There is a lot of talk about the concept “social justice” these days. It has become so prominent in our discussions that it is being used to make many political decisions that affect our daily lives, and to change our country. But what exactly is “social justice”? No one ever comes out and defines what it means, but whenever people ram two otherwise disconnected words together, they are usually attempting some form of intellectual malfeasance. (See Bernie Sanders’ “Democratic Socialism”)
Justice is a standalone word. Justice is a powerful word. Justice is justice. It does not need a modifier or a qualifier. Adding one of those to the word justice only perverts or dilutes the meaning of the word. So, “social justice” means something entirely different than justice. Therefore, “social justice” is not justice. It is a form of injustice, because that which is not just is unjust, and that which is not justice is injustice. So, the proponents of “social justice” are promoting the very thing they claim to be standing against. I know this sounds like a lot of word play, but it takes word play to expose and unravel the word play that creates concepts like “social justice” in the first place.
Proponents of “social justice” will claim that they are using the modifier “social” to address specific forms of injustice, not all injustice. But Martin Luther King Jr once said, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Meaning until we achieve complete and total justice everywhere, there is no justice anywhere for anyone. The word justice is big enough to address all forms of injustice, including those the proponents of “social justice” claim to be fighting for, without needing to be modified. So, even if the issues and causes embraced by the advocates for “social justice” are in fact legitimate and real, to give those injustices preferential treatment over other injustices under the guise of “social justice”, is in fact another form of injustice. But that is exactly what many are doing when they stand for “social justice”.
Justice is complete, total, and absolutely free from any injustice. So, the picking and choosing, or focusing solely on specific instances or types of injustice, is not a promotion of justice, but a furthering of injustice. And you cannot create justice for one by committing injustice against another. Giving a homeless person a room in which to lay his head it’s not justice, if that room only became available by unjustly throwing someone else out on the street and making them homeless.
Social justice warriors promote injustice under the guise of justice simply by using the phrase “social justice” which gives off an aura of justice but it is really deeply unjust. They hide under the umbrella of “social justice” because even though they may be fighting against actual injustice, they know the solutions they offer many times are also unjust, so they cannot claim the mantel of justice, and therefore can only offer up the perverted “social justice” which is injustice dressed up like justice. For example, reparations; no one in their right mind would deny the extreme injustice that slavery and Jim Crow inflicted on millions of human beings. But the offered solution, under the guise of “social justice”, of reparations, ends up punishing people who did not commit the injustice, and rewarding other people who did not suffer the injustice, based solely on the predicate which created the first injustice, differences in skin color, and thus producing a new level and generation of injustice. So, the solution for the initial injustice ends up creating more injustice without rectifying the original injustice, and this can only be seen as just by looking at it through the lens of “social justice”.
That is precisely why these people hide behind “social justice” as opposed to promoting justice. The concept of justice would ferret out and expose the injustices in many of the solutions that “social justice” offers up, so they bang the drum for “social justice” over justice, so they can benefit from the new injustice they are creating while also believing they are virtuous in fighting injustice.
Judd Garrett is a graduate from Princeton University, and a former NFL player, coach, and executive. He has been a contributor to the website Real Clear Politics. He has recently published his first novel, No Wind.