For social justice advocates, the last week and a half has offered enough joyous squeal inducing content to last a lifetime. From Salt Lake to New York, Social Justice has been on the march smashing expectations, challenging institutions, and toppling regimes. The apparent victories serve only bolster the millennial activist core who continue to leverage social media as a brutal club with which they have, and will continue, to strike at every foe of their intended utopia. The question of course is, who is next?
For review, the Millennial Army enjoyed three major victories; Tarantino, Mormons, and Mizzou. First, Quentin Tarantino provided a much needed public boon to Black Lives Matter’s continued war on police. After marching alongside anti-police demonstrators at the Revcom sponsored “Rise Up October” rally in New York, Tarantino made headlines for his apparent support for “cop haters.” Police unions across the country rallied against Tarantino and called for boycotts against his upcoming film release. Instead of pulling a mea culpa, as would be the norm for loose-lipped Hollywood types, Tarantino doubled down on his criticism of police tactics. First on NBC where he declared himself a victim of police intimidation via the unions who want to shut him down. Then on November 6th, Tarantino furthered his stand on Bill Maher’s show where he explained cops should focus more on breaking the “blue wall” and outing bad cops. Regardless of his intent, Tarantino succeeded at keeping the anti-police rhetoric alive, which thrilled the throngs of social justice activists who see police brutality as their vector into destroying a system steeped in male patriarchy and white supremacy.
In stark contrast to the street level tactics seen at the Revcom rally, social justice soldiers used a subdued, and religious-centric approach to attack the Mormon church. The root of the latest surge of anti-Mormon sentiment came from the church’s “clarification memo” regarding the children of same-sex couples. In short, children in those families will not be allowed to be baptized until they are 18-years-old. Those opposed to the church used the policy to prove the church was homophobic and even went so far as to create the hashtag, #mormonhate. Despite the presence of popular provocateurs, like Gregory Lucero, the most surprising element in this fight was the number of church members who publicly decried the church. Social media exploded with accusations the policy was “not of God, but of man” and indicative of an old, white, male-led church. The amount of members who stood in opposition of the policy, and the silent hundreds who privately lost their faith, are evidence of social justice’s ability to transcend theological boundaries. Rumors are swirling of mass resignations from the church, similar to ones organized by “Ordain Women” earlier this year. Perhaps unwittingly, the LDS church just threw itself onto the social justice anvil, and only time will tell how they fair.
Finally, in what will be considered one of largest victories so far in the social justice war, Black Lives Matter, assembled under the umbrella of “Concerned Student 1950”, and forced the ouster of President Tim Wolfe. The simmering tensions between the student body and the president came after a series of on and off-campus incidents involving racial slurs and at least one Swastika drawn with feces. A portion of the student body organized with the help of the long-time BLM leaders and leveraged social media, to highlight stories of injustice and racism, and call for his resignation. In solidarity, the Mizzou football team announced they would not play until Wolfe resigned. This coupled with the threats of a faculty walk-out, forced Wolfe to concede to the mob, and resign. Along with their calls to resign, the Concerned Student 1950 group demanded a series of concessions by the University. Some of them profoundly unrealistic, while other have nothing to do with academia. In the end, it does not matter, Black Lives Matter, and social justice army prevailed once again.
For the time being, the SJ army has their battle calendar full. They are targeting Cal-Poly, Ithicia, and of course Yale. In the background they will continue to press the LDS church, and of course they will always fall back to anti-police marches and calls for reform.