The challenge, and the discussion I invite, is how we in the hegemony can be strong, assured, and charitable without being oppressive, arrogant, and condescending. How can we give others the "safe space" to step away from internalized oppression? Could we really vote Tanya "not guilty"?
Internalized oppression theory tells us that the members of the marginalized group use these behaviors as a defense mechanism against otherwise unbearable cognitive dissonance. Thus, we cannot expect those marginalized people to "step out from behind their masks" unless they feel safe in doing so.
Internalized racism has been the primary means by which we have been forced to perpetuate and “agree” to our own oppression.
In order to understand the many ways in which internalized oppression and racism affect subordinated communities, it is important to have a general background on these forces. Thus, this part of the article will describe internalized oppression and racism generally and will then describe how internalized oppression and racism are particularly manifested in the Latino community. This will better allow the reader to comprehend why Latinos engage in the specific types of self-destructive behavior described throughout this article.