OK, so there are plenty of crazy people at either end of the political spectrum. We tend to demonise conservatives in satire and parody, yet there are just as many liberals out there that you wouldn’t want to bump into either. Even those who champion noble causes will employ petty, bullying tactics to achieve those ideals they hold to be imperative.
This notion links back to the “horseshoe theory” – first proposed by postmodernist philosopher Jean-Pierre Faye, who speculated that the far-left and far-right are more similar to each other in essence than either is to the political centre.
So with that in mind, it’s hardly surprising that we’ve been seeing plenty of viral content lately denouncing the manoeuvres and rhetoric of so-called SWJs, or Social Justice Warriors. SWJs are activists who want to further laudable progressive values, but do so in an aggressive manner. We’ve seen a lot of their buzzwords bandied about blogs and articles lately; “mansplaining”, “safe-spaces” and “privilege” for example. Many view the SWJ stereotype as a crass attempt to belittle the left, but it’s rather worrying that many individuals embody all the negative connotations all too well.
For example, video footage has gone viral this week, showing a young woman banning another college student from wearing a hat that she claims is offensive and racist. Is she justified or is her anger misdirected?
Film footage of a social justice activist criticising another male student for wearing an “offensive hat” has gone viral this week. The film, which shows a campus clubs and societies fair in a Canadian college features a young woman admonishing the man for wearing a “make America great again” baseball camp. She claims that as it’s a slogan commonly associated with Donald Trump’s political campaign, it’s therefore racist and inappropriate. She demands that he remove it, and the guy refuses.
“Listen, dude, we’re friends and I level with you, but you got to take the hat off or I’m going to write the president of the university and he’s going to come and talk to you because I already talked to him about this,” the woman states. “It’s not allowed, it’s hate language on campus.”
Now, I’m not saying that if I bumped into a fervent Donald Trump supporter at an event he’d be my best buddy. I’d probably find that we had very little in common politically. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to censor him, or attempt to shut down any rational debate. After all, you’re not going to topple someone’s entire ideological perspective by getting them to take a hat off are you?