“The dominant group creates its own stories, as well. The stories, or narratives told by the ingroup remind it of its identity in relation to outgroups, and provide it with a form of shared reality in which its own superior position is seen as natural.
The stories of outgroups aim to subvert that reality. In civil rights, for example, many in the majority hold that any inequality between blacks and whites is due either to cultural lag or inadequate enforcement of currently existing beneficial laws - both of which are easily correctable. For many minority persons, the principal instrument of their subordination is neither of these. Rather, it is the prevailing mindset by means of which members of the dominant group justify the world as it is, that is, with whites on top and browns and blacks at the bottom.
Stories, parables, chronicles, and narratives are powerful means for destroying mindset - the bundle of presuppositions, received wisdoms, and shared understandings against a background of which legal and political discourse takes place. These matters are rarely focused on. They are like eyeglasses we have worn a long time. They are nearly invisible; we use them to scan and interpret the world and only rarely examine them for themselves. Ideology - the received wisdom - makes current social arrangements seem fair and natural. Those in power sleep well at night - their conduct does not seem to them like oppression.
The cure is storytelling (or, as I shall sometimes call it, counterstorytelling). As Derrick Bell, Bruno Bettelheim, and others show, stories can shatter complacency and challenge the status quo. Stories told by underdogs are frequently ironic or satiric; a root word for “humor” is humus - bringing low, down to earth. […] But stories and counterstories can serve an equally important destructive function. They can show that what we believe is ridiculous, self-serving, or cruel.”—Richard Delgado, “Storytelling for Oppositionists and Others: A Plea for Narrative” (via thisiswhitehistory)