How Social Justice is Exploiting People | HERD-LESS ft. Kimi Kaititi
There isn't only one way to care about the world.
As a black sheep, you probably often feel herd-less. When you’re more interested in pursuing your curiosity than appeasing a group, you’ll often find yourself feeling like you have no group. This experience is more common than it seems. In our new show, HERD-LESS with Salomé (produced in partnership with Revolution of One), Salomé has conversations with other black sheep who’ve found their way out of collective dysfunction and into successful individuality.
Social justice activists insist there’s only one way to combat problems like racism. If you don’t accept their one way, you’re the enemy of progress. This black-and-white mindset isn’t just wrong, it hurts both activists and the communities they claim to care about.
While plenty of people are still turning to contemporary social justice as an answer, more and more people are turning away from this kind of activism after feeling its destructive effects. You might think you’re the odd one out today for caring about the issues social justice claims to serve, yet feeling alienated by today’s social justice scene. But you’re just a quick learner of the lesson our culture needs: bad behavior in the name of something good doesn’t magically make it good behavior.
People were pursuing social justice for centuries before anyone uttered the word “privilege” to dismiss all disagreement. Instead of studying successful social justice movements—like the civil rights movement in the United States or the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa—today’s social justice activists attack anyone who doesn’t adhere to their approach. This tactic encourages narrow-mindedness instead of teaching people how to advocate for their beliefs without bullying others.
I talked to my good friend, artist Kimi Kaititi (who also writes on Substack) about her experiences with both historic South African anti-racism and contemporary anti-racism in the United States. While they claim to have the same goals, they couldn’t have more opposite strategies and outcomes. Both Kimi and I have experienced the way social justice activism encourages self-destructive behaviors like interpreting all disagreements as personal attacks and blaming our problems on others to avoid dealing with them.
Talking to Kimi helped me realize the social pressure today’s activists use is a symptom of their ideology’s dysfunction. Today’s social justice claims to be focused on solving other people’s problems, but many people use it to avoid their own.
The moment you compare different approaches to social justice, the truth is obvious: there’s a better way to care about our world and ourselves.
3:44 - Kimi's experience as a black woman in South Africa versus the U.S.
9:20 - How American social justice reframes everything negatively
13:42 - The core difference between South African anti-racism and American anti-racism
18:24 - What's the alternative to social justice?
21:29 - How social justice exploits people's problems and emotions
29:00 - How to assess whether your ideas are helpful or hurtful
38:47 - Holding your own views when people dismiss them
43:56 - How social justice encourages people to view themselves negatively
49:40 - Developing a growth mindset and practicing self-awareness
58:19 - How social justice keeps people stuck in self-destructive ideas
This isn’t just another conversation to enjoy hearing people that you already agree with—it’s a step towards building a dominant culture where curiosity and mature dialogue are the norm. As a reader of The Black Sheep, we need your help to create this society by watering the seeds that it will grow from.
Please watch this video, share it, and leave a comment with your favorite point to help us reverse today’s collective dysfunction.
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Kimi Kaititi is an interdisciplinary artist raised in Kampala, Uganda. Her work explores various topics, including current affairs, race, and theology through different mediums (visual art, music, articles, op-eds, speaking events, and video essays).
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