Best 372 quotes in «social justice quotes» category

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    The activist path is not easy, but it is the only reasonable path for those who desire change.

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    The act of claiming an identity can be transformational. It can provide healing and empowerment. It can weld solidarity within a community. And, perhaps most importantly, it can diminish power from an oppressor, a dominant group.

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    The bow in hand, he finally staggered up and glanced down the alley, obviously searching for whoever had – what had he said? – ‘called’ him? Though he didn’t look much taller than her, the vast array of weapons – enough to fight a whole troop of French soldiers – was terrifying and slightly ridiculous. Like what a little boy might don to pretend to be some ancient warrior. A warrior. Oh, by the Most High… He was looking for her. Nahri was the one who had called him.

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    The call for justice was a protest as fierce as those of the biblical prophets and of Jesus, and the similarity of the call was no coincidence. As with early Judaism and early Christianity, early Islam would be rooted in opposition to a corrupt status quo. Its protest of inequity would be an integral part of the demand for inclusiveness, for unity and equality under the umbrella of the one god regardless of lineage, wealth, age, or gender. This is what would make it so appealing to the disenfranchised, those who didn't matter in the grand Meccan scheme of things, like slaves and freedmen, widows and orphans, all those cut out of the elite by birth or circumstance. And it spoke equally to the young and idealistic, those who had not yet learned to knuckle under to the way things were and who responded to the deeply egalitarian strain of the verses. All were equal before God, the thirteen-year-old Ali as important as the most respected graybeard, the daughter as much as the son, the African slave as much as the highborn noble. It was a potent and potentially radical re-envisioning of society. This was a matter of politics as much as of faith. The scriptures of all three of the great monotheisms show that they began similarly as popular movements in protest against the privilege and arrogance of power, whether that of kings as in the Hebrew bible, or the Roman Empire as in the Gospels, or a tribal elite as in the Quran. All three, that is, were originally driven by ideals of justice and egalitarianism, rejecting the inequities of human power in favor of a higher and more just one. No matter how far they might have strayed from their origins as they became institutionalized over time, the historical record clearly indicates that what we now call the drive for social justice was the idealistic underpinning of monotheistic faith.

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    The church wanted us to give out food to malnourished children, but they didn't want us to question why they were malnourished to begin with.

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    The Church risks irrelevance when it makes central God's preference for the poor and not His universal favor toward the poor in spirit.

    • social justice quotes
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    The colonists, the aid workers, the NGOs -- they're all in a single progression: paternalistic foreigners, assuming they are better and brighter, offering shiny, destabilizing, dependence producing gifts. How can one accept anything from so-called rescuers when their predecessors helped your people destroy one another?

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    The darkness of ignorance is allergic to the light of your truth. Speak your truth.

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    ​The defence of the principle of true justice will entail denouncing what is today continually promoted as ‘social justice’, a justice that serves only the lowest classes of society (the so-called ‘working classes’) and works to the detriment of other classes, effectively leading to injustice. The true state will also be hierarchical, especially because it will be able to acknowledge and create respect for the hierarchy of true values, giving primacy to values of a higher order, not material or utilitarian ones, and admitting relevant, legitimate inequalities or differences of social positions, opportunities and dignity. The true state will reject as aberrant the formula of the state of labour, whether or not this state is presented as ‘national’.​

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    The essence of economic inequality is borne out in a simple fact: there are 400 billionaires in the United States and 45 million people living in poverty. These are not parallel facts; they are intersecting facts. There are 400 American billionaires because there are 45 million people living in poverty. Profit comes at the expense of the living wage. Corporate executives, university presidents, and capitalists in general are living the good life--because so many others are living a life of hardship.

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    The Earth was singing her revolution. She was calling her brave men and women to her defense.

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    The idea of reappropriation isn’t a new one. The process of turning negative words, symbols, or ideas into positive parts of our own identity – was used for social justice movements long before hipsters thought that being ironic was cool. Whether it is repurposing a racial epithet or taking on a stereotype for sociopolitical empowerment, it’s an important process that has been around for thousands of years and continues to change society today.

