Before jumping into social injustice, it’s best to know first what social justice means. Social and justice, these two words come together and make a concept of fair and just relations between individuals and society, as measured by any means that involves the society. In older Asian cultures and in Western culture, social justice is usually mentioned as the process of ensuring that individuals fulfill their societal roles and receive what was their due from society. Social justice is sometimes neglected, but it actually assigns duties and rights in the society. By this, people are then able to receive the basic benefits and burdens of cooperation. In today’s era, this has been a wild issue because of the current happenings that lead to finding the real meaning of social justice, and why is it being forgotten by many.
Humanity is more connected than ever before. The internet has always been quick to point out the social injustices in the world for which people would then come together to stand for what’s right. Social justice asserts the idea that all humans should have the same rights and the same opportunities. We all have innate value as human beings, no one is superior than the other. One’s value is never greater nor smaller lesser than the other.
The complete reciprocal of social justice, social injustice, has been happening for a long time. This topic is really relevant. The human race has always committed social injustice on fellow beings. People are fallible. Every single one of us at a certain age has perpetrated social injustice for some time during our lives. Only a fool would brag that he or she had never perpetrated social injustice. Even those who protest against social injustice may have done an act of social injustice at some point in their lives. Social injustice has paved the way for unjust actions in the society. When the equals are treated unequally, that is when social injustice resurface. Common examples of social injustice include the topics about discrimination, ageism and gender and sexuality. These are just the most common ones. There are still a lot because social injustice definitely is a wide topic. Social justice issues can occur to any aspect of society where inequality can arise as a result of unjust prejudices or policies.
EXAMPLES OF SOCIAL INJUSTICE
Different issues about social injustice always come to the forefront at different times. Some might be more relevant across different nations or governments, societies and even cultures. These issues affect people’s access to goods, services and opportunities that everyone should have. Equal human rights should be simple to achieve. However, because of the spreading social injustices around the globe, equal human rights are never that simple. The views of people have morphed over the years, some do not realize they are perpetrating social injustice. Here are some of the examples of social injustice.
While several global organizations are looking to provide equal rights to all, racial discrimination is still a hot topic. There are laws in place around the world, but incidents still happen to illustrate that racial discrimination has not been irradiated. Because of the recent publicly seen oppression of a black man in the United States, the movement “Black Lives Matter” take over the world. The United States still struggle to get away from their troubled history about racism. From the country’s colonization and founding by the white landowners who enslaved millions of people from Africa and their descendants, to the police who murdered George Floyd, racism hasn’t stopped. Though the Civil War ended the practice of legal slavery in the U.S., racial disparities, racist attitudes, and systemic problems persist to this day.
In 2019, a report by the New York Times has found that the average white American has seven times the wealth of the average black American. That is definitely one striking example of inequality. That is one of the effects of racial inequality that ripples throughout society, impacting education, representation, healthcare, and law enforcement. Black Americans are also disproportionately arrested, charged, and sentenced to jail time. A troubling statistic has found out that police are 3.5 times more likely to kill black Americans than white Americans, according to the American Psychological Association. The rise of the Black Lives Matter movement has brought many such instances to light, increasing public awareness of racial injustice and racially motivated violence by officers and authority figures. Through demonstrations and activism in the United States and abroad, the movement has helped shift public sentiment in favor of systemic reform of law enforcement.
Under racial inequality; slavery, stereotyping and segregation are three of the specifics.
Although this was abolished in America in 1865, this cannot be forgotten. Slavery is an ultimate example of racial inequality or racial discrimination. African Americans and people of color were forced into servitude on homes and farms, and they were treated deplorably. You would think that slavery was a non-issue in current culture. However, it’s still a social injustice issue found round the world. 40 million people around the world were still trapped in some form of slavery, including marriage slavery and forced labor, according to Free the Slaves, in 2017.
There is positive and negative stereotyping. The latter is the issue that needs attention. Since the 9/11, Muslims have faced discrimination and prejudice in America. This was sparked by fears of terrorism and acts committed by their fellow Muslims, the Taliban.
Segregation happened in the United States. This was when the Black Americans were segregated. They were required to use specific schools, houses, and medical services, among other institutions and facilities, that were separate and of lesser quality than white Americans.
The members of the LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and other sexual orientations or gender expressions) community have made significant progress in their fight for equal rights in the United States. Non-heteronormative culture has started to change the way people view what were previously known as traditional values and gender expressions.
