Black Excellence

SJWs and Why We Need to Reclaim the Term

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]SJW. People continuously fling the acronym around like a dirty towel. Mostly at minorities. Mostly from young, white males. Always in response to divisive events or subjects. Almost always about how people of color should sit back and shut the hell up because we’re acting like babies, snowflakes… SJWs.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Let’s get into this phrase, because I’m dying from excitement over here. “Social Justice Warrior” is a term widely used as a pejorative for those of us who support civil rights, women’s rights, multiculturalism, and identity politics. Any kind of progressive commentary as far as fair treatment is concerned will get you the moniker of Social Justice Warrior online and, in some cases, real life.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]But from what I’ve seen, the brunt of the criticism seems targeted to people of color, specifically blacks. And even when the subject is more far-reaching than just the African American community, someone will find a way to mention how tax reform is only going to give benefits to “those SJWs in BLM but still on welfare,” or how “these damn SJWs keep talking about police brutality while the whole city of Chicago is being torched by blacks,” or those supporters of women and gay rights are usually “pregnant black SJWs who don’t have a job.”

sjw, social justice worrier, black lives matter, sjw definition, black excellence[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The history of the term was not always negative. According to The Washington Post, it’s at phrase that is over 20 years old. But it started out as a neutral or even positive “battle cry” for people who championed the rights of fellow man and woman alike. Even as late as the mid-2000s, SJW was a positive phrase that was used to uplift rather than oppress. Then, somewhere around 2011, the gaming community got hit hard with hate, especially toward women gamers and bloggers, particularly Anita Sarkeesian, a Canadian-American woman who received threats of rape, torture, and murder for her YouTube channel Tropes Vs. Women. The channel was a criticism of the negative tropes in media about women, and was created through a Kickstarter program.

RELATED: The Origin Story of “#MeToo”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]And from there, SJW seemed to hover around the feminist crowd for a few years. Then, more mass shootings happened, people wanted justice and answers, alt-righters pointed at the numbers of murders in the black community, and gradually the SJW title began to overwhelmingly be applied to the American Negro.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]“An SJW won’t stop talking about how bad their community has it, how they’re so much different than the rest of us, as if we don’t all go through problems,” wrote one white idiot on a thread on Facebook. We went into a back-and-forth for hours. Was hardly worth the time I lost, except that it gave me a more in-depth insight into the minds of people who can’t, and don’t want to, consider the actual problems black people face that are out of our control. The shopping while black, the jogging while black, the driving while black. The fact that blacks are incarcerated more than 5 times the rate of whites, yet represent 47% of overturned convictions. The fact that nothing can keep you from getting murdered while black. This is why I’m gob smacked.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]These people have me like, “Are you fuckin’ real? Are you that donkey dumb that you would say this online where everyone can see it?” The same people who would abuse the term SJW need to be taught a lesson. We need to reclaim Social Justice Warrior. Let’s throw it back to its original meaning. I feel like I AM a Social Justice Warrior, because going to war for social justice is all people like me have left. The people who call us SJWs come from a long line of people who have used other, less-flattering terms to describe those who only want fairness and equality. Who have told us for years that we have enough, that we’re crybabies, that we should be grateful for what we have, no matter how bad. Social justice has always had warriors—time for us to take back the throne.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Facebook Comments

Alex Miller

Alex Miller is a freelance writer living in Harlem. His work has appeared in Forbes, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other places.