In America, the battleground of ideas used to reside on the college campus. Debates would take place about policy. Discussion would be had about the meaning of truth and justice. Diversity used to be genuinely embraced, in both outward appearance and inner ideological philosophies. Students used to be able to disagree with one another—and those disagreements fostered a productive exchange of information in the classroom and on the quad. Today, however, the American college campus is a police state, and a diversity of ideas is the sworn enemy.
Social justice warriors (“SJW”s) rule the public space. They have weaponized their beliefs in a “holier-than-thou” way that leaves no room for disagreement or dissent. These are the students you hear about demanding that the “rapist” statue of our third President, Thomas Jefferson, be removed from the campus at the University of Missouri. Or the students at the University of Texas calling for the removal of the statue of the “racist” George Washington, the man who led the victorious American Revolutionary forces and then willingly gave up the power of the Presidency after two terms. Or those students at Hamilton College in New York petitioning the university to use only gender neutral pronouns in the classroom. (She and he are replaced with the neutral “ze”; while him and her become “hir”.) Or those students at UCLA who have demanded the creation of an “Afro-house”—a residence hall designated as a segregated black community.
Students at UC Berkeley, in a petition to create more social justice “safe spaces,” decided that the appropriate action to combat racism was—to use racism. A human “wall” of SJWs locked arms on a bridge located central to campus and refused to white students pass, forcing many to hop along rocks in the stream to get to class.
Numerous college campuses have hosted anti-law enforcement demonstrations and called for the dismantling of the police force. The SJWs at Occidental College didn’t think it was enough to simply disarm the campus police, they wanted to take their bullet proof vests, too. And Washington University’s new student group, “The Assembly for Power and Liberation,” wants to make sure that the SJW’s totalitarian ideology is not only respected, but forcefully seared into the brain of every willing (or unwilling) student comrade by calling on the University to found a new “Office of Social Transformation” and a “College of Power and Liberation” that offers an abundant course selection of “oppressive studies.”
Sure, it can be argued that these are examples of the worst, but these types of tactics are not one-offs. They are consuming American college campuses, garnering ever more media attention, and normalizing the millenial mindset to their regressive tactics.
Anything other than whole-hearted support of the Social Justice Warrior’s agenda on campus is grounds for public character assassination. College deans and even university presidents have been threatened, harassed, and forced to resign over as little as remaining neutral on an issue. In desperate attempts to keep their jobs, university administrators have caved in to demands. They are instituting social justice compliance policies, printing informational pamphlets on avoiding “microagresssions” (commonly used words or phrases that should be avoided to prevent emotional damage to others), canceling speakers that may violate a student’s intellectual “safe space”, and even creating new university offices designed to “re-educate” students who don’t conform to the social justice way of thinking. All of this hit very close to home during my time as a graduate student at Columbia University. Navigating the politically correct waters at Columbia is like walking through a minefield. My friend Ben Sweetwood was sent to the “gender misconduct office” for jokingly calling himself handsome in a Chinese language course.
It’s time to stand up to the thought police.
Prepare yourself—you will be called a bigot for even questioning their self-ordained righteousness.
Before she was killed under a pretense of “the greater good,” Anne Frank wrote: “Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.” That thought is missing from the mind of the social justice warrior. To the SJW, people at their core are racist, misogynist beings that have a tendency to fall “on the wrong side of history.” Racism is no longer an ugly choice of the individual, but an unconscious and inseparable part of the ‘privileged’ from birth. Those who can’t see this ugly truth about themselves are ignorant; and those who question the methodologies of the social justice warrior become the embodiment of the racism, sexism, and the fill-in-the-blank-aphobia that SJW’s claim to fight against. Every action of the social justice warrior is done with a righteous indignation that steamrolls past self-criticism and temperament. There is no opposing view point on the college campus, only the exclusive in-group ideology of the SJW or the backwards, simple-minded outgroup of everyone else. The Social Justice Warrior Club: members only.
In many ways, the social justice movement resembles strict authoritarianism. People cannot be trusted to be left to their own devices. The right actions, and the right thoughts, must be forced onto the masses. There is no room for disagreement with the social justice warrior, because there is no room for any other opinion. The “greater good” requires unquestioning loyalty to the prevailing narrative. This is why SJW’s are able to get away with using the term “justice” as loosely as they do. SJW’s pursue “justice” because to most people it is an innocuous term, and it is just vague enough to mean whatever they need it mean on any given day. On one day, justice is fighting racism. On another day, justice is segregated housing and demonstration spaces. One day, justice is abhorring violence down to the microaggression. On another, justice is justified violence. One day, their “justice” will be coming for you.
The social justice warrior is wrong. People are good, and can come to the right decisions on their own. Some people may make bad choices, but no one is predisposed to being a bigot by birth. Disagreement, and even asking questions, does not by default make anyone a racist or phobic. Intellectual honesty requires people to be human, make mistakes, and resist thought conformity. Diversity for the sake of diversity is racist. But as MLK said, diversity as a product of a true desire to shift focus from the color of one’s skin to the content of one’s character is genuine societal progress.
We cannot let SJW’s define justice. We cannot let them divide us into ideological “in” and “out” groups. Racism, sexism, bigotry—these are indeed all ailments of society that should be resisted. But these things only hide in different forms under the groupthink of the social justice movement. Anyone that attempts to tell you what justice is does not know the meaning. Justice herself is blind to her own form. Justice is a product of a free people, living in a free society, exchanging information openly on the college campus and elsewhere, and using their own moral compasses to individually weigh each circumstance as it comes before them for the right and wrong decision.
By Bryan Griffin