During his presidential campaign, Barack Obama’s buzz word on which he ran was the word “change.” Now without divulging into a political economic and foreign policy discussion, we can see from the past years that, in a sense, Obama lives up to his word. America of 2015 is a very different country than that of 2008. We now live in a society where racism is being combated daily, sexism and homophobia is on the downward slope, people are all converting to liberal atheism, moving to trendy up and coming neighborhoods to create “better” communities. This is all great. I love the fact that as a black atheist, I am able to display that in public with little to no ridicule where as in 2008, some of the things I do daily would be seen as unethical and even barbaric. Social justice has come a long way and it would seem as if we have a clear understanding of our society and how we should treat each other. Sadly, that is not the case. Social justice has almost completed achieving its goals and should be getting ready to retired to its condo in Boca. But its still out there, punching the clock, working that nine to five fighting the “good fight” for the little guy who can’t get ahead. Has it taken social reformation from a struggle for equality and changed into something different? Are social justice warriors actually striving for justice or are they working towards reconstructing hierarchy and creating a class of protected citizens?
2014, Ferguson Missouri. Everybody knows the story that swept the nation. Michael Brown gunned down in front of a crowd of people by a racist, biased police officer. This was only one killing that happened during the Obama administration that made public outcry. But why did it attract so much attention? Trayvon martin happened a few years prior and Eric garner a few months after. They have now all come together to create the image of racial injustice in the United States by police officers. Now the social justice warriors have set aside their daily activities of going to yoga or “turning up” to take a stand for the “strong independent” black people who can’t do it for themselves. Between occupy movements and marijuana legalization rallies, you can usually find these people brunching at “insert hip restaurant here” or going to see the latest Michael Bay travesty. Not knocking them for living their lives, hell, I’d like to put this paper down right now and get back to my book. Its with this, the lyrics of Dr Dre turn into words that have newer, deeper meaning. “What’s the difference between me and you? You talk a good one but you don’t do what you’re supposed to do, I act on what I feel and never deal with emotions…” The social justice crown seems to only care about being part of the struggle. I don’t associate with movements and protests unless I truly believe in them and actively dedicate myself to them even when no one is looking. In an interview with the Huffington Post, Los Angeles hip hop collective “Odd Future” rappers Tyler the Creator and Earl Sweatshirt commented on issues highlighted in the media such as Trayvon martin and Donald Sterling. When sterling made racist comments about black people. The response was the players of the LA Clippers playing with their jersey turned inside out. What does that do? What does it accomplish. Fan still came to the game and on that night, Chris Paul, Deandre Jordan and Blake Griffin made an estimate combined salary of almost $400,000. Sterling made money, the players made money and be fans were happy to see their team continue to make their run toward and NBA championship. Nothing was accomplished and but the Hollywood reporter called it “ a public show of solidarity in a silent protest against racism.” It was truly, as Tyler stated, “some bitch shit”. Trayvon martin was a similar case. Whilst George Zimmerman supporters poured money into organizations looking for his acquittal, Martin supporters wore hoodies and posted their pictures on Instagram. Earl sweatshirt summarized it as this ” people love to act like they care about everything, but really nobody cares about anything.” Is the occupy movement still prevalent, or is it not because the media no longer deems it as relevant? What about Trayvon Martin, haven’t heard about that in a while. Wearing shirts saying “I can’t breathe” accomplishes absolutely nothing so why does it continue to flood my Facebook feed? Facebook, that’s its; social media. It all makes sense now. People get behind a cause not because they believe in it but for their own personal image. Do they really believe in the standpoint they take or does something else make them give them the idea that they are right.
