Social Justice is Personal

Fairness is mostly associated with equality. While these two are not too different from each other, both are the central idea of social justice. You will encounter technical explanations of what social justice is, but to simplify, it is personal.

When can you say that it is indeed personal?  A collective movement, for example, is grouped from individual demands. A team, band, or an organization, is formed by categorizing common interests and pursuits. One discussion that demonstrates social justice being personal is the historical fiction book Blood for Freedom: On a Mission Among the Mayas. There, the group Comité de Unidad Campesina (Committee for Peasant Unity) is composed of social activists who deliberately said, “ …Among other things, we demand equitable land reform, social and economic justice for all, and broad representation of the different Mayan groups before the government…” Although the pronoun used is “we”, experiences among the members of the group make it personal.

What may drive you to call for social justice is your experience within your family and community. Given that it is personal, ironically, for some, it is considered unfair. To make it clearer, what is personal is not directly right. Such that, what is just from the perspective of other people, is incorrect. Since it is bound with the formation of social interactions within a group, not everyone will understand the reasons why people fight for socioeconomic and sociopolitical equality. After all, the concept of equality will remain subjective, unless there are standards provided, like human rights.

Organizations like the Committee for Peasant Unity in the historical fiction book that discusses social justice being personal demonstrate compelling reasons why the word “social” should be seen in the light of an individual experience that calls for equality.  

These personal experiences, like how Blood for Freedom: On a Mission Among the Mayas explains, do not undermine the relevance of social justice in society.

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