3/31/15

The All Too Common Hypocrisy Of Modern Social Justice



Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress.
Napoleon Bonaparte
Those who have been following me for a while or know me personally know how involved and passionate I am about social justice, equality, and empowerment. Even when I started writing online articles, they focused on discussing some of our social ills. This is the very least anyone should do. Yet, if you look as of late, my contributions as a SJW (Social Justice Warrior) have drastically lessened.

The reasons aren’t that I no longer believe in social justice or I no longer believe that what’s wrong within society shouldn’t be called out. The reason is that the current Social Justice trend of online warriors, in their crusade to condemn what’s ‘bad,’ have become just as oppressive as those they fight, and just as blind to the damage they cause.

As we fight sexism, racism, homophobia, religious intolerance, bigotry, or just simply prejudice, there are way too many who do so by being sexist, racist, homophobic, intolerant, and plain old fashion bigots. If this is a minority, as is stated over and over within the SWJ groups, wouldn’t be a problem. The problem is that it ISN’T a minority as people cheer on such actions, showing how their true intentions aren’t social justice, but rather power hunger or vengeance.

While fighting oppression, they get drunk on the power of oppressing.

We see this as we excuse inexcusable actions, simply because they are done under the flag of what’s right. We rationalize such abuse constantly. The best explanation I have heard to date explaining how this mental Kung Fu is done was given by a fellow blogger within a writer’s group as he was calling out this behavior in a post.

You are THIS and if you get mad, it proves my point. And because you're emotionally compromised because you're THIS, you don't have a say. You're the problem and someone else will be the solution, so shut up, sit down, and wait for it.
We speak of having freedom of expression by openly shaming anyone who has an opinion different from ours. Body shaming if fought by calling models “skinny bitches” or defend the right of women not to use makeup by attacking any woman who uses makeup. Gender discrimination and sexism against women because they are women is fought by making sexist and gender specific attacks against men because they are men. Racial and ethnic discrimination against minorities if fought by making racist remarks against the majority. Even religious intolerance if fought by being intolerant with any faith (or lack of faith) different from our own. We stopped using our ideals as a means for empowerment. Instead we turned them into weapon to excuse attacking the ideals of others.

This type of debate doesn't offer conversation nor has the intention of finding a solution. It’s a way to oppress while feeling good about yourself as an oppressor, as other like-minded SJW will applaud you for it. It’s a way to be a bigot without the fear of backlash. If anyone dares to call you out on it, you are then given the entire backup needed to unleash your “righteous fury” against said person.

I should know as I have been on the receiving end of this equation enough times to realize that I no longer want to be a part of this kind of social justice. Just because you assume you’re right, doesn’t excuse you when you do wrong.

If you are unsure if your actions and comments are wrong, here’s a simple mental exercise. Before posting up that righteous attack, replace the people you are attacking with the group you are defending. If you would consider that comment hate speech, it probably is. Before posting that defense of your group, replace it with the group you fight against. Are you giving them special privileges over the rest of society? If so, then you probably are doing that for your own group.

Social justice shouldn’t be about everyone being equally discriminated or oppressed. It should be about everyone being equally empowered. It should be about using our diversity as a way to expand our ideals and our understanding.  Instead of focusing on how to knock someone down to the lowest position as a solution, we should on how to raise everyone up to the highest denominator. Instead of calling out privilege as a bad thing, we should view privilege as what should be fair for everyone, and work in that direction. And above all, we really need to stop expecting equality to happen because we are all the same, but expect it because being different is no reason for inequality.