Officially Designated Permanently Oppressed Minorities

My attention was recently drawn to this:

Penguin Random House UK … wants to find, mentor, and hopefully publish new writers from communities that are under-represented on the nation’s bookshelves – including writers from BAME and LGBTQ communities, and economically marginalised writers.

BAME means Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic. So what we have here is a major publisher seeking literary works from ethnic and sexual minorities, and nobody else.

It seems to me that BAME and LGBTQ have become more or less Officially Designated Permanently Oppressed Minorities (ODPOMs). They’re the only such minorities that ever get a hearing. Their representatives frequently appear in news or current affairs programmes. They’re what everybody thinks of when they hear of those sorts of oppressed minorities with whom people instinctively sympathise.

And, regardless of any legislation or positive discrimination, they always seem to be permanently oppressed. Life never gets any better for any of them, ever.

I’m beginning to think that these ODPOMs serve several purposes. Firstly, they monopolise the Oppressed Minority slot, and get all the sympathy and attention and, most likely, money. Secondly they serve to draw attention away from any other equally or more deserving Oppressed Minorities. In fact, they allow the creation of entire invisible new classes of Oppressed Minority.

Very arguably, smokers are one of these invisible new Oppressed Minorities. Smokers are excluded from public spaces, demonised, discriminated against, and subjected to punitive levels of taxation. And there are millions and millions of them. But they never get any sympathy or attention in the mass media. They are completely invisible.

And one reason why they are invisible is because there are far more highly visible ODPOMs which are hogging the limelight, and getting all the attention and sympathy and funding.

In the USA the recent appearance and sudden prominence of Black Lives Matter is an example of the BAME ODPOM reasserting itself. The full title is probably Black Lives Matter More Than Anybody Else’s And Don’t You Ever Forget It. And its prominence necessarily deflects attention away from all other oppressed minorities. So completely, in fact, that it allows other oppressed minorities to persecuted even more harshly without anybody noticing.

It seems to me that if you want to persecute any social group – smokers, drinkers, fat people, Christians, whoever -, you must first create several other Oppressed Minorities whose oppression – and only whose oppression – is to be deemed newsworthy. It doesn’t really matter who they are. They can be Amazonian tribes, Canadian Innuits, polar bears, whales, or seals. It doesn’t really matter if they’re actually being oppressed or persecuted either. But once they have become Officially Designated Oppressed Minorities they can, after a few years, then become established as Officially Designated Permanently Oppressed Minorities – ODPOMs. The attention and sympathy and money that is then lavished upon them served to salve people’s consciences and allow them to claim that they’re Doing Something For Minorities. And the more attention that is lavished on these ODPOMs, the more vicious persecution that can be visited upon other invisible minorities in the shadows outside the limelight in which the ODPOMs bask. And because they are Permanently Oppressed Minorities, they never go away. They become fixtures in the political landscape, permanent representatives of minorities in general.

For the BAME and LGBTQ oppressed minorities have been around for donkey’s years. Most of them – including the seals and whales – first appeared in the 1960s. They’ve been around for well over 50 years. That’s 50 years in which, somehow or other, their grievances have never been effectively addressed. They never stop complaining.

In reality, the oppression of minorities is probably usually a fairly transient matter. Once the unjust oppression is recognised, something is usually done about it fairly rapidly. And then other cases of oppression or persecution can be addressed – much like a doctor’s surgery in which various sick and injured people are treated in their turn. Only in this case, it’s as if the first patients the doctor sees demand his entire attention thereafter: they never go away, and nobody else in the waiting room ever gets treated.

These days, when Islam and Islamic Fundamentalism are facing rising popular anger, but overt government sponsorship, I’m wondering whether Muslims and Islamic Fundamentalists are about to become the latest  Officially Designated Oppressed Minority. Since Christianity has been more or less at war with Islam since its inception 1,400 years ago, it could very rapidly become an Officially Designated Permanently Oppressed Minority. And there will be campaigns to Support Your Local Suicide Bomber, or Knit Your Own Suicide Bomb Vest, or maybe Suicide Bombers Lives Matter.

And no doubt Penguin Random House UK will then be looking for under-represented writers in the IFTSB (Islamic, Fundamentalist, Terrorist, or Suicide Bomber) communities to mentor and publish.


About Frank Davis

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33 Responses to Officially Designated Permanently Oppressed Minorities

  1. cherie79 says:

    Can someone please tell me what the Q stands for?

