Picking Our Battles: The Paradox of Power & Social Justice

Yesterday I was watching the Melissa Harris Perry (MHP) Show and legal scholar  Kenji Yoshino talked about a possible paradox at play in regards to the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ruling on Prop 8 (and the other case that no one seems to reference by name).  He brought up the following point: a group has to have a significant amount of political power in order to even make it to the Supreme Court, who will rule on whether they are being discriminated against.  This can be restated as,

“A group must have an immense amount of political power before it will be deemed politically powerless by the Court.”

I can’t find the exact clip, though here is Sunday’s MHP show.  And since I was forced to search the internet for another mention of Yoshino’s quote, I stumbled across a law review article he wrote on the topic (no pay wall!).

Today I was reminded of this paradox as I logged onto Facebook and was greeted with a newsfeed awash in red and pink:

a pink equals sign on a red background

(more after the jump)

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Honderich on ableism

Via The Leiter Report, The Guardian has a profile of Ted Honderich which includes the following:

Honderich may be in for further trouble with his revised edition of the Oxford Companion to Philosophy. He’s typically downbeat about his part in the original project. “I think I was only asked because I was considered reliable,” he says. “Other philosophers had said they would do it and then failed to deliver on deadline. I imagine they thought it wasn’t proper work for a philosopher.”

This time round, free from the constraints of the academic circus, he’s been free to make 300 additions, including “ableism” – “it basically means being condescending to cripples”.


Wow. Just fucking wow.