A very complex subject. One deserving of much more conversation that I can provide here. I will try to provide my viewpoint as a person of a multi-cultural family and a life long friend to people based upon the content of their character and nothing else.
- I respect and admire Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but do not like Malcom X.
- I respect the message that Black Lives Matter, but do not support reparations.
- I support peaceful protests, but will not accept violence or antifa.
- I will not be bullied into appeasement.
- I will not defund the Police, or demean them in any way. They serve a vital function in society and I am glad they are willing to perform it.
- I have listened and done my best to hear viewpoints from all sides. The vast majority of people on both sides just want to live their lives as best they can. We can build off of that.
- I believe social harmony can be re-established to everyone’s benefit.
- I oppose the acceptance of double-standards. We are all human, Any rule or effort to favor (or exclude) a particular heritage is morally wrong. For instance: The term “person of color” is meant to specifically exclude a particular race, and by that fact is inherently racist. As long as any group feels entitled to place itself above another, true social acceptance is harmed. This applies to every side of the spectrum.
- Pre-judging someone by their skin color is just as senseless as judging them by their hair color or eye color. It’s the content of their character that matters.
There is the perception that some groups are treated better than others. And I know that phrase will upset some people, but here is why I say it: A long time ago I learned that “perceptions become reality”. If you are raised all your life and told by people that you trust and look up to that the police will kill you if they get a chance, then you believe that as if it were fact, regardless of anything else. And if the media feeds you sensationalized stories every other day that support that perception, then your belief is re-enforced, and the perception actually becomes reality for you. And as you go about your life each time you are around a police officer you will be uncomfortable. You may know absolutely nothing about that officer, they may be the most caring and kind person you could ever meet. But because you’ve had the perception planted so deeply into your persona that you may be killed by that officer, you can’t help but feel resentment and confrontational. This isn’t to say that your perception is wrong, but that it influences your conduct.
Conversely, if you are a police officer you are trained to be ever vigilant for anyone who has the demeanor of anxiety when they are around. Because, officers believe themselves to be protectors of the innocent and keepers of the civil society. Their training tells them that they are a comfort to the weak and innocent, and a threat to the predators. So, they are trained to notice anyone who displays anxiety in their presence as a possible predator. This is a bad combination, that all too often results in conflict. And the conflict only deepens the perceptions held by both sides.
So, to answer the question. My views on social justice are that most people are inherently good, that the vast majority of conflict comes from perceptions generated due to a lack of positive interaction. Now, there are exceptions, like the people who poisoned me a couple of years ago. But luckily they are few. I think that one of the reasons that it has gotten to such a crescendo recently is because of outside agitation, and the displacement of anger over the effect that covid-19 has had on the destruction of our social norms.
There is no quick solution, it will take hard work and everyone performing what I call “spot corrections”. A spot correction is a term I picked up in the military. It refers to catching someone who is violating a rule, and correcting them on the spot. Now in the military that is easy, but in the civilian world that could get you shot. So, how can you do spot corrections?
First, they must be non-confrontational, and impersonal. If you see someone without a mask, don’t call them names and pepper spay them. Offer them a spare mask you happen to be carrying. If they don’t take it the first time, that’s no big deal. After a few times they will realize you aren’t trying to control them, you are wanting to help them as a friend. And their sense of resistance to prove they are independent will mellow out. In the end, you let them know that we are all in this together and that you care about them. That is the type of thing that breaks down these unproductive perceptions that are separating our community so destructively right now.