Social injustice is a real thing.
It’s not made up. People who say it’s made up are either being dishonest or willfully
ignorant. It’s really not hard to find if you’re paying attention.
For example Black People and White People in America use marijuana at roughly the same
rate. However Black People are arrested for marijuana possession way, way more.
In every state in America it’s illegal to refuse to hire someone solely because of their
sex or race, however it’s not explicitly illegal in most places to refuse to hire someone
because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. This has resulted in significant
discrimination among LGBT workers. These are only two examples, but they are
glaring overt examples of social injustice. And there’s tons more.
But here’s the thing, you don’t have to be intellectually dishonest to talk about
social justice. I’d argue that if you want social justice, being opportunistic and disingenuous
is counter productive. For example, if you’re still saying “Women
make 77 cents to a man’s dollar in America!” you’re being intellectually dishonest (or
ignorant). This is a misleading statistic, and it’s intentionally misleading.
However, if you’re saying “Wage gaps don’t exist at all and women have the exact same
opportunities for employment and advancement as men,” you’re also being dishonest (or
ignorant). Because that’s not true either. If you say that racism against whites is the
same or as prevalent as racism against non-whites, you’re being dishonest.
However, if you say that like black people can’t be racist against white. You’re
also being dishonest. Needlessly. The idea that the only thing that counts as
“racism” is Prejudice + Power, is semantic double speak.
The point is, you don’t have to lie or make up stuff to discuss these issues. When you
do you alienate people and make it harder for yourself.
If your goal is social justice, it’s important to be honest and clear. If fudging statistics
and making up definitions was necessary in order to convince people, you probably don’t
have a very strong argument to begin with. But that’s the point. I don’t think it
is necessary. Now if your goal is just to yell at people
and be a troll, I mean, fair enough, carry on.
My personal theory is that there are people like this that don’t really give a shit
about making the world better. They like being combative, they like having an adversary.
And this is on both sides of the coin. But I don’t think this us vs them mentality
is very helpful. Like if someone makes a movie that you think
is offensive, your response should not be to paint the director of a movie as a bigot
and try to ruin his career. That doesn’t fix any problem. All that does is serve your
thirst for vengeance, which is non-constructive and short-sighted.
The director of the movie is not your enemy. People who make art sometimes make stuff that
is brash or offensive or rude, either to intentionally shake things up or because they want to express
a dark side of their imagination. Everybody has a dark side of their imagination, even
you. Artists are different than other people in that they often express these parts of
their psyche through their work. It’s possible that Taylor Swift is slut-shaming,
man-obsessed, vindictive heartbreaker, but probably she’s just a songwriter who uses
her art to express facets of her imagination that may be sometimes problematic.
Even outside of art, if someone does or makes something that you think perpetuates social
injustice, our job is to honestly engage them, providing criticism where necessary but also
making sure we have all the facts. Social injustice exists because of societal
conditioning and social norms that have developed over years of systematic inequality. It is
not because there is a secret society of evil white men plotting and scheming to ruin everyone’s
lives. Our job is to educate and transform the way society thinks. Not to go straight
Batman and destroy all the evil people 1 by 1 until bigotry doesn’t exist anymore.
Finally, it’s important to understand that we are all different and we will not all agree
on how everything should work. The moment you think you have got everything figured
out is the moment you no longer should be taken seriously. If you are unwilling to have
your views challenged by thoughtful debate, you’re not helping anybody.
DAS JUS ME DOE.