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OPPRESSION OF CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE - ADULTISM - IS THE FOUNDATION FOR ALL FORMS OF OPPRESSION Adultism is the first oppression all people experience Parents must take charge of their relationship with their children Presenting the world as a dangerous place with murder and hurtful people along with a Thats the way it is attitude they instill powerlessness in children As new forms of oppressions are later introduced we now accept them without fighting back Born with an open zestful and cooperative relationship to everyone we are hurt very early by this irrational behavior of adults While we are in emotional distress our vast human intelligence momentarily seems to shut down and the new information is stored wrongly or jams up in a tied-up knot and we are blocked Since we cannot understand or evaluate - such early information from a distress experience subsequent information tends to get stuck in the same pattern which over the years becomes chronic - or like a recording which now plays us Finally we end up with a distress pattern of rigid illogical behavior not unlike that of our parents or other adults Having gone through such oppression we then reenact our own experiences on others An example from racism In my workshops young whites - especially from the South - relate with tremendous pain how they in their early childhood developed deep love and affection for their black servants Thus they were unable to understand why their parents in the company of other whites would talk in a derogatory mocking or even hateful way about blacks in general In the warm presence of the blacks they would be overwhelmed with flushes of guilt if their parents suddenly entered the room How torn such whites have been is evident to everyone who sees them break down and cry in racism workshops Also evident in this example is the development of the guilt-fear distress pattern which
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