressor until we have achieved it in our own souls.
The last chapter in any successful genocide is the one in which the oppressor can remove their hands and say, 'My God, what are these people doing to themselves? They're killing each other. They're killing themselves while we watch them die.' This is how we came to own these United States. This is the legacy of manifest destiny.
Feminism, unlike almost every other social movement, is not a struggle against a distinct oppressor - it's not the ruling class or the occupiers or the colonizers - it's against a deeply held set of beliefs and assumptions that we women, far too often, hold ourselves.
The genius of any slave system is found in the dynamics which isolate slaves from each other, obscure the reality of a common condition, and make united rebellion against the oppressor inconceivable.
It is the obligation of every person who claims to oppose oppression to resist the oppressor by every means at his or her disposal. Not to engage in physical resistance, armed resistance to oppression, is to serve the interests of the oppressor; no more, no less. There are no exceptions to the rule, no easy out.
Moral power is always more dangerous to an oppressor than political force.
We should be less concerned about hurting the feelings of the oppressors and more concerned about standing in solidarity with the oppressed.