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    The gospel Jesus spreads in the book of Luke has as one of its main themes that Jesus brings a social revolution, in which the previous systems and hierarchies of clean and unclean, sinner and saved, and up and down don't mean what they used to. God is doing a new work through Jesus, calling all people to human solidarity. Everybody is a brother, a sister. Equals, children of the God who shows no favouritism. To reject this new social order was to reject Jesus, the very movement of God in flesh and blood.

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    The incredible women around the world who do stand up for justice can in fact transform the planet.

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    The fight for truth...is not just our right as free citizens of free societies. It is our duty as citizens of the earth.

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    The more ardently I see humanity as a glorious abstract that must conform to my ideal of how the world should be, the harder it is for me to love the person on the other side of the picket line who is holding up progress. I can love the downtrodden in the abstract, but as I shivered under the bridge that night with Jorge, I realized that it's harder to love the illegal immigrant with the bottle-slashed face and the body unwashed for weeks, the workers gathering to eat day-old bread and chicken and rice out of foam containers, the crowd of thousands clamoring for bread and fish and healing, the unclean woman hoping to touch the hem of the Savior's robe.

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    The list of what righteousness does is a list of things that most people would want: it delivers from death (see Proverbs 11:4); gives life (see Proverbs 12:28); exalts a nation (see Proverbs 14:34); establishes the king’s throne (see Proverbs 16:12); and brings blessings (see Psalm 106:3), rewards (see Proverbs 11:18), and peace (see Isaiah 32:17).

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    The members of the functional and socially mobilized under class must, in some very real way, be seen as the architects of their own fate. If not, they could be, however marginally, on the conscience of the comfortable. There could be a disturbing feeling, however fleeting, of unease, even guilt.

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    The Margaret Thatcher syndrome, that is, the woman who achieves seniority, but refuses any gender identification and indeed whose policies harmed many women, highlights that gender sensitivity is more significant in leading change than the biological sex of post-holders.

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    The mission of God’s people is not simply directed at saving people’s souls from a bad life-after-death into a good life-after-death, but it addresses and hopefully touches the injustice and violence around us—poverty, racism, sexism, economic exploitation, war, environmental destruction—where salvation, justice, and peace can merge.

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    …the narratives we tell to justify a single set of laws and stakes are inherently unjust.

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    The oppressor is solidary wit the oppressed only when he stops regarding the oppressed as an abstract category and sees them as persons who have been unjustly dealt with, deprived of their voice, cheated in the sale of their labor -- when he stops making pious, sentimental, and individualistic gestures and risks an act of love. True solidarity is found only in the plenitude of this act of love, in its existentiality, in its praxis. To affirm that men and women are persons and as persons should be free, and yet to do nothing tangible to make this affirmation a reality, is a farce.

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    The politicians throw dirt at each other, the citizens throw dirt at the politicians, so everybody is living in dirt. If you want things to change, then stop throwing dirt and act, whether you are a politician, a civil servant or a civilian.

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    The point here is not that emissions don't matter. It is a call for a shift in priorities. On the policy level, we need to shift toward protecting and healing ecosystems on every level, especially the local. On a cultural level, we need to reintegrate human life with the rest of life, and bring ecological principles to bear on social healing. On the level of strategy and thought, we need to shift the narrative toward life, love, place, and participation. Even if we abandoned the emissions narrative, if we do these things emissions will surely fall as well.

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    The Pike is the meanest and most vicious of fresh-water fishes. This is caused by heredity and environment, or unfortunate social conditions in the water.

    • social justice quotes
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    The problem with movements is that, all too often, they are associated only with the most visible figures, the people with the biggest platforms and the loudest, most provocative voices.

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    The realization of dreams, like every battle for freedom, has always required compromise to one degree or another. When the result of a concession, however, is the mutilation of your soul or the cancellation of someone else's future, then it may be said the desired goal was corrupted or destroyed rather than attained.

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    There is nothing truthful, wise, humane, or strategic about confusing hostility to injustice and oppression, which is leftist, with hostility to science and rationality, which is nonsense.

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    There are times when so much talk or writing, so many ideas seem to stand in the way, to block the awareness that for the oppressed, the exploited, the dominated, domination is not just a subject for radical discourse, for books. It is about pain – the pain of hunger, the pain of over-work, the pain of degradation and dehumanization, the pain of loneliness, the pain of loss, the pain of isolation, the pain of exile... Even before the words, we remember the pain.