However, there are still many individuals and institutions that discriminate based on gender or sexual orientation. It wasn’t until 2015 that the Supreme Court struck down all same-sex marriage bans, formally legalizing same-sex marriage in the United States, but those couples still face discrimination in many parts of the country. For example, it’s still legal in many places to re someone based on sexual orientation. Legislators have introduced a bill known as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would end this practice. The bill has been through Congress many times, but it has yet to pass.
Discrimination comes in all shapes and sizes. The number of birthdays that you have accumulated is another example. Ageism, where the elderly is discriminated against, creates negative stereotypes of the elderly being weak, feeble, or unable to change. A few examples include being denied work and or being seen as a burden to society.
- Denied Work
Many times, the elderly is forced into retirement or looked over for work. For example, workers that are over 60 years of age may be asked to retire from their career. They may be laid off to bring in younger, less experienced workers. Those who do contractual work, like farming, may be looked over because of their age, leaving them with little way to support their families.
- Seen as a Burden
An older individual might also be seen as a burden by their family and their society. For example, many neighborhoods tailor themselves to younger generations through playgrounds and new-age restaurants. Those of advanced age may be put into a nursing home or retirement community the moment that society sees them as being no longer useful. However, Senior Lifestyle has shown that children who grow up with an older individual can benefit tremendously.
Social workers and human rights activists are working tirelessly to combat issues relating to children and their welfare. Despite their efforts, there are still several problems children face that are harmful to their health and mental wellbeing. Laws are in place around the world to ensure a safe work environment for children. These laws were drafted from historically harsh and dangerous working conditions for children. While many would like to believe that child labor is a thing of the past, it persists in some areas around the globe. One example would be the scenario in India, children is still working in forced labor, producing carpets, clothing, footwear and yarn. Not only are conditions unhealthy and unsafe, but the work hours are also very long.
- Child Neglection
Thousands of children globally are being neglected. They’re also being physically, sexually and emotionally abused. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that as many as a quarter of adults have been abused as children. This abuse has both social and economic impacts that include mental health problems
- Leaving a Child Behind
Many laws have been passed over the years to help enable students with special needs, like those with autism or ADHD. This wasn’t always the case, however. Prior to laws like No Child Left Behind and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), many children were simply neglected in their education or they were shuffled into special schools and asylums if they had learning disabilities. While the world is making progressive steps toward equality for exceptional students, many points out how labeling and stereotyping a child based on their disability can have lasting, negative effects. Another sad fact is that many countries around the world lack any adaptive services or special education for exceptional children.
Poverty is a pressing issue for human rights and social injustice. Not only do men, women and children in the U.S. and abroad lack access to housing and food, but many also lack access to the basic human necessity of clean water. Dive into social injustice issues created by poverty. When you think of poverty, you might think of having little food or maybe living in a homeless shelter. However, the sad truth is that many individuals don’t have access to food, clean water, schooling, healthcare or even sanitation at all. According to The World Counts, more than 485,000 children die from lack of food, shelter or clean water each year. More than two million children lack clean water, especially the Native Americans. That is within the United States alone.
- Inequality in Healthcare
Poverty and disease go hand in hand. Access to quality healthcare is harder when your income is lower, but access to quality food is diminished too. This means heart disease and diabetes are more likely among impoverished individuals. While there are programs in America for those in poverty, these programs are far from perfect. This means that many poor individuals will go without basic care. Globally, among poorer communities, finding access to healthcare or doctors is nearly non-existent. The World Bank and WHO state that nearly half the world lacks essential health services access.
SOLUTIONS OR THE WAYS TO ERADICATE SOCIAL INJUSTICE
- Educate yourself
Before you get involved in any movement or take actions, make sure you understand what the cause is, and what it’s trying to achieve. For example, if you’re interested in climate justice, check out for the key facts and information about existing campaigns and actions across the world. Or try to learn about the mission and beliefs of the Black Lives Matter movement on its official website. After getting basic information online, it’s a good idea to read books with more in-depth analysis of a particular social movement and the issues it grapples with. Books like This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein for climate activism and The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander for racial justice will help you gain deeper understanding, learn important vocabulary and be well-equipped with information. If you’re a student, or you live near a college and have the means, you could even take a course to teach you more about your cause.
