Activism. It works.


Per this morning’s Supreme Court ruling, same sex couples can be married in all fifty states in the US. It’s a great victory for justice and equal treatment under the law, and it was accomplished through the hard work of activists all over the country.

But I want to disagree with this quote by Theodore Parker:

We cannot understand the moral Universe. The arc is a long one, and our eyes reach but a little way; we cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; but we can divine it by conscience, and we surely know that it bends toward justice.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. offered this punchier version:

The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.

I think that’s wrong. There is no moral universe, and there’s no reason that human beings will continue to accept more human beings into their in-groups, granting them rights and laws. We know that’s the just thing, but the passive construction of that cliche disguises the fact that justice comes about because people fight for it.

Activists fought to have the Confederate flag taken down from government buildings, and that’s beginning to happen. Activists fought to legalize same sex marriage, and they have succeeded. They have a won a hard-fought victory. Congratulations, and good luck in the next fight.