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    There is no doubt that the biblical concept of the Kingdom calls for a ministry to the suffering, the imprisoned, the oppressed, the hungry and whomever is dehumanized by an unjust society. In abstract, almost all of us can affirm this with enthusiasm. When it is the vocation, however, of one of our number to make this Gospel imperative, a matter demanding and requiring us to change our comfortable ways, then many of us fall away. The prophet has never been popular among his other contemporaries. He has been stoned, beheaded, crucified and shot. If not killed, we have been all too ready to vilify him or her in the name of God, little realizing that it may well be God who sent the prophet to challenge our complacency.

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    There are times when relationships need to be prioritised over what is right. And there are times when the right needs to be prioritised over relationships.

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    There is a great new work before us, which is to replace with true knowledge the ignorance that has destroyed human minds. We will construct unity in a world [which] has been brutally torn apart by false divisions of race, religion, gender, nationality, and age. We will heal with unconditional love those souls whose hearts have been disfigured by hatred and loneliness.

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    There is no other industry as cruel and oppressive as factory farming. With regard to numbers affected, extent and length of suffering, and numbers of premature deaths, no other industry can even approach factory farming. Billions of individuals are exploited from genetically engineered birth, through excruciating confinement, to conveyor belt dismemberment. Consequently, there is no industry more appropriate for social justice activists to boycott.

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    There’s fire in you, Julie. I can see you out there in the street, carrying a banner for all the underprivileged people of the world.

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    The same patriarchy that oppresses women oppresses nonhuman animals. Farmed animals and “housewives,” “lab” animals and prostitutes, dancing bears and girls in the sex trade—all have too long been exploited by the same patriarchal hierarchy wherein the comparatively weak are exploited for the benefit of the powerful. Those who are aware of history, of patriarchy and of the feminist movement, tend to understand how difficult it is—and how important—for people to rethink basic behaviors in order to bring about deep and lasting change. We must rethink how we speak, how we spend our time, and what we consume. This is as true for fighting sexism as it is for fighting speciesism—or any other form of domination, exploitation, and oppression. We must change our lives first, and most fundamentally. I hope that readers working to improve the lives of girls and women . . . will realize that they can and must choose not to continue to exploit nonhuman animals while working to liberate girls and women.

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    The role of an activist is not to lead the masses with a flag draped around his or her shoulders. Activists meet a few people at a time in a coffee shop to explain in hushed tones why they should believe when no one else does. An activist’s moment is not the moment of change; it is the period when change seems impossible.

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    The scales of justice are tilted by money It's rather ironic but far from funny The powerful get cuff links, not handcuffs While prison bars make others' hands rough.

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    These questions are difficult. The answers are not obvious, and so there should be some pausing, some angst, some honest uncertainty as people struggle to decide the best course of action. But I see none of this in the press releases and reports I read. Instead I see both sides telling us that to be uncertain, to dialogue instead of rail, is to betray the cause.

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    The true focus of revolutionary change is never merely the oppressive situations which we seek to escape, but that piece of the oppressor which is planted deep within each of us, and which knows only the oppressors' tactics, the oppressors' relationships.

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    The stigma of mental illness is first and foremost a social justice issue!

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    The smartest person to ever walk this Earth in all probability lived and died herding goats on a mountain somewhere, with no way to disseminate their work globally even if they had realised they were super smart and had the means to do something with their abilities. I am not keen on 'who are the smartest' lists and websites because, as Scott Barry Kaufman points out, the concept of genius privileges the few who had the opportunity to see through and promote their life’s work, while excluding others who may have had equal or greater raw potential but lacked the practical and financial support, and the communication platform that famous names clearly had. This is why I am keen to develop, through my research work, a definition of genius from a cognitive neuroscience and psychometric point of view, so that whatever we decide that is and how it should be measured, only focuses on clearly measurable factors within the individual’s mind, regardless of their external achievements, eminence, popularity, wealth, public platform etc. In my view this would be both more equitable and more scientific.

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    The strength of a movement also relied on participation. Nonviolent campaigns succeeded or failed by the numbers of people willing to get in the way of injustice, or withdraw support from tyrants, or put their hands on the freedom plow and sow the seeds of change.

