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Drawing The Line Between Social Justice Advocacy and Extremism

In this world, there is so much injustice. It is saddening and it is sickening. There is that temptation to hate, to  generalize and there may be the temptation to go against your morals. However, for true change to occur in this world, hate is not an option. Social justice is about being open and working towards building a world of peace. To make our world a better place, we all need to work together. You cannot liberate some and hate some. There is a point where social justice advocacy may be escalated to extremism. I noticed this earlier in the week, on one of my social media networks.

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There was a post written by one of my connections on a social media network (let’s call this person Sonia). Sonia is Black and she tends to write posts on the marginalization of Blacks and sometimes, Natives. She also writes on White supremacy. This particular post was chastising White people and to me, it was completely unnecessary. When I first saw it, I thought to myself – this is just wrong. However, i was used to Sonia posting similar things against White people, so I just skipped it.

Later on, I went back to the post and looked at the comments and there was someone who expressed discomfort with Sonia’s post. What was Sonia’s response? She insulted this person and the racial group (Caucasian) that this person seemed to belong to. I was shocked. People in her network joined her to shame that person. Sonia usually posts on white supremacy. Some of her posts I agree with, some I find racist. I have looked at past posts of Sonia and how she encourages violence in the name of being on the side of the oppressed. As someone who is very passionate about Human Rights and race relations, Sonia’s posts were an eye opener. A reminder that extremism can easily set in.

It was scary to observe the prejudice that Sonia holds and maybe what is even more scary is the fact that she has people in her network who give her support when she writes offensive posts. This is how extremism escalates, this is how violence is born. This is why I will soon be cutting Sonia out of my network.

There is hate and evil in this world, but we need the opposite of those vices to make our world a better and a more peaceful place. We need to love with an open heart. Again, we cannot liberate some and hate some. Extremist views do not help anyone. They do not align with equality and peace. So, Sonia needs to re-define the mission of her advocacy. Her posts certainly made me reflect on mine and I came to the conclusion that we are not in the same kind of social justice movement. There is a constant cycle of injustice in our world. It is easy to get bitter, to hold prejudice, to generalize (I have been there), but when those feelings come, re-visit your mission – keeping in mind that only love, unity and peace can truly change the world.

Love & Peace,

Chiamaka.

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