Another liberal decries “social justice warriors” of today
In a rather long Medium article, another self-identified liberal lashes out at today’s “social justice warriors” (SJW), claiming in reality, they’re social justice bullies and should cease and desist forthwith. Here’s the conclusion of the article (read the whole thing):
Let me finally be abundantly, abundantly clear (I learned this was necessary a few months back). Social justice and social justice advocacy is a good thing. To utilize one’s education to solve social ills is an admirable goal.
The version of millennial social justice advocacy that I have spoken about — one that uses Identity Politics to balkanize groups of people, engenders hatred between groups, willingly lies to push agendas, manipulates language to provide immunity from criticism, and that publicly shames anyone who remotely speaks some sort of dissent from the overarching narrative of the orthodoxy — is not admirable. It is deplorable. It appeals to the basest of human instincts: fear and hatred. It is not an enlightened or educated position to take. History will not look kindly on this Orwellian, authoritarian pervision of social justice that has taken social media and millennials by storm over the past few years.
Those who need to hear this message will probably respond that I am 1. too privileged to understand 2. tone-policing the oppressed (and that I shouldn’t tell the oppressed how to treat their oppressors) and 3. really just a closet racist/sexist in a liberal’s clothing. I expect these responses — partially because I am so used to having seen this script play out over the last four years at NYU.
Indeed, the tactics do appeal to the basest of human instincts – “fear and hatred.” That’s by design. And, to their credit, more and more of those identifying themselves as liberal are seeing this for themselves. Not so much because they’ve figured out independently that this is bullying because they’ve thought about it. No, my guess is they’re realizing it because they’ve been subjected to it – no matter how flawless their liberal credentials are.
It only stands to reason. Think about it. As this person points out, Identity Politics “balkanize[s] groups of people, engenders hatred between groups, willingly lies to push agendas, manipulates language to provide immunity from criticism, and that publicly shames anyone who remotely speaks some sort of dissent from the overarching narrative of the orthodoxy .” And it is a part of that orthodoxy that you can’t be a credible voice for one of the groups if you aren’t an accepted member of that group. So a straight, white, male can’t be a feminist no matter how much he believes in the feminist cause. And a feminist, white female is already a racist (because she is a member of the “oppressor” race) by default and is likely to be shamed for speaking from “white privilege”. So a person is pushed into various little boxes and groups that have, depending on your race, sex, sexual orientation and “privilege”, a lot or very little legitimacy in the social justice movement.
Those we hear speaking out against all of this now are in that latter group even though they’re great advocates of social justice. They suddenly see the injustice of this movement that has stolen a step on them and now is in the process of marginalizing them. Of course, this has been the movement’s modus operendi since its inception. However, now that it is catching up “good liberals” in their trawling net, these good liberals are all for open and honest criticism and debate. They’ve decided that the SWJ’s postions are neither “enlightened or educated”. Instead it is bullying.
It’s quite a breakthrough … but only because as the circle gets smaller and tighter, those who are being excluded were once fully on board with the MO. They don’t like being excluded and the focus of that process though (read the link about the author “learning” a lesson a few months back). And while I appreciate their criticism of the MO and its effect, I trust them about as far as I can throw them. Something tells me (experience?) they only want “open and honest criticism and debate” for as long as they’re on the outside looking in.