      • garyk30 says:

        Questioning…those that are not certain of what sex that they are.

        • cherie79 says:

          Thanks, I couldn’t imagine what it could be, why on earth does everyone seem to need some minority designation !

        • Frank Davis says:

          According to Google:

          “LGBTQ is an acronym that stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer, and is used to designate a community of people whose sexual or gender identities can create shared political and social concerns.”

          It does seem to be a bit non-PC, but I think that if you belong to an ODPOM, PC rules don’t apply.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        North American Man/Boy Love Association – Wikipedia, the free ……/Boy_Love_Association

        The North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) is a pedophile and pederasty advocacy organization in the United States. It works to abolish

        Ya its been ongoing for decades. They want legal age of concent laws abolished so they can bang all the choir boys they want!

        No more old Rich Queers cruising the back alleys for young 16 year old boyz pimping their asses out anymore then!

        Yes that crap is ongoing in every city in America even Nashville down off of 8th ave and 4th. Hookers on one side and gay boys on the other.

  2. cherie79 says:

    I did think that initially but much too non PC ! First heard this during the RNC convention and we wondered what it stood for.

  3. jaxthefirst says:

    I remember having a conversation about prejudice a while back, in which the person I was speaking with said that the main difference between racism (or sexism or whatever) and anti-smoking prejudice is that smokers have a choice whether to smoke or not, whereas one’s race (or gender or sexuality or whatever) wasn’t something over which anyone has any control.

    Now, that might have sounded like a pretty reasonable thing to say, because it’s certainly true. But when you analyse it, it’s actually showing a two pretty worrying views: (a) that prejudice is perfectly acceptable if the victim has the means to change to suit the prejudiced person’s demands; and (b) that the correct reaction to prejudice should be, if at all possible, to do exactly what the prejudiced person says. Prejudice thus is only unacceptable if it’s making demands which are impossible to fulfil (such as changing one’s race). A sentiment with which I wholeheartedly disagree. I think it’s always wrong.

    It’s is a bit like advising the little kid at school to give his dinner money to the playground bully whenever he asks, and then telling him, if he refuses and gets a punch on the nose because of it, that it’s his own fault. After all, he could have avoided the punch if he’d just done as the bully wanted, couldn’t he?

    • ” the main difference between racism (or sexism or whatever) and anti-smoking prejudice is that smokers have a choice whether to smoke or not, ”

      That would be fine to say of course **IF** the person saying it wasn’t one of those who’d immediately jump at the chance to beat a big loud drum for “Nicotine Is The Most Addictive Drug In The World!” and “The Children Who Will Become Lifelong Slaves To Smoking If They Take A Puff!” etc.

      Antismokers of course want to have both ways, all the time.

      THAT is the problem.

      – MJM

  4. junican says:

    “Being seen to be doing something”. “Making a difference”. They all come down to the same thing. Failure. All the money in the world will not stop people over-eating if they can pay for the food. Some people will always over-eat, and it has always been so. Any organisations which says, “We are making a difference!” is admitting to failure. That is because ‘a difference’ is a marginal quantity. If A equals 100, then changing A from 100 to 100.01 means that ‘a difference’ has occurred.
    What is interesting is the amount of force which needs to be applied to achieve ‘the difference’. That is what has gone wrong. Banning indoor smoking has ‘made a difference’, but only in ‘public places’. It has not diminished smoking. The regulation has had enormous, real, financial effect on pubs and such, but has made only ‘a difference’ in smoking prevalence.

  5. Lepercolonist says:

    Smokers should recruit ODPOMs to demand the right to smoke in public places because they have been subject to discrimination in society. Then after the bleeding hearts agree, the door will be open for the ‘majority’ to smoke.

    • Joe L. says:

      Wonderful in theory, however, while oppressed minorities will occasionally band together to form a stronger unified voice, I believe this is impossible to do with ODPOMs, and I believe it is by design, in order to a.) perpetuate the ODPOMs, and b.) ensure society remains divided.

      ODPOMs have been brainwashed/encouraged to believe that their specific minority is superior (i.e., has been oppressed ‘the most’). Therefore, ODPOMs don’t play well with others. Take Black Lives Matter, for instance; the name says it all. Martin Luther King Jr. must be turning over in his grave…

      I believe we could make progress if we join forces with the other invisible oppressed minorities. However, this would require that millions of invisible minorities become cognisant of the fact that they are actually part of an invisible minority.