Going back to the story of Michael brown, we get the social justice crowd again in outrage. They want this guy [Darren Wilson’s] head on a stake on the White House lawn. For what reason? From not the trial of Daren Wilson but the reaction to it we see the actual racism. As soon as the story broke CNN, the very minute people heard that a white officer shot a black man #Justiceformikebrown began trending. Really? You’re going to call for justice for a person without examining the situation? You’re just going to assume that the shooting was of malicious intent because the officer was white and the “victim” was black? I wish they had a word to describe that kind of reasoning. Well its a few days into the investigation, witness reports start flying in and we can finally get what we want, #Justiceformikebrown. Hmmm let’s see, Brown entered a store and started giving trouble to the clerk; #Justiceformikebrown. Brown is said to have robbed the store of cigarellos; #Justiceformikebrown. Brown is confronted by the police and witness reports say he reached into the interceptor; #Justiceformikebrown. Wilson neutralizes a potential threat unwilling to comply with an officer. “OH HELL NO.” As you can clearly see, Saint Michael Brown did absolutely nothing wrong. He procured his cigarellos and exited the store in a calm, non-agressive fashion. He was stopped by that dirty filthy Darren Wilson and Wilson’s eyes grew red as his nigger senses tingled. As an officer of the law, it is his duty to kill all blacks on site. This is clearly a case of racism, your honor; the prosecution rests, drops mic, #Justiceformikebrown. Now that we’ve seen this “injustice” lets step back through the alternate universe portal and get back to our own reality. #Justiceformikebrown is still trending. Even after the evidence and witness reports, social justice warriors continue to stand up for a person who seemingly had a death wish. They take what is there and bend the facts in an act of win rhetoric to make their argument valid. “It’s manufactured strategic outrage” as comedian Bill Burr said during an interview on Real Talk with Bill Malher. “They took my joke (the joke in his story represents the shooting) they already had their mind made up and they made my jokes make their point.” They will not listen to facts they will only stand by what they have already sided with. Adding insult to injury, the social justice warrior will defend the person of color no matter what; anything that isn’t support for black person is considered abandonment as shown by the reaction when rapper Pharell Williams spoke out against Michael Brown saying “his behavior leading up to his death was bullyish.” Williams went on to say that he didn’t think Brown’s actions warranted his death but the crowd of blind tweeters completely ignored that saying,
“Pharrell Williams saying that Michael Brown exhibited bully-like behavior’ translated to the ultimate revocation of his black card” -@nurserycrimes
A black man was gunned down by a white officer and just because he was black, the officer was racist. Racist, looks like I found the word I was looking for.
What’s the harm though? What bad can really stem from a group of people speaking out against what they believe is unjust and the actions they take to try and correct that? The fat acceptance movement is the newest trend stretching its tendrils across the plains of social media. Feminism also has its issues. In the 1960’s feminism aimed to deconstruct the role of a woman as the housekeeping baby factory that history has labeled them as. In 2015 “feminism” aims to “smash the patriarchy” because western women are oppressed. So what’s the harm really? These movements started out with simple goals and had grounds to which they could stake their claim. But throughout time they started to break apart into little sects with different aims that make little sense. Associate professor of philosophy Christina Sommers and humanities professor Camille Paglia who are both feminist authors took harsh criticism in the mid 90’s regarding their stance toward the modern feminist movement. In an interview on PBS’s “Think Tank” they expressed how modern feminism is being formed by misinformed women with radical ideas. Sommers said “They believe that women are trapped in what they call asex-gender system, a patriarchal hegemony; that contemporary American women are in the thrall to men, to male culture. And it’s so silly. It has no basis in American reality. No women have ever had more opportunities, more freedom, and more equality than contemporary American women.” Modern radical feminists have a few claims that are ubiquitous amongst their ranks. “We live in a patriarchal society” Well, Webster defines patriarchy as “a family, group, or government controlled by a man or a group of men.” Which is why we have female sentaors, governers, congresswomen, secretaries of state and presidential candidates, damn that patriarchy. This argument doesn’t even hold weight because if you just do a search on YouTube or Tumblr or any other site where feminists rant about their movement, they will all give you different definitions of the word patriarchy and none of them are correct. “There is a wage gap and women earn 77 cents to every dollar a man earns” Well, a Depatment of Labor’s Time Use survey showed that women on average are more likely to work under 40 hours a week while a man is likely to work over 40 hours a week. Also a woman is more likely to work in a more comfortable setting like an office where as a man would work in an office or he would just as happily work in a laborer profession, ones that typically have higher pay rates due to the dangerous nature of the job. Sommers and Pagila go on and on about feminist myths that arise in the media but again the question comes up, what is the harm? “The media was totally servile!,”Pagila said “Every word that came out of Gloria Steinem’s mouth or Patricia Ireland’s mouth is treated as gospel truth.” Well that can become a problem when the new Gloria Steinem could be someone like Chanty Binx who will shout her views in someones face and won’t listen to any argument against her own. Social justice is creating a culture of people who learn a few bits of information, get passionate about it and then take to the web to express their anger against the system. On the subject of feminism Sommers said “They’re brilliant work-shoppers, networkers, organizers, moving in, taking over infrastructure. They’re busybodies. There has never been a more effective, you know, army of busybodies. And they know how to work the system,” and the same can be said about a lot of social justice warriors of today.
