The first time I came across the term ‘Social Justice Warrior’ it resonated with me. Sure it was used as an attempt to insult me, but the person using the term was a transphobic racist, so I didn’t let that bother me. Indeed the term felt empowering. After all, what kind of sociopathic douche is opposed to social justice? And where is the shame in being labelled a warrior? It seemed like the lamest insult anyone could come up with.
But for some reason I’ve been hearing the term used more and more. Even by people supposedly on the left, that want to distance themselves from the term and shame those they deem ‘too radical’. Well fuck that, I didn’t become an anarchist to join some half hearted movement that throws minorities under the bus. Either we’re all in this together or I’m not showing up.
As a result I have decided to reclaim the term ‘Social Justice Warrior’. To claim it, to define it and to magically empower it. From now on I choose to identify myself with the term ‘Social Justice Warrior Mage’, and my first act of magic is itself the reclamation of this label and a taking of pride in it.
My next act of magic is to swear the oath of the Social Justice Warrior. If you wish to join me, you can use these or a modified form of your own liking.
- The Warrior must KNOW that the only authentic revolution is intersectional and international in solidarity. Anything less is allowing ourselves to be divided and conquered. Restricting our actions to local and national level politics allows the corporate globalists to control things at a global level. Similarly fighting only for the groups to which we belong, a kind of blinkered individualism, allows us to be divided and conquered at a national level.
- The Warrior must have the WILL to face their own privileges and own them. Facing the various ways we are disadvantaged is easy. Recognizing that we also benefit from certain privileges not available to all is uncomfortable. Neither warriors nor mages should fear stepping outside of their comfort zone.
- In recognizing their power and privilege, the Warrior must DARE to turn them into weapons, becoming allies for those that lack the same privileges. A recent example of this occurred when US veterans showed up to defend the Dakota pipeline protestors. Something they probably wouldn’t have done without a massive online campaign in support of this cause. Both the veterans and the international solidarity shown for the Sioux protestors through online support. The fight against injustice is a good fight, and we will fight with words, poetry, art, emotion, and any other means at our disposal. We will fight bravely against any odds. We will not tolerate intolerance. We will not accept any form of bigotry as a valid political viewpoint, and we will use our freedom of speech to oppose it at every turn.
- A good Warrior must learn the best tactics to support each group, whether they belong to it or seek to serve it as an ally, by BECOMING SILENT and learning to listen to those with experience. A good warrior knows when to listen. A good warrior knows they don’t need to express their opinion, and in fact can often learn more if they don’t. However, the warrior does need to learn how to determine who to listen too. This is not some hierarchical feudal style military with an obvious chain of command. In fact, there exists no chain of command. We are all peers. But some have more experience in fighting certain battles. We must learn from them. This does not mean justifying your homophobia with the example of a gay friend with internalized homophobia. Seek especially voices from the intersection of several oppressed groups. Amplify their voices, rather than taking credit for their ideas, either implicitly or explicitly.
I will not be shamed into silence by fascists or fearful leftists that would rather be wrong than lose. Winning whilst throwing oppressed groups under the bus is a hollow victory. It isn’t a revolution I can throw my energy behind. If you want to fight by my side you better have fucking courage, not just to take on overwhelming odds, but also to face your own inner demons. We may not win every battle, but we will fight on in eternal defiance.
“Wherever there is injustice, you will find us.
Wherever there is suffering, we’ll be there.
Wherever liberty is threatened, you will find…
A Social Justice Warrior!”