Not one iota of social justice has ever happened without struggle and vigilance, to say nothing of frustration and loss and some very sad violence. Those who would oppose progress to keep their power will say and do _anything_ and anything to stop change. They are more honest than Susan Collins and no less dangerous for it. They have no compunction about violence. So, how much will you take? They want the status quo, reversal, spite, or nihilism at least as much you want progress. Rules? Civility? Play to conscience or compromise? What are your honest alternatives?
Gandhi relied on the fact that his opponents could be bent, that they had at least as much conscience as they had vindictive hate. Gandhi forced as did King by appealing to human feelings, to empathy. So what happens when that doesn’t work? When 89% of Republicans support Trump and the border policy too? They are willing to make their deal with that? What then? I think we are at that bottom. Reason is long gone. We thought that incarcerating babies would be the emotional charge but you know what, all that had to change was the news cycle. Short attention span plus our opponents don’t really care. Ask Melania. She told us exactly what she thinks. It was a fashion statement too.
So what’s with all the faith in the arc of justice? Why it is so important to so many? It could be that the pain, the oppression, the terror, the arc of history has made it necessary to believe that there is such a thing—because you know all too well that there isn’t. The need to believe is a survival strategy; it’s an important part of religion’s sham or its consolations, depending on how much you need it not to be sham. However you believe to get through, that’s your religion. Mine rejects certainty with a big dollop of irony on top of things that look all too certain.
Everyone wants someone else to give them an answer because no one likes that the questions we face don’t have certainty, finality, or often any answer but the strife to stay in the question. What the powerful and the charlatans know is that this is an easy shakedown, that people will be manipulated with promises, with faith, with hate, with anything that gives them what they want or tells them that there is an answer. No one wants to live in a reality where the crisis is perpetual —because that’s real—and living that way is _hard_, it will exhaust you sometimes, you’ll wish it were easier. But life is a few meals or one long night without sleep from crisis and only two days from much worse. We act as if it isn’t because we do, because we must? Because life is hard and we just wish it weren’t. Justice is harder than any one life because power never prefers to give up what it can keep. So what do you keep?
Faith is what you keep when you wish for a world that isn’t the one you’re really living in. Maybe you need some just to survive. Maybe we all do or we just have to look away for a moment to keep going. There’s almost an alternative. That would be to embrace the strife, refuse to lose, not let them win, reject certainty, and rage on, calmly as you can.