Years ago, in one of my women studies texts I read someone talking about how we learn how to glorify and imitate our oppressors. We see so much of this in everyday life. We look at behaviors, actions, and language we would never use, or so we say and then we do. I remember friends of mine who are black and gay going to look at an apartment. The landlord, also black, once seeing them said we do not rent to your kind. The your kind here was them being gay. Yet this was language that was once, and sometimes still is, to deny service to non-Euromericans. This landlord was imitating his oppressors.
This ability to do so can become a part of anyone’s life. Jae Woong Kim, in Polishing the Diamond, Enlightening the Mind, shares the following story. “Long ago, many bandits roamed the mountains, and they often captured monks. It was said that, less than three years after their capture, the monks began to commit the same crimes, crimes to which they once had been vehemently opposed.