This week I discuss SJWs (Social Justice Warriors) as you my fans have voted it up to the top of my online poll. In an effort to make this channel more interesting for you and me, I am broadening the scope of topics that I address. I will continue to produce atheist and vegan videos, but Id like to share my perspectives on other things as well. I As always, I’d love to hear what you think on the subject matter of the video and If you like my channel and the content I produce, nothing helps me reach more people then likes, shares and comments. Now with all that self-serving stuff out of the way, lets get started.
I have missed quite a bit of drama on the Internet over the year I stepped away from my Youtube channel, and since posting videos again, I have been inundated with allegations of being an SJW. So, lets clear some stuff up right out of the gate.
I am not a social justice warrior. An SJW, as I understand it, is a person who believes that a certain subset of society holds a privileged position, and due to that standing cannot a) understand those that are less privileged and b) are not qualified to criticize. We ought to “check our privilege”, and not voice our opinions (in other words, shut up).
In order to better illustrate this, lets propose a real world example:
A poor gay black autistic transexual woman does something terrible, like murders a bunch of kittens for fun.
Because I don’t suffer from the same oppression she does (being poor, black, autistic, transexual and a woman) according to SJWs it would be my job to shut up and listen to her, because her subjective experiences are correct and override any objective arguments I might make. Any attempt to argue my case with her could be written off as victim blaming, mansplaining, or another catchy piece of rhetoric.
That being said, there is a valid argument to be had in meeting people where they are and trying to understand their circumstances. It’s entirely possible I could be wrong about her situation, but the argument to demonstrate that is one of evidence and reason, not appeals to emotion or uncritical personal experiences.
The problem I’ve seen with the SJW mindset is that the “privileged” card is thrown down when a person has no logical argument and is employing flawed reasoning, and want to end the conversation by claiming to be a victim of oppression. Social Justice is a particularly “problematic” and a closed minded dogma, not unlike many religions. Its self righteousness gives people who subscribe to it the justification to do whatever they want in support of it (like throw intellectual honesty out the window, or even commit assault).
My objections to the extremist social justice culture boil down to three major concerns:
Problem #1 – Victim Status
SJWs insinuate that being a victim confers moral authority, a higher social standing, and the transfer of wisdom. To that end it appears that many people on American University campuses, and on social media, strive for victim status. It is a movement that subscribes to a massive fallacy of argument from authority. The notion that an oppressed person has inherently more insight on that oppression than any other person, is patently false. Sometimes it is true, but often it is not.
Problem #2 – Immunity from Criticism
SJWs don’t merely remind us to be sensitive to different kinds of social advantages and disadvantages. It’s an all encompassing dogma which has a built-in mechanism against criticism. If you question it, either you don’t understand it and need to shut up and listen until you agree, or you are immediately labeled a bigot, sexist, homophobe or racist. Thats just unacceptable. It’s a rush to condemnation in an attempt to dismiss the substance of one’s argument and monopolize the conversation.
Problem #3 – Bullying the Opposition
Anyone who is deemed to live a privileged position in society is a target. Again, one doesn’t have to look very far in the SJW movement to see marginalized victims given permission to stereotype, demonize, shame, and silence people who oppose them. The hypocrisy is entirely lost on them.
I do not believe that one’s gender, sexual orientation, sex, ethnicity, religion, or age should generally be a factor in what jobs they can pursue, what educational opportunities they receive, how much money they ought to make, and how they are treated by police and the courts. I believe in freedom of speech, protected by law, for everyone (even for those who hold, in my opinion, horrible beliefs). Once we start down a road where we limit expression of opinion based on exclusivity within a subset of a particular minority we risk policing ourselves into a world where free speech dies. Additionally, a culture that coddles or encourages perpetual victims is psychologically harmful. If you are dealing with serious emotional psychological issues, you ought to be meeting with a professional to work towards getting better. Your issues should not define your existence and identity, and the creation of safe spaces or trigger warnings are not long term solutions. Exposure therapy isn’t fun and it is painful by nature. It’s understandable that victims don’t want to go the hard route to mental health, but they need to be encouraged to be brave and face the world, and their issues, and not hide from it. If we honestly care about our fellow human, we should be striving to implement systems that encourage corrective measures, not echo chambers that perpetrate victimhood. I am not suggesting that victims do not exist, or that they have real grievances but in my opinion, the Social Justice Warrior movement, as it manifests online, takes society in an unhealthy direction.