Social Justice-the Negative. In London, an Asian man was attacked. The attackers cried “We don’t want your Coronavirus. Go back where you came from.” The event was publicized in the hopes of creating a discussion of racism.
In Indiana, a woman demanded a non-black server and the restaurant manager met her request. The restaurant chain investigated and fired the manager. The chain will not tolerate racism.
In Wisconsin, a shooter killed 5 co-workers, four white and one Latino. The shooter reportedly had a noose placed on his locker in 2015. The sheriff office said there is no evidence of racism involved in the shooting incidence.
In New York, Harvey Weinstein is going to prison and many people relate his behavior to sexism.
In Arizona, A Nazi flag was waved at a Bernie Sanders rally. A behavior most believe was caused by anti-Semitism.
The need for social justice is important as should be apparent by these incidents from last week.
Social Justice- the Positive. I know many positive experiences between races, genders and religions occurred last week. For example I saw a report of black and white teammates, Ashland McClelland and Torrie Brooks (shown in the picture) and the Upperman High School girls’ basketball team. The two girls are very close. Their town was ravaged by last week’s tornado. The girls helped the team place in the state tournament and helped the community’s recovery efforts. The story is heart-warming.
Unfortunately the media in all forms tends to highlight the negative. We can combat social issues two ways. Understand and overcome the negative and create positive experiences. I encourage both. My current interest is to develop my understanding of the negative events in the hopes of combating them.
Judao-Christian responsibility. Everyone should have a concern for social justice but Christians and Jews have a particularly strong responsibility for social justice. Consider the following:
Amos 5:24 But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!
Isaiah 30:18 … For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!
Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?
Proverbs 21:15 When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.
Zechariah 7:9 This is what the LORD Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another.
I particularly like the Amos and Micah references.
Causes of behavior: In the last blog I discussed the importance of being careful about making attributions about the causes of negative generalizations. Negative generalizations about a group of people can be accurate but that does not automatically mean the behaviors occurred for the reason people may believe. I find this concern to be important in my consideration of social justice topics.
In my experience we tend to compartmentalize the prejudiced actions associated with social justice and attribute separate causes to each.
Acts of racial discrimination are viewed as being independent from acts of sexual discrimination. Acts of religious discrimination are viewed separately from both racial and sexual discrimination.
We go further in the separation and attribute separate causes for the separate behaviors: Racial discrimination is caused by racism; sexual discrimination by sexism; religious discrimination by anti-Semitism.
I want to explore the possibility that many social justice topics are better served by approaching them as a unified problem rather than compartmentalizing the issues. Rather than attributing separate causes (racism, sexism, anti-Semitism) I want to discuss them as one topic: prejudice. I know most behaviors have multiple causes. I believe unifying my approach to prejudice has helped my understanding; thus helped me tackle social justice issues. I will be interested to see if you agree or disagree.
I will explore my ideas, a little bit at a time. I promise not to get too lengthy or detailed. The topic is important to me. I hope social Justice is important to all of you.
Warning: Coincidence Alert. In the interest of full disclosure, I have a coincidence warning. I wrote my first draft of this blog on Friday. On Sunday, our pastor used several these same scriptures in her sermon. What are the odds? Coincidence or providence depends on your view.
I have sometimes picked up on what she has said and used it in a blog, but this is the first time we have independently cited the same verses during the same week.
If we were considering the same topics and I knew it in advance I would not have pointed out the coincidence—but her approach came as a complete surprise to me and she used the verses for a different purpose than I intend to use them.
I encourage you to inform me if I am not clear about something. If you disagree with me, please let me know. If you have other related ideas please share them.
More next week,