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The term doesn't even make any sense, and the people who claim to be demanding it don't understand society or the nature of life as a human

There is no such thing as ‘social justice’


By —— Bio and Archives--November 20, 2017

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There is no such thing as 'social justice'
The AP recently published an awful story in which an obviously secular writer told us the sorrow of supposedly Christian anthem-kneelers who are upset other Christians don’t support their protests. The piece is filled with theological vapidness and unfounded assumptions, but the basic gist of it is that these players who claim Christ think it’s the Christian thing to do to support Colin Kaepernick’s “social justice” movement.

Let’s consider that, and let’s start with the most fundamental question: Is there even such a thing as “social justice”? What does the term mean, and does it make any sense whatsoever?

The left usually wants to use redistributive policies to correct such alleged injustices

Almost exclusively a term of the left, “social justice” usually refers to unequal outcomes experienced by certain grievance groups, whether in the realm of economics, criminal justice or some other category of rights like marriage. If Group A doesn’t have as positive a result as Group B, that’s supposed to be a social injustice, and it requires action by the state to rectify.

Here’s the problem with that: Justice refers to an adjudicated outcome of a legal matter, often a criminal one but sometimes a civil one. Obviously you can apply the term justice to more ordinary things as well. It’s unjust for you to blame your brother for what you did. But the notion of justice usually refers to one party clearly and demonstrably doing a wrong to another party.

If you’re going to talk about “social justice” and put it in terms of group outcomes, then you have to be accusing one group of committing an injustice at the expense of another group. That quickly becomes a very sticky proposition. If “social justice” requires that the incomes of minorities rise to match those of the majority, for example. then who are you accusing of an injustice and what form does it take? How would you adjudicate the matter?

The left usually wants to use redistributive policies to correct such alleged injustices, but the problem there is that they’re confiscating wealth from people who in most cases earned it honestly and didn’t commit any act of injustice in doing so. The only thing they did “wrong,” if you want to put it that way, was have a better plan and better execution than the person who earned less. How is that an “injustice” and how does it call for adjudication? It isn’t. It doesn’t.

Anthem-kneelers are demanding an end to mandatory sentencing laws

In the matter of the criminal justice system, the anthem-kneelers are demanding an end to mandatory sentencing laws, clean slate laws for released offenders and an end to cash bail, among other things. These are policy changes that could certainly be discussed, but there are also very solid arguments for opposing them. It’s far from a given that keeping policies as they are amounts to “injustice.” They were enacted to protect innocent people from criminals. Changing them could conceivable put more innocent people at risk, and that’s a consideration that deserves to be taken seriously.

Does a disproportionate number of minorities end up in the criminal justice system as it’s currently configured? Without question. And that’s not a desirable outcome. But that statistical fact alone doesn’t prove there is bias or discrimination in the system itself. To assume that would be to accept correlation without - necessarily - causation. Yet the call for “social justice” simply assumes that unequal outcomes are the result of someone doing wrong within the system.

That’s another problem with the notion of “social justice.” If there’s an injustice, then someone had to commit it. When you’re protesting “injustice,” you’re pointing the finger at someone. You’re blaming someone. That’s true by definition, because an injustice can’t commit itself. People do that. So if you’re going to take a knee or march on a picket line or do whatever it is you want to do, you need to consider: Is the party you’re pointing the finger at really guilty as charged?

We’ve reported here that the data does not back up the idea of systematic racist police brutality in America. Anecdotes do not prove a systemic trend, and even many of the anecdotes that are cited to prove this “injustice” have turned out to be false or badly misreported. So how can the anthem-kneelers’ demands for justice be satisfied when the very injustice they are citing does not actually exist, at least not in the manner they claim? How can the perpetrators of injustice be brought to heel when they have not in fact done with the “social justice” warriors claim they have done?

 

Continued below...

Protesters are bearing false witness against the police

The Christian who doesn’t support Kaepernick’s “social justice” movement might believe - as this Christian does - that the protesters are bearing false witness against the police and thus violating the ninth commandment, which is not a very Christian thing to do. I wouldn’t expect an AP reporter to understand that, but people of God should.

This is not to deny in any way that we have segments of our society much worse off than others. Of course we do. And we should want to see that changed - not by bringing others down but by lifting those whose situations are not as good as they should be. But do you do that by seeking “justice” for them? Or do you do that by helping them change their circumstances, their behavior and their ideas about how to improve their lives.

Ambulance-chasing lawyers like to tell their television audiences that they will “fight for them.” Fight against whom? Who exactly is the enemy of the people being wooed in these ads? If you’re poor, there’s not some rich person trying to keep you that way. That doesn’t do anythiing for the rich person. If you’re sick, there’s not a bunch of healthy people trying to keep you sick. If you’re in prison unjustly, there’s not a bunch of free people hoping you never get out.

Most people don’t have any enemies, except for themselves. Almost everyone in America could improve their situations if they looked honestly at ways to improve themselves. And there certainly are not groups of people who are being kept down by other groups that see them as enemies. Society doesn’t actually work that way.

And if someone along the line treats you unfairly or, if you prefer, unjustly, guess what: Everyone has to deal with that. Someone might not like your color. Another person might not like your name, or your face, or your clothes. These are stupid reasons not to do business with someone or not to give them a job, but a lot of people do stupid things. You just have to keep looking for a non-stupid person who is a good fit for you.

 


There is no such thing as “social justice” because injustice doesn’t take that form

The police are not looking for a reason to beat you up. The millionaire isn’t looking for a way to keep you poor. And Group A doesn’t have it out for Group B, nor does Group A benefit from Group B’s struggles.

There is no such thing as “social justice” because injustice doesn’t take that form.

Now, there may be things you want - or things members of your group want - that society at large doesn’t agree you should have. You can keep seeking these things all you like, but no one is obligated to agree with you just because you want them. That is not injustice. That is a decision that, at least to date, has not gone your way. If you want to accuse all of America of injustice because of that, you can give it a shot.

But if I were you, I’d focus instead on improving your skills, your habits and your efforts so that you do so you make yourself so valuable that anyone would be a fool to tell you no when you want something. No politician or lawyer can do that for you, and no protest or boycott is going to make it happen. Only you can. Stop wasting your time yammering about nonsense like “social justice” and make it happen.



Dan Calabrese -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Dan Calabrese’s column is distributed by HermanCain.com, which can be found at HermanCain.com

A new edition of Dan’s book “Powers and Principalities” is now available in hard copy and e-book editions. Follow all of Dan’s work, including his series of Christian spiritual warfare novels, by liking his page on Facebook.

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