Their continued use is trite.
Posted on July 7, by Scott Alexander [Content note: I get words all day through. First from him, now from you. Is that all you blighters can do? I recently learned there is a term for the thing social justice does.
But first, a png from racism school dot tumblr dot com. So, it turns out that privilege gets used perfectly reasonably. Their explanation was lucid and reasonable. At this point I jumped in and commented: I feel like every single term in social justice terminology has a totally unobjectionable and obviously important meaning — and then is actually used a completely different way.
Surely no one can object to criticizing people who do that? I have yet to find a good way around this tactic.
As such it should be taken as a sort of weird Rosetta Stone of social justicing, and I can only hope that similarly illustrative explanations are made of other equally charged terms. Does that sound kind of paranoid? I freely admit I am paranoid in this area.
But let me flesh it out with one more example. Everyone is a little bit racist. Also because most people score poorly on implicit association tests, because a lot of white people will get anxious if they see a black man on a deserted street late at night, and because if you prime people with traditionally white versus traditionally black names they will answer questions differently in psychology experiments.
It is no shame to be racist as long as you admit that you are racist and you try your best to resist your racism. Donald Sterling is racist. We know this because he made a racist comment in the privacy of his own home. He deserved it because he was racist.
And racist people deserve to lose everything they have and be hated by everyone. This seems like it might present a problem. Unless of course you plan to be the person who gets to decide which racists lose everything and get hated by everyone, and which racists are okay for now as long as they never cross you in any way.
To which I would respond that this is exactly the point. But I think there is a strain of the social justice movement which is very much about abusing this ability to tar people with extremely dangerous labels that they are not allowed to deny, in order to further their political goals.
I started this post by saying I recently learned there is a term for the thing social justice does.
For example, I might view a certain shade of bluish-green as blue, and someone raised in a different culture might view it as green.
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