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    The tourists had money and we needed it; they only asked in return to be lied to and deceived and told that single most important thing, that they were safe, that their sense of security—national, individual, spiritual—wasn’t a bad joke being played on them by a bored and capricious destiny. To be told that there was no connection between then and now, that they didn't need to wear a black armband or have a bad conscience about their power and their wealth and everybody else’s lack of it; to feel rotten that no-one could or would explain why the wealth of a few seemed so curiously dependent on the misery of the many. We kindly pretended that it was about buying and selling chairs, about them asking questions about price and heritage, and us replying in like manner. But it wasn’t about price and heritage, it wasn’t about that at all. The tourists had insistent, unspoken questions and we just had to answer as best we could, with forged furniture. They were really asking, 'Are we safe?' and we were really replying, 'No, but a barricade of useless goods may help block the view.' And because hubris is not just an ancient Greek word but a human sense so deep-seated we might better regard it as an unerring instinct, they were also wanting to know, 'If it is our fault, then will we suffer?' and we were really replying, 'Yes, and slowly, but a fake chair may make us both feel better about it.

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    The welfare of you, your community, and the world are central to living righteousness. The Creator of the universe knows what we need to do to stay healthy, balanced, and free within the design of His creation. This is His how-to guide for living our healthiest, most relationally rich and happy life. Staying inside His boundary lines is ultimately for our own benefit. When we go outside them, we are hurting ourselves and others.

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    The whiteness celebrated in Paris is Burning is not just any old brand of whiteness but rather that brutal imperial ruling-class capitalist patriarchal whiteness that presents itself -its way of life- as the only meaningful life there is. What could be more reassuring to a white public fearful that marginalized disenfranchised black folks might rise any day now make revolutionary black liberation struggle a reality than a documentary affirming that colonized, victimized, exploited black folks, are all too willing to be complicit in perpetuating the fantasy that ruling-class white culture is the quintessential site of unrestricted joy, freedom, power and pleasure.

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    Third, resistance is a tradition of building blocks; a continuum of action that may not have dislodged injustice in its own time, but whose revolutionary founders left behind the framework and tools for a subsequent generation to take up, and ultimately carry out its vision. We can stand back and admire certain laws and protections now—child labor laws, voter enfranchisement for all, an eight-hour work day, clean water, for example—and appreciate the irreversible process of resistance that not only guaranteed their formation, but fought off the innumerable attacks that once kept them from rising.

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    They focused a large amount of their wrath on people trying to add dialogue about feminism and diversity in gaming, condemning them as “Social Justice Warriors.” (That label was always so weird to me, because how is that an insult? “Social Justice Warrior” actually sounds pretty badass.)

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    They [the church] wanted us to give food out to malnourished mothers and children, but they didn't want us to question why we were malnourished to begin with. They wanted us to grow vegetables on the tiny plots around our houses, but they didn't want us to question why we didn't have enough land to feed ourselves. [p. 16]

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    Those who fight for social justice and the rights of people will count any other thing as unimportant.

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    This vacillation between assertion and denial in discussions about organised abuse can be understood as functional, in that it serves to contain the traumatic kernel at the heart of allegations of organised abuse. In his influential ‘just world’ theory, Lerner (1980) argued that emotional wellbeing is predicated on the assumption that the world is an orderly, predictable and just place in which people get what they deserve. Whilst such assumptions are objectively false, Lerner argued that individuals have considerable investment in maintaining them since they are conducive to feelings of self—efficacy and trust in others. When they encounter evidence contradicting the view that the world is just, individuals are motivated to defend this belief either by helping the victim (and thus restoring a sense of justice) or by persuading themselves that no injustice has occurred. Lerner (1980) focused on the ways in which the ‘just world’ fallacy motivates victim-blaming, but there are other defences available to bystanders who seek to dispel troubling knowledge. Organised abuse highlights the severity of sexual violence in the lives of some children and the desire of some adults to inflict considerable, and sometimes irreversible, harm upon the powerless. Such knowledge is so toxic to common presumptions about the orderly nature of society, and the generally benevolent motivations of others, that it seems as though a defensive scaffold of disbelief, minimisation and scorn has been erected to inhibit a full understanding of organised abuse. Despite these efforts, there has been a recent resurgence of interest in organised abuse and particularly ritualistic abuse (eg Sachs and Galton 2008, Epstein et al. 2011, Miller 2012).