      • jaxthefirst says:

        Not to mention the fact that anti-smoking prejudice has been so thoroughly ingrained into the minds of those so inclined that there are many people within ODPOMs who themselves relish the opportunity for a bit of gratuitous persecution themselves and, at the moment, smokers are the easiest targets.

        But not always, however. This subject reminds me of a conversation I once witnessed whilst working at a college for international students. The college had had a last-minute vacancy and, fortunately, a last-minute applicant for the place. The student, from a wealthy Jewish family, was accepted and was very pleased about it – until the family were sent a copy of the accommodation list and noticed that the student with whom their child would be sharing accommodation had – err – a very obviously African name. There ensued a telephone call to the Accommodation Officer from a relatively unabashed mother, suggesting that she had “hoped her son might perhaps be accommodated with someone from a similar background to his own.” Meaning of course, another white boy, preferably a Jewish one.

        Now, you have to bear in mind that this was the only space in the school and therefore all of the students for the forthcoming year had already been allocated their accommodation, told where they would be living and who they would be sharing with, and were perfectly happy with it. So it just wasn’t possible (or fair) to start swapping those students around to share with someone else, particularly just because some ODPOM mother didn’t want her son to share with someone from a different ethnic group.

        The Accommodation Officer, I’m pleased to say, was having none of this. He called her on it, and asked her how on earth she knew that her son’s accommodation partner wasn’t of the “same background” as her son. To which she didn’t really have an answer, because she knew darned well what the Accommodation Officer was asking. So, straight up, he said: “Is it because you think he’s black?” At which point she reluctantly admitted that, yes, that was an assumption she had made, before swiftly adding: “It’s not that I’m racist, of course. I mean, we’re Jewish, and as I’m sure you know, nobody understand how terrible racism is more than us.” To which the Accommodation Officer’s instant reply was: “Of course, but as I am sure you know, sometimes those who have been persecuted in the past, far from becoming more understanding of the problem, can actually become the worst persecutors of all themselves, once their own persecution has been recognised and attempts made to address it. A sort of – err – a backlash, if you like.” before adding – to avoid the predictable faux-outraged are-you-calling-me-a racist response: “Not, of course, that I’m saying this is true in your case, Mrs xxxxx” He then added that, as it was so late in the enrolment process and that this was the very last place available there simply weren’t any other accommodation places which he could offer her and, if she didn’t want that one, then she’d have to find another college. She capitulated and accepted the place (it was a very, very well-regarded college); her son joined us and went into the accommodation with the African boy – both were simply delightful young men, got on famously well and, indeed, went on to share their accommodation for the whole of the rest of their stay with us.

        But it just goes to show, doesn’t it, that, contrary to the Government and media attempts to portray these ODPOM groups as universally poor, downtrodden little angels with no human failings, the fact is that even amongst those groups who bemoan the fact that they experience prejudice at the hands of others, there are still a few who themselves are not disinclined to practice a bit of it themselves.

  6. It would be interesting to hear from any one of those Oppressed Minorities if they got hit with a SCHIP-type 2,300% tax increase and then had to watch President Obama declare on nationwide TV that he hadn’t raised taxes on any PEOPLE.

    – MJM

  7. Joe L. says:

    Excellent post, Frank! I believe the ODPOM phenomena is real and is exactly as you describe it.

    By the way, I had a good chuckle at the irony of “Suicide Bombers Lives Matter.” :-) That is, until I realized it’s not really that farfetched given the state of the world today. :-(

  8. waltc says:

    OT . Proving Islamic dictators know how to get the job done. I guess this is known as Going Cold Turkey.
    Link H/T: IronCyr

    • Frank Davis says:

      From the link:

      His encounters with Turkish citizens who are either smoking or carrying cigarette packs follow a similar pattern: Erdogan calls to the “busted” smoker, takes away the cigarettes and asks the person to pledge to quit smoking. A promise, however, does not get one off the hook. Erdogan asks the smokers to write their names and telephone numbers on the confiscated packs to make it clear the matter will be followed up on.

      The regime’s media boasts that Erdogan has cajoled dozens of people to quit smoking, and daily Sabah has even compiled a photo gallery of those moments. The pictures show Erdogan holding a confiscated pack of cigarettes and the smoker pledging to quit, often in the company of smiling witnesses.