So what can arise from the vicious movements of social injustice? Turning back to fat acceptance and Meghan Trainor we start to see it’s metamorphosis. I am not talking about a culture where we change what we find attractive, we do that all the time. What starts to happen is we stop accepting and start creating something new. Author Emma Woolfe who is a columnist for The Daily Beast wrote an article, “Stop the Skinny Shaming.” She talked about how she was ostracized by an obese co-worker for being skinny while if the tables were turned she would be shunned for even thinking about talking about someone being overweight. She said that in response to her book The Ministry of Thin “ I was called a skinny bitch, a body fascist, and a fat-nazi. I was informed that men “love something to grab onto”, and that “curves” are sexier than skeletons.” Her responders were violent in their response categorizing her as something unacceptable just because of her body size which totally is nothing like fat shaming at all. The catchy lyrics of “All about that bass” claim that there are only two body types, “stick figure barbie dolls” and girls with “bass” which boys preferr. Woolfe says “think about the terms we use to describe thinness: scrawny, emaciated, angular, bony, skeletal. Such words are casually batted about in the media without any of the caution we must now use in our references to fatness.” Those words come from the mouths of the obese and are said so casually without any consideration of the hurt they could potentially be bringing to someone who could be recovering from anorexia or even worse, recovering from obesity and are starting to live a healthy lifestyle. This form of social justice is creating a class of people who can and will say and do whatever they want and they think that they are justified because they are black or a woman or/ fat. It’s the entitlement that they feel is owed to them from years of being held down in society that they use as fuel to blast their rocketship of social justice right past the moon of equality and into the black hole of elitism. They aren’t striving to level the playing fields, they are looking to sit in the private box and look down upon those who once looked down upon them.
So the answers to my original questions, surprisingly are no. Social justice isn’t changing and the social justice warriors aren’t creating a new protected class. It is the corrupt ones in social justice who are doing that; they are the loudest voices. There is still the need for feminism mostly in other countries where women are still subservient to men. There is still race discrimination in nations controlled by warlords or countries with radical religious laws. Publically calling someone out on their unhealthy lifestyle isn’t an effective motivational technique. And there are people working to solve those crises around the world but they get little to no attention. Instead it’s the ones who scream “NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE” who get the spotlight. It’s the ones who occupy places and hold demonstrations with catchy names who are on your nightly news. They get the attention and with that soapbox they yell the misinformation for the masses to hear and follow. Going back to the interview with Pagila and Sommers, Pagila says “ I think that the current feminist movement has taken credit for a lot of the enormous changes in women’s lives that my generation of the ’60s wrought,” and in that I myself start to get angry. The corrupt social justice warrior is ruining the reputations of the movements for true social justice of the past. They look like they have the same cause and honestly it is disrespectful to link suffragists with modern feminism or the Baltimore rioters with the civil rights movement. You want something to be angry at, be angry at that.
Adult Swim’s Loiter Squad Live 14 May 2014. Web. 17 May 2015.
Lukas Carrie. It’s Time That We End the Equal Pay Myth. 16 Apr 2012. Web. 03 May 2015.
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Coleman, Ashley. Pharrell Williams Accuses US Teen Shot Dead by Cop of ‘Bully-ish’
Behavior, Says He Was ‘Asking for Trouble’ and Attacks Rioters.26 Nov 2014. Web. 02 May 2015. <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2851147/Pharrell-sparks-outrage-calling-Michael-Brown-bully-saying-unarmed-teen-asking-trouble-day-shot-dead-police-officer.html>
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