In my constant struggle for moral clarity and social justice, I have lately been reminded of a troubling fact; justice is as much about lifting people up, as it is about putting (or pulling) people down. It’s not all about rising tides lifting all boats, and bringing people up to the tall bridge (Hanna Rosin’s version of the glass ceiling), it’s also about yanking people down from their pedestals and reminding them what it’s like to feel pain and to be hated just for being who they are.
Obviously you don’t need to be a minority to know what it feels like to be ostracized, we all went through middle school. In adolescence, it seems like everyone’s unbalanced, and sometimes the way you are unbalanced exacerbates someone else’s imbalances. But you can’t seem to help it. Life isn’t fair, and neither is divorce, or sexual harassment, or war, or poverty, or racism, or addiction, or psychosis. It’s not fair that some people are beautiful and others are ugly, that some are born rich, and talented, when the boy you like likes your best friend better, when you’re fired due to budget cuts, when you can’t seem to find the words to say what you want to say, and everyone seems to be speaking a different language altogether.
Everyone feels this, including white people including the beautiful and talented (like Joan Didion), including the 1%. Sometimes I think the occupy movement is mostly about revenge. As much as I crave revenge, there is a certain amount of injustice we just need to accept. And acceptance takes time and patience. And some pain will never go away.