Social Justice in the Shadows

…I share this story of my life in these two distinct parts because I believe it has given me some insight into the darker side of the social-justice movement that has taken root in academia and the broader progressive culture. Other writers have argued that the secular left has turned social-justice ideology into their religion. I think there is merit to this argument and propose that, just like traditional religion, social justice is often exploited for personal and political purposes, which potentially further harms those most in need of our support.

Like politicians who show up at church for the cameras and sprinkle religious references into their speeches and interviews—but otherwise show no signs that the teachings of Christ guide their lives—many social-justice academics, writers, and activists seem more intent on gaining status within their political tribes and elite professional niches than on actually assisting truly disadvantaged and vulnerable human beings. There are individuals who are sincerely dedicated to the cause and are making a difference. We rarely hear from these folks because they are, like my parents, quietly and diligently working to help others.

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