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Culture and Religion

Social Justice



Ah, the struggle is real. The struggle to survive. To thrive. To make something out of one’s life. But what if that struggle didn’t have to be so hard? What if we had “social justice”?

Some base their belief on “social justice” in the wonderful words of the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” What incredible words those were, at the time, and remain to this day! While the Forefathers didn’t use the term “social justice”, could they have meant that?

No. Not in a million years. There is nothing about the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution or the 240 years of legal precedent since then that supports the notion that social justice is something America strives for. And the reason, folks, is that social justice doesn’t mean what some contend it means. I’ll get a lot of pushback on this one, and I’m ready to take on all comers, but I’ll start with some routine, albeit illogical, arguments.

“Social justice is about fairness.” Well, who is against fair? Is it fair that it started raining hard during Tech’s game at Miami? Nope. Tech’s ground game came to a halt in the sloppy track of Miami’s field. Miami enjoyed a distinct advantage on the sloppy field. How about the common good? Isn’t that social justice? An even playing field for all? Forget the rain, Tech simply doesn’t have the hosses on their line of scrimmage that Miami has. Instead of recruiting which is loaded with allegations of fraud, why not take all the football players in the nation, rank them, and assign them to schools? Wouldn’t that be fair? Not to the players of course, but to the schools? When you talk of common good, someone has to be the enforcer. Social justice proponents necessarily line up in favor of the government making those decisions.

Some use the term “social justice” to accuse others of being a racist, rape apologist, capitalist or other term now deemed derogatory. I mean, who can be in favor of a rape apologist? After all, if a person says they were raped, isn’t that enough? Why even have a trial? If the alleged perp or her/his defenders even dare to question the accusation, they are rape apologists. To defend anyone accused is to favor rape they argue. Harvey Weinstein has already been stripped of his Academy membership based on the allegations alone. While the Academy is a private organization and can do what they want, social justice demands that the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments dealing with “due process” are meaningless. Merely defending or supporting a derided group is worthy of expulsion from our society some argue. After all, that Declaration of Independence and those Constitutional Amendments were written by a bunch of old, landed gentry, white guys. Can’t rely on that, can we?

Since I mentioned racism, isn’t it enough that I am a white guy, thus not entitled to an opinion on race? So said an attacker recently on Facebook. Later, that same person, a veteran, said that since I didn’t serve in the military, I had no right to take a stand on any issue involving the flag. Huh? When I pointed out that I graduated a year after the Vietnam War was over, and at 6’7”, 165 pounds, I was physically disqualified from serving since they were already downsizing, the attacker said that nevertheless I wasn’t entitled to an opinion because I was racist, solely based on my race. I’ve got a thicker skin than most, so I don’t care about these idiotic attacks, but many people are scared to even enter into political discourse for fear of repercussions. A Cato poll released this week says 71% of Americans are afraid to share their political beliefs. I can understand why. Then the media (which perpetuates some of this nonsense, remember CNN threatening to “out” a Reddit user who made the infamous Trump GIF?) wonders why their political prediction polling is so wrong.

I hope for an America where we strive for freedom. We should never cower to political correctness, or suffer “social justice”, just to survive. Thomas Jefferson wrote about the “pursuit of happiness.” It was an individual pursuit, not a societal pursuit. Rugged individualism is, indeed, what built this country, and still does. It’s entrepreneurs investing their time and ideas. It’s venture capitalists putting money at play. It’s a construction worker working hard days for well earned pay to make things better, while maybe working a second job to make his kid’s life a little better. It’s a single mom, working three jobs, to make ends meet.

It is the challenge of life that causes us to push for the best we can be. I don’t want anyone to suffer. No one. So I’m fine with a “social justice” component that means no one should suffer in this great country from lack of food, shelter or clothing after giving it their best effort. But by the same token, I’m not a “Great Society” guy either, one who wants everyone to be equal by government fiat. There will be winners, and losers, in the game of life. The struggle is real. But it is that struggle that gives us life.

Originally published in the Houston Home Journal.