Don’t Be an Asshat — Rule 70: Confront injustice

Below is a chapter from Rule #2: Don’t Be an Asshat: An Official Handbook for Raising Parents and Children. Over time we will be posting most of the book, though, should this inspire you to buy a copy, we would not be offended 🙂 Posted chapters can be found in the Table of Contents.

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Rule #70: Confront injustice (Dad)

We know you have seen it. You have experienced it. You may have participated in it. In school, on the street, and in your family, you have seen people being treated unjustly. In the face of our world’s injustices, we must each decide what to do.

Our hope is that you will do something.

Showing up in words, actions, and attitudes, you will face injustice throughout your life. When you encounter racism, sexism, ableism, or the myriad of other ways that people suck, we hope you will do something. It will be tempting to give in to apathy or the belief that you are just one person, unable to make a difference. I get that, but please remember that it is through many people consistently stepping up and out against injustice that real and sustained change can happen.

Exactly how you choose to do this will vary depending on the situation. Sometimes you will be asked to respond with immediacy, placing your body in the place to confront whatever injustice is taking place. At other times you will be challenged to act in order to dismantle institutional and structural oppression. Whatever tactics you choose to fight injustice, there will always be people who would prefer that you stop rocking the boat; do not listen to them—rock away.

Only you will know the whats, whens, and hows of reacting to injustice. Trust yourself, be wise, trust those you respect to guide you, and always err on the side of justice.

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