- Eradicate poverty
More than 800 million people, or 11 per cent of the world’s population, are suffering from chronic hunger. From crippling debt to the oppression of women, even the young ones, to wars and conflict, concerns of social justice are intrinsically related to poverty and hunger. Due to social injustice and discrimination the poor have limited access to health education, medical services and other services as a result, problems of hunger, malnutrition and diseases. A multi-faceted proposition is needed to help end world hunger, including executing projects that engage with the numerous agents of food security, while also engaging in policy debates that determine our future programs.
- Promote gender equality
A lot of women with an average of one out of three worldwide have experienced either intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime. Women and girls, everywhere, must have equal rights and opportunity, and be ready to live freed from violence and discrimination. By highlighting the stories of the most vulnerable women, we can help empower the next generation of female leaders to go even further and reach new heights. Take part in a campaign; raise awareness on social media; or donate to an appropriate organization that helps women in need. Your voice matters.
- Fight for employment rights
There were around 300 million workers in extreme poverty, living on less than US$2 per day, in 2017. Fair treatment of workers should be good a business practice. Offering free access to comprehensive, unbiased information about workers’ rights is essential in any fair workplace. Studies have proven that equal sharing of wealth is strengthened through equal opportunity for employment. Help by supporting trade unions that demand fair treatment from public and private employers, and continue to support employees and their families.
- Support diversity in the workplace
It is no coincidence that 39% of people living in poverty in the UK live in a family where at least one person is disabled. No one may be discriminated against because of their sex, race, religion, disability, political views, sexual orientation or nationality in exercising their rights. Unfortunately, human rights violations are still rampant, especially in the developing world. Diversity can improve productivity, so, be a source of innovation and facilitate better risk management. Also, one must enhance customer and business partner satisfaction, and open the door to or help maintain business opportunities.
- Volunteer your time
77% of volunteer’s report changes in their social action after volunteering, with 55% of the total being more involved as a result. By donating a few hours of your time, you can make the difference in the life of a child and thwart a systemic, root cause of injustice. Before you get involved in any movement, make sure you understand what the cause is — and what it’s trying to achieve. It’s a great idea to build connections with other like-minded people. Local activist groups and organizers keep open meetings and are excited to have a lot of new people involved.
Depending on the cause or movement, there are many ways you can volunteer to help others. For example, if you’re concerned with homelessness, volunteer at a shelter. If you would like to fight education inequality, volunteer at an inner-city school program platform for young activists. If you don’t have any idea where you want to volunteer, there are a lot of online resources that can help you. Volunteering is an important way to start getting involved because it costs nothing but your time, and can significantly improve the life of someone affected by the exact injustice your movement is fighting against.
- Work on your habits.
Make sure you’re doing your best not to contribute to the problem at hand, before engaging others or protesting an institution. It doesn’t make sense to ask others to help you combat racism if you abuse white privilege or silence people of color, so be an example. You have to first unlearn bad habits and behavior yourself before you encourage others to be better. Not sure how to start working on your own habits? Start with eliminating these words from your vocabulary, and learn how to be a better ally.
- Research the local presence.
It’s a great idea to build connections with other like-minded people. Local activists often hold open meetings and they are excited to have new people involved. Becoming part of a community will help you learn new things, and have others hold you accountable. There are a lot of great resources for finding meetings about activism, politics and social justice near you. If you know a specific organization you want to work with, start looking in your local area.
- Take action in your community.
The founder of JustLeadershipUSA, Glenn E. Martin, believes that people who want to get involved in a social justice movement can do the most effective work in their own communities. JustLeadershipUSA is an organization in which people with a criminal history are at the forefront of the mission to end mass incarceration. Martin suggests writing letters to your elected officials or discussing the movement over drinks with colleagues as ways to start getting involved locally. Keeping topics like social justice as part of the public conversation is essential to creating change.
- Use social media.
The internet is probably the most powerful a person could use to promote social justice. It only takes a few minutes or even seconds to share your fight against social injustice. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are incredibly popular in social justice communities. On Facebook, you can either join or create a group dedicated to discussing and organizing around a movement. On Twitter, you can find other people who tweet about the cause you’re interested in, and even start a discussion with them. Social media is good place to practice your activism, too. Posting articles, sharing videos and writing updates about organizing meetings or information about your movement are all simple ways to share messages about your movement with a wide audience.