What it Feels Like to Not be a Social Justice Warrior

Gloria Lobodzinski // As told to by Beatriz Warnes

They say that words carry weight, but yet they cannot seem to fly out of our screens and carry us far away from our distorted world. If only they had the strength to weigh down those that bring our society back a few decades and dismiss the progressive nature many of us have learned.

A tweet cannot save a life, neither can a post. It is the people in this world that save one another when they are in danger. In this day and age, too many people are in danger. Many people day in and day out are physically and verbally harmed for something as simple as the amount of melanin in their skin. They are fighting for their life, just hoping that it will be treated as though it is worth anything. Women received the right to vote over 100 years ago, and yet, many still say they belong in the kitchen instead of the voting booths.

These people deserve better, and it breaks my heart that I cannot give it to them. I wish I could sit with every racist and change their mindset. I wish I could put anyone who has ever wrongfully laid a hand on a woman in jail, and I wish more than anything that any of that would actually work, because it does not. You can have a conversation with someone, and you can punish someone for their heinous actions, but that does not make them change.

Nothing has seemed to change.

Only in the past year or so have many of our gears begun to start turning. Social media has been the grease that finally started pushing ideas toward people. This momentum is strong, and there is no time better than the present to keep it going; I personally know that I will not let it stop.

Nevertheless, there is only so much I can do. I can retweet, I can share and I can post, but that will never be enough if people’s mindset do not change. All I really ever do is repost media that I think is helpful to others. I go to rallies and protests and try to make a change, but living in a 3-stoplight town leaves me stuck at a red light with nowhere to go and no one to help.

Whenever I open my phone to check social media, it is always the same thing every day:

Someone killed in a mass shooting,

An Asian-man harmed in a race-based attack,

A famous celebrity has new sexual assault allegations against him from 30 different women.

None of this ever seems to stop happening, and all I can ever possibly think about is the inevitable idea that maybe that is how this world wired itself to work. My interactions online are spent putting a working and well-educated machine together, only for it to be crushed by mob-mentality and ignorant ideals. These people continue to gnaw and slam on my progressive engineering, and if I do not let them, I just break apart pieces of it, trying to get them to leave it alone.

I believe that the term “social justice warrior” is thrown around a lot—too much, even.

Yes, I follow the news and educate myself on current issues, while I try my best to educate others on possible ways they can help those in need. Yes, I fight for those that have been put so far down by others that the dirt thrown on them has become asphyxiating, causing one too many casualties.