Who Owns Social Justice?

who owns social justiceI’ve come to believe that the Left in the U.S. believes it owns the term social justice. All social justice work has come to mean work that is progressively left, the more radical the better. Conservatives, especially those concerned with social issues like gay marriage and abortion, also believe they are doing social justice work.

No one owns social justice in the sense that we can afford to propagandize those with whom we disagree. We cannot, with utter sureness, know our positions and opinions are absolutely true. At best social justice is a vision and a set of desires. And anyone can have a vision and a set of desires. Once we dismiss another’s position, one they believe is socially just, then we are no longer socially just.