Richard Anthony Chemaly
6 minute read
26 May 2020
5:55 pm

The line between oppression and inconvenience

Richard Anthony Chemaly

All oppression is inconvenient, but not all inconvenience is oppression. Here's how to dismiss a person’s agency and rights on the strength of their perceived privilege.

Richard Anthony Chemaly. Entertainment attorney, radio broadcaster and lecturer of communication ethics.

As calls to end the lockdown or aspects of it grow, so too does the quip, “You’re not being oppressed, you’re being inconvenienced,” find expression. As far as sexy rhetoric goes, that’s right up there with “have you ever [insert depressing/tragic circumstance here]? No! So don’t act like you know.” But sexy rhetoric does not a good argument make … and certainly not a valid argument from a legal perspective. Unfortunately, the concept of “oppression” has rarely been unpacked by our courts unless it’s to do with minority shareholder rights, which is far from what we’re dealing with here. It’s...