The wise man mocks the man, the mocked man mocks the mocker

If you follow my Tweets (or this blog which is essentially the same thing) you’ll know I get a bee in my bonnet about certain things. Injustices of various forms. Be that racism, sexism, fundamentalism and many other “isms”.

I’m a unashamedly and loudly lefty in my politics. I aim (despite my being born white and male) to be anti-discriminatory in my views and in my actions. I try to be fair minded and inclusive in all things. I get involved in environmental issues. I generally stand by the old saying that “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.”. I give a shit.

The Internet, and websites such as Twitter, are an excellent way to make my voice heard and lend support to my favourite causes. Unfortunately, as with all movements that might hurt the pockets of the well heeled, this is becoming unpopular and it’s almost impossible to speak up for a cause without it becoming a debate.

During these exchanges, both sides can resort to name calling – I’m aware of this. Unfortunately some of these insults and accusations have more power than others.

A recent commonly used abbreviation is “SJW” – Social Justice Warrior. This is meant to belittle the efforts of people who stand up and say something, to turn them into nothing more than a “serial campaigner” who does it for fun rather than because of a strong belief.

Another similarly used phrase is “Virtue Signalling“. The idea that people loudly announce their opposition to something in order to make themselves look good. Handily, it’s another label that can be thrown at the well meaning campaigner or vocal activist to belittle their efforts and turn the whole argument into one of the ego of the person pointing out a problem.

I find it interesting where these phrases are used, and by whom. It generally seems to be used to defend from an “attack” by someone pointing out some kind of suckish behaviour on the part of the poor “victim”.

The result is to turn the person who attempted to right a wrong or at least bear visible witness to it into an interfering busybody, who is only interested in glory or fame.

Don’t get me wrong, I see cases where virtue signalling happens, but too often people are accused of virtue signalling as a way to shut them down. The biggest difficulty I have with both of these terms, is the power they give to total wankers.

Once someone is accused of virtue signalling, how can anyone take their views seriously? “Ooh, I didn’t know about that petition, I’ll sign” becomes “He’s only RTing that petition to make himself look good”.

So how does a well meaning person stand up and speak their mind, without being labelled with one of these terms? The answer is – they don’t.

It’s time for Social Justice Warriors and Virtue Signallers to stand up and own it. We should adopt the term the same way that many young black Americans have defanged the word “nigger” by using it as a badge of honour. Let’s start calling each other warriors.

If I see something unfair, then hell yes I’m a Social Justice Warrior! I battle for social justice with my every breath. Any decent person should.

If it means righting a wrong, I’ll signal my virtue from the fucking rooftops. Deal with it.

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