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Jeffrey Sachs @JeffreyASachs
, 23 tweets, 12 min read Read on Twitter
The SJWs Are Winning and You're All Just Going to Have to Deal With It: A thread.
Reading this @JohnHMcWhorter piece is an exercise in vertigo. The central claim is that "third wave anti-racism" (i.e. the broad nexus of PC, social justice, and ID politics) is doomed to failure. That the aims are good, but strategically it's a dead end.…
This is a common view among centrist liberals and libertarians: "Yes, racism and sexism are serious problems and must be addressed, but the SJW Left is going about it all wrong. In fact, its tactics are actually making these problems worse, not better."
I'm here to tell you that these critics are wrong, the SJW Left is right, and the only reason anyone ever thinks otherwise is because they haven't looked at the evidence.

Which is what we're going to do in this thread: look at the evidence.
First, what is the critique of the SJW Left actually based on? Anecdote, mostly. Stories of innocent boys red pilled into misogyny by an unkind Rebecca Traister tweet. The "I didn't leave the Left, the Left left me" school of thought. Think Whittaker Chambers, but for Proud Boys.
This sort of thing is like mother's milk over at Quillette and Areo. Chait lives for this stuff. It's Andrew Sullivan's third act and Yascha Mounk's first. So you'd think, given the sheer volume of anti-Left hot takes out there, that somebody would actually check the scoreboard.
Because from where I sit, more and more people are coming around to the Left's way of thinking. Take views on racism, where the change over the last five years has been especially dramatic.…
Is the problem that we're all suddenly seeing racism where none really exists? Are the snowflakes on the Left out of touch with public opinion?

Not as far as I can tell.
Now I know what you're thinking: "Sure these gains are impressive, but they're being driven by Democrats and young people, not Americans in general." And you're largely right!……
But note (and this is important) that they have not come at the cost of greater racial resentment among Republicans or conservatives. On the contrary. So much for the backlash theory!…

Same with the two parties' views on Muslims, Jews, and other religious minorities.…
The number of people identifying as a feminist has also ticked up.…
And a growing number of Americans support immigration. Look at the timing here -- this isn't attributable to anti-Trumpism. This is something else.
(h/t @Noahpinion)……
It's not just public opinion. SJW-type activists are scoring important policy wins as well, often by reaching out to their ideological opposites.………

For those who are just *convinced* that the Left's social justice turn is electoral poison, these results have been...difficult to explain.…
Granted, there ARE signs that anti-PC sentiment can turn off some voters (though the extent is unknown). And it's true that a broad swath of Americans is sour on political correctness (though what they mean by this is unclear).…
But look again at those shifts in public opinion. Look at the policy wins. If the excesses of the SJW Left really are red pilling some small percentage of Americans into sexism and misogyny, it's a bargain at twice the price. Because check out what we're getting in return.
In light of all this, what's the worst that can be said about the SJW Left? That these changes would have happened regardless, and that what McWhorter calls virtue signalling didn't contribute a damn.

Possible, but unlikely. Regardless, it's a far cry from the original charge.
"SJWs fail to impede the march of progress," by Bari Weiss.

Doesn't really have the same zing, does it?
Look, I'm not saying that social justice activism is above reproach. There's plenty to criticize: call-out culture is real and often goes too far, some claims to victimhood are made in bad faith, and real people - innocent people - can get caught in the crossfire.
But on the specific charge that SJWs are hurting their own cause, that they're triggering a backlash, that it's all just a strategic dead end -- well, the overwhelming weight of evidence suggests that this take is spectacularly, hilariously wrong.
Not that I expect anybody to listen. Slamming college students and the Extremely Online Left is just too damn fun. So expect more of the same in 2019.

Happy New Year!
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