Social Justice: An Author’s Introduction

Law Enforcement
Photo Courtesy of alterdestiny.blogspot.com – Detroit Race Riot, June 20, 1943

Introduction

Welcome and thank you for visiting the Social Justice page of Urban Dynamics. Social justice is an important component of the success of urban dynamics. This is because urban environments are highly dynamical with many interactions and relationships taking place every second throughout the day.

Urban environments are dynamical, not static. For example, the elements, say an advanataged population and a disenfranchised population, interact quite often even if their respective spaces (neighborhoods) are partitioned. This is visible in the redlining and Jim Crow policies of urban environments in the United States from before the Civil War to after the Civil War and reconstruction to the Civil Rights Acts of the 1960’s, and even today (more on the continuation and connection of these events will be addressed in future articles and postings).

Thus, the respective existences of populations in urban environments are not static. They are interactive and distinct. They also relate – there are relationships – and this all happens within the boundaries of the urban system. These are some of the systems issues that will be addressed and explored throughout the writings of Urban Dynamics.

Social Justice Progressives and SJWs (Social Justice Warriors)

Photo Courtesy of critical-theory.com - Tim Wise, anti-racist speaker and advocate
Photo Courtesy of critical-theory.com – Tim Wise, anti-racist speaker and advocate

Social justice progressives? Social justice warriors? My social justice writings will include an exploration and criticism and praise of the historical and modern social justice movements. No doubt social justice is an idea that is as old as the republic itself, although this concept has manifested and has been practiced in different ways. But where does it derive from and why? Immediately, it was a philosophy formulated and used to argue economic and political equality and equity by early unrepresented, disenfranchised American groups. Another topic I will explore is why social justice is important; and what progressive whites can do to contribute and participate in the endeavor to maximize well-being for all Americans. These are but a few of the issues I will address from the social justice progressive perspective.

Social Justice Conservatives and the perceived Uncle Tom

Social justice tends to be viewed as a leftist/liberal/progressive movement. This is not an unreasonable observation. However, this begs the question, what would an exploration of social justice look like from a conservative perspective? And more importantly, are conservative intellectuals already making social justice arguments, but nobody is listening? Now many leftists/liberals/progressives may find this exercise in philosophical exploration silly and an intellectual waste of time, but I disagree and my disagreements will be made salient throughout my writings.

Photo Courtesy of winteryknight.com - Thomas Sowell, economist and conservative intellectual
Photo Courtesy of winteryknight.com – Thomas Sowell, economist and conservative intellectual

In addition, I will explore why some social justice movements have indeed actually been conservative; for example, the early 19th century abolition movement (moral suasion), the Black Power movement, and the Nation of Islam. Actually, Robert C. Smith argues in his book Conservatism and Racism, and Why in America They Are the Same that all political movements have been conservative. Only recently has a true form of progressivism emerged. Of course, you and I have to agree that political and social justice movements are one in the same, or do we? I will also explore a modern critique of progressive social justice perceptions on conservativism. Indeed, social justice seems like a one way conversation; that is, liberals are socially enlightened and conservatives are racists. Finally, I will explore an introspection of what it means to be white in the social justice movement as a conservative and what it means to be white and conservative in modern America. The topics of  “race-holding” and “white guilt” will also be addressed and explored in great depth.

Final Thoughts

Other questions of interest that will be addressed and explored include why there is a social justice page on this site, what social justice has to do with systems science and urban dynamics, and does the ontology of slavery and racism live on the United States system in some form or another. Surely slavery and racism has dynamically evolved and morphed into something else, correct? Michelle Alexander in her book The New Jim Crow asserts as much. She argues that the current prison system is the new American slavery and that systemic oppression is a cause of this new penal system. Or is racism, and slavery as a legal practice, as Shelby Steele asserts in his book The Content of Our Character (See Book Review), dissolving, and desolved, respectfully, into American history as the United States moves forward into the future? These and other questions and topics will be addressed throughout the evolution of Urban Dynamics.

Here is the link for the Social Justice articles that have already been published in Urban Dynamics. They are an exploration of social justice from the perspective of a leftist/liberal/progressive position. Social justice explorations and arguments from a conservative point of view are forth coming. Articles will continue to be published so check back regularly for updates.

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