  9. Re blogged. excellent post! Loved it.

  10. prog says:

    ‘Minority’ often goes hand on hand with the modern day definition of community. The only people who generally don’t belong to a ‘community’ are white, male, Christian born, heterosexual tax payers.

    And one of the largest communities is now on it’s last legs, not least because many of it’s citizens fall into the above category.

  11. garyk30 says:

    These ‘oppressed’ groups are the special people du jour and no more than mascots to the elitist Annointed ones and their followers.

    They should study history.
    In the 1920’s- 1930’s, Socialism in the form of Hitler and Stalin’s govts was the fashionable cause du jour and eugenics of the UN-desirable blacks and queers was much in vogue.

    At this time the leftist elites called themselves ‘progressives’.

    WW2 changed all of that and the progressives renamed themselves ‘liberals’.
    Blacks became demanding of ‘rights’ and their cause became the new ego building cause du jour for the liberals.

    The same holds true for the LGBT’s during the latter part of the 20th century.

    The liberal politicians saw this as a means of getting votes,

    Prior to the civil rights act of 1964, blacks mostly voted Republican.
    Lyndon Johnson, a leftist liberal, saw that act as getting the blacks to vote democratic for the next 100 years.

    Now come the Islamic refugees as the feel good group to be pandered to.

    Since they are strongly anti-queer, it will be interesting to see how long the LGBT’s last as mascots for the leftist elites.

    Since the breakup of the USSR and the general failing of socialism, the leftist’s have started to go back to calling themselves ‘progressives’.

    They will change mascots as easily as teen age girls change fashions.
    Elitists feel superior to all them and that makes them easily cast aside.

    Building their egos is what really matters to them.

  12. petesquiz says:

    It all sounds so Monty Python-esque it would be funny if it wasn’t for real. I bet there are factions within each group saying things like, “How come it’s always ‘Black’ that’s first on the list? I’d feel more comfortable in MEBA! In fact I’m going to set up a break-away group that puts Minority Ethnic views first!”

    As regards the Q in LGBTQ, I believe that the gay community have ‘reclaimed’ the word Queer so that they can use it (but we probably can’t!).

    So, Frank, what name would you give your minority group? The People’s Smoking Party, The Popular Front for Smokers, The League of Smoking Gentlemen, The Anti-Anti-Smoking Brigade? I’m sure you can come up with a better name than mine. If such a group was organised, one of the first things you could do (and this isn’t an entirely flippant suggestion) is to stage pub sit-ins and smoke for as long as it took the local law enforcement to remove you. You’d probably find quite a few sympathetic landlords whose takings, briefly, would be back to pre 2007 levels!

    • Frank Davis says:

      It might be possible to hijack LGBT. L and G and B might all be cigarette brands. Or the slight variant LGVT could be Light Golden Virginia Tobacco.

      That sort of thing.

      • petesquiz says:

        Maybe, even, the Light Golden Virginia Tobacco Quorum to give it a ‘serious’ political air to it (and to make use of that pesky Q)!

    • nisakiman says:

      As regards the Q in LGBTQ, I believe that the gay community have ‘reclaimed’ the word Queer so that they can use it (but we probably can’t!).

      Much as black rappers (’50 cent’ and the like) are profuse in their use of the word ‘nigger’ or ‘niggah’, but if any white person has the temerity to use what is euphemistically known as the ‘N’ word, they will be enthusiastically eviscerated by all and sundry.

      • Marvin says:

        This reminds me of the disgusting treatment Emily Parr got from Channel4 in Big Brother 8 (2007). Poor Emily used the ‘N’ word to her black friend Charley in a playful, jokey manner, there was nothing malicious about it and she was evicted in the middle of the night because of it. Emily paid the price for Jade Goodys UNPUNISHED racist outburst against Shilpa Shetty in the previous Celebrity Big Brother (and the public outrage that that caused). Channel4 did however take a beating from the fans of the program for the hypocritical way they had punished Emily, but not Jade. They were issuing press statements for days to try and save face. I used to love that program but have not watched any of them since, after I realised what utter filth the Channel4 production team (Endomol) are. Us smokers have long memories!!

  13. garyk30 says:

    Treating groups as special has a never ending result.

    Once a group has been treated as special, just being treated as equal will be seen as discrimination.

  14. Clicky says:

  15. Pingback: The Hidden Power of Smokers | Frank Davis

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