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Social Injustice: What It Is and How You Can Help

May 21, 2019

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Social Injustices have plagued our world for decades, but when you try to pin them down they can slip through your fingertips. What is Social Injustice? How can you recognize it, talk about it, and help put an end to it around the globe? 

If you're looking for a guide on worldwide social justice issues and how we can respond to them as Christ followers, then this read is for you. 

Social Injustice and You

In your everyday life, you may not see things like misogyny, racism, and slavery. But that doesn't mean they aren't there. 

Within the United States of America, around 7,800 cases of forced labor got made to Polaris and it's estimated there are over 20.1 million people trapped in forced labor worldwide.

Real numbers.

Real problems. 

Time to start addressing them. 

What is Forced Labor?

It's a lot like it sounds, but the political language of it is where things can get tricky.

Forced labor is when anyone has to do something that they don't want to do otherwise they run the risk of punishment. 

Although a lot of slavery in our world connects to this, not all forced labor is slavery, because for some positions people are being paid.

But...here's the catch: that pay is to appease the law. Imagine someone locked in a room, forced to sow hat bindings for seventeen hours a day and they only make two American dollars for it.

Do you think that's fair? 

Forced labor isn't something you might think about when shopping at your local retailer, but we would like to challenge you to.

Most of the material in major retailers clothing comes from a foreign country that doesn't have forced labor laws

We urge people to research what you're buying, address the mess, and call to action what needs to be done rather than passively thinking we don't play a roll in propagating the depravity in our world. 

What is Misogyny? 

Misogyny has been a hot-button word.

Basically, it is the disapproving, belittling, or subjugating of women. But at surface level that understanding does not help much. 

Psychology Today goes on to add that misogynistic thinking, from a man's perspective, can lead to men thinking that women are on the earth to please men mentally and physically. 

This starts to crack a shell. 

If you are a male and hold yourself to a higher status or position than your women peers, you might be guilty of some misogynistic tendencies.

Let's propose a scenario: You're in line at a coffee shop and a woman, three people in front of you is taking FOREVER to order her drink. 

You see two other women in front of you chit-chatting. What are you thinking? You're about to be late to work... 

If you're prone to think that women can't make up their minds and that YOU can because you're a male, or sense anger because it should be a simple process but you feel like, for women, it's not then you might be a little more misogynistic than you think. 

One person does not represent the masses.

Our culture has gotten very good at pairing someone's biological circumstances with their capable circumstances - not something we should be doing.

The Bible and Misogyny

When we read about God creating Adam and Eve in Genesis, our modern translations fail to deliver the truest form of their relationship. 

With the NIV translation, Genesis 2:18 tells us God said, "it is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."

The term "helper," though, gets lost in translation.

In our world today with think: assistant or lesser to the man.

But the original translation seems to be better translated as partner.

Do you view women as assistants or lesser to men? Do their actions frustrate you because you view the world from a pedestal? 

Consider how you can address misogyny in your world today. 

Consider the Jesus response of showing love to one another as he loves us. 

What is Racism Today?

Discrimination based on skin color is what pops into everyone's head.

But it's so much more than that. 

And it's so much more than stories of the old south. 

Racism is alive and well in today's world and needs to get confronted head-on. 

Have you ever met someone from another country and chose to talk slower, less complicated, and as though they were younger just because they didn't look like you? 

Surprise, that's acting on racist tendencies. 

Have you ever saw a group of people doing something and it annoyed you? You thought, "why are they so loud?" or "why do they talk that way?" or "should I hire this kid - they don't act or sound like me..."

A lot of this comes from us thinking that our way is the right way. 

Anything outside of our way of life is improper, uneducated, or lesser than. 

These are hallmarks of racism, and in the world, we see it in employment, relationships, the school system, and general conversation.

Laws Uphold Racism

Through the language of our current world, dozens of laws get written in ways that give priority to one group of people over another.

Below we have two brief examples of how law and policies can benefit one group of people while giving priority to another group: 

Education Laws - Because of zoning and housing taxes, some school sections are wealthier than others. This means the families in the nicer zones (think nicer houses) get the nicer schools, which means they get more chances to keep living this way (because of better teachers, college notices, and out of school resources.)

While the families in the disadvantaged school systems are stuck always facing an uphill battle (unequipped teachers, fewer out of school programs).

According to sources like NPR, most of the wealthy school systems are where white families set up shop. Think about that.

Health Care Laws - Higher end jobs provide more health care opportunities than lower-end jobs. People with those higher end jobs tend to pour into the higher end communities.

Think about this: if your work pays you well, and covers your insurance, a small health problem might not set you back.

But if you don't make a lot, and have to pay for a medical issue, that's a month set back. 

Mostly white men run the business world, and if most of them want to bring on people that are like them in how they act, think, and view the world, what does that say for health care opportunities among families not in their sphere?   

Think about how that could promote racists tendencies too...

As followers of Christ, we must remember to look at things from a heavenly perspective, with our intentions, thoughts, and words always bringing about love as Christ commanded. 

What Types of Discrimination Do We See Today?

The term "Privilege" is another word that gets thrown around quite a bit. 

It's more than economic status or skin color.

Privilege is in athletics, in having a strong family, in having readily available resources and so on. 

In research studies, there is a common term called "Intersectionality" which looks at how people relate to themselves and the world around them. 

This relation is often where discrimination breeds as well. In that people who have more privilege often disregard or discriminate against those with less privilege. 

If the daughter of a wealthy business owner is inheriting her father's company has a conversation with someone who is inheriting their fathers small business, the one who is inheriting the larger company would think they know more than the small business inherent. 

And in some respects, that's true. But as far as one person being intellectually more capable than the other, this is false. 

In today's world, we see discrimination based on age, gender, and race. For more on this, we have this useful page

Discrimination and The Bible

When it comes to discrimination and how we can respond to it in our world today, we like to point toward Paul's letter to the Philippians. 

He writes, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility, value others above yourself, not looking to your own interest but each of you to the interest of others" (Philippians 2:3-4 NIV). 

We can apply Paul's words to our everyday. When we see people considering their ways higher than others, or when we consider our ways better than others, we can respond with Paul's wisdom and choose to view the world in a different way: As though the person in front or across from us knows more, is more capable, and has capacities that we may not. 

This may not always be true, but it helps us overcome our own pedestals. 

More on Social Injustice

We hope this read has given you a broader scope on what social injustice is and how it is trying to destroy our world. We pray that you take to heart the command of Christ to love one another as he has loved us. Together, we can stop social injustices. 

If you're looking for more to read on social injustices and how we as Christ's church can respond, head on over to our blog page where we post tons of content. 

If you don't see something there or want to chat about something you read, feel free to reach out and contact us. We're happy to talk about the mission of Christ and how we can play an active role in it!