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Modern Problems: Social Justice vs Social Justice Warriors

Updated on May 1, 2020
Kyler J Falk profile image

Social issues can only be remedied by a collective acceptance of those opinions we view as opposing our own.

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There is no doubt that there is a problem with social justice in the world. Whether there be a problem with militancy or a problem with a lack of fair and impartial individuals seeking to increase the presence of social justice, the presence of issues as they concern social justice is evident. For the sake of clarifying the ongoing confusion in the matter, I'd like to explore the difference between social justice, and those who get labeled social justice warriors.

Not everyone who seeks social justice is a social justice warrior.

...I totally avoid and/or IGNORE the PC social media crowds of WEIRDOS...

— Anonymous inspiration for this article

Defining Social Justice

Definition of social justice: "Justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society."

The lack of information within this definition is absolutely egregious and I'm actually surprised how callous it is in the terms of successfully invalidating the many facets of social justice. Thus, as is usual, we shall be expanding upon this definition greatly.

Social justice: Any facet of social interaction, literal, direct, and/or indirect, seeking to bring about fair and impartial treatment for every individual within a social system. Whether it be calling for constructive conversation, such as not blatantly insulting people, or protesting the unfair treatment of others, such as the civil rights movement; social justice is the evident action(s) taken to those progressive ends.

Just to throw some clarity in here, because I know how triggering the term, "progressive," can be; progressive as it is being used here is a non-partisan phrase, and social justice is, unarguably, non-partisan in nature. Anyone who feels social justice is partisan is projecting their own party's idea of social justice onto the term, and in fact are a social justice warrior of their own party.

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Defining Social Justice Warrior

Definition of social justice warrior: "A person who expresses or promotes socially progressive views."

Obviously this is an unfair, literal definition of the term, "social justice warrior," that is screaming for me to give it the most common colloquial definition. I mean, if I was to apply some critical thinking to this I would say that this definition is purposefully painting the word in an undeserved positive light. Alas, I'm being unfairly subjective, so I'll shut up and define the term.

A social justice warrior is any individual that seeks to turn every social issue into a verbal knife fight with those who disagree with them. You'll most commonly find social justice warriors trolling internet forums and bashing those they perceive as opposing their views, who in turn disparage the social justice warriors, often claiming that they just want to limit their freedom of speech. Social justice warriors prefer avoiding conflict through shaming others for their perceived ignorance, all the while they use conflict as a way to profit off of social issues emotionally, politically, and financially in many cases.

Know the difference: A social justice warrior is someone who capitalizes in some way, whether it be emotional, political, or financial, off of a lack of social justice. These individuals are regularly partisan, and would seek to control your rights just to stand on your throat. Whereas someone who is seeking social justice simply wants to have a fair and impartial conversation with you about your beliefs and stances, free from disparaging and insults directed toward anyone.

Do you enjoy social justice in your own life?

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Back to Preschool

Now I hate to do this, because it should be completely unnecessary, but I'm just going to come out and say it in big bold letters for you as if we were back in preschool.

If you don't have anything nice to say, you probably shouldn't say it at all!

To be fair to anyone who disagrees with this sentiment, such as myself, I will state that perception and intention are key in deciding what is not nice, constructive, or progressive. However, name-calling should have been a habit disciplined out of you as early as preschool and I'm not about to argue with anyone who would use such tactics; for example, social justice warriors are the type to resort to name-calling and I don't want to be associated with them.

No one likes to be invalidated, especially when that invalidation comes in the form of invalid tactics such as name-calling. Look at what occurred with Obama when he was first elected, getting called the anti-christ by radical Christian social justice warriors. Observe how Trump was referred to as, "Literally the next Hitler," during his run for the Presidency. Heck even Bill Clinton, perhaps rightfully despite no guilty verdicts being rendered, is still getting called a rapist any time his name is mentioned.

Don't be a part of the problem, we all deserve social justice!

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    • Kyler J Falk profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyler J Falk 

      4 weeks ago from Corona, CA

      As it concerns the semantics of social justice, obviously stoning someone would be a false equivalent to social justice because those same countries have their social justice movements against those punishments. You presented an unfair view there Mr. Happy.

      Yes, progressive has been made partisan for the sake of pushing political agendas, however I used it in a non-partisan context.

      Oh if only these terms were limited to children, but alas, I hear it more from their adult counterparts these days. Arguments used to dismiss others unfairly will never have a place in my toolkit, such as equating adults to children regardless of their immature behavior. Then again, I use it for humor, so I'm just as guilty.

      If we could just change the colloquial definitions of these terms, stop letting people dictate our perceptions to their own ends, then we'd all be moving toward progress, we'd all be progressive.

      As always, appreciate your input Mr. Happy, it is never a dull moment when you are around!

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 

      4 weeks ago from Toronto, Canada

      "Anyone who feels social justice is partisan is projecting their own party's idea of social justice onto the term" - "Social justice" is partisan though because in some cultures and societies for example, "social justice" incorporates "blasphemy". So, "social justice" in Pakistan would be to stone me to death because I am a pagan, an infidel as such. It would be the duty of some people to stone me to death. That is what their society and culture dictates.

      On the other hand, if someone was being stoned to death on your street, I am sure You would not sit by and watch. "Social justice" for us would mean that we do not allow people to be stoned to death. You see? It is partisan depending on culture and society. We can't escape this.

      "Progressive" is also a partisan term and that's fine. Conservatives conserve and progressive progress - it's in the definition; polar opposites lol

      I do not use, nor believe in the "social justice warrior" term. It's just a term used to troll people on the left. That's fine too: kids need something to do lol

      What I have encountered and this is on both sides, left and right, are the "keyboard warriors": all tough and righteous behind their keyboard, haha!! Never stepped a foot out of mama's basement but they got a big mouth calling for revolutions and what not. Sigh ... these are the people I go off on.

      "No, I love being discriminated against!" - LOL I voted.

      "perception and intention are key in deciding what is not nice, constructive, or progressive" - Yes indeed.

      "we all deserve social justice" - too bad we do not all have the same definition for what "social justice" means. It's like herding cats with getting all humans to agree on some basic things.

      Good article - things to think about. Cheers! Stay safe.

    • Kyler J Falk profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyler J Falk 

      4 weeks ago from Corona, CA

      Thank you, Lorna, I did my best to bring the topic into perspective. I often worry that social justice warriors forgo social justice for partisan, or otherwise personal gain. It really tends to drown out any social justice that could be brought for those who need it most when people are only creating more conflict.

    • Lorna Lamon profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      4 weeks ago

      There have been many social justice issues throughout the years in Ireland, particularly N Ireland, and I feel that social justice is closely related to 'conflict theory' - the redressing of perceived wrongs of past or ongoing conflict. Ireland has a plethora of them.

      However, I do not have any time for those who capitalize at the expense of others, and in this respect you have summed up the 'social justice warrior' perfectly. An excellent article Kyler - thought provoking.

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