Social injustice is a claimed unfairness in a society, and it has divisions of rewards and burdens and also inequalities that are incidental based on humanity worldview. It involves considering the advantages and the disadvantages a group in a society has been subjected to making them unequal. It also means repressing other people’s abilities so as to be fruitful in a society that is not yours. The current debates on social injustices are racism, poverty and also discrimination and oppression. Those who practice such forms of social injustice aim at taking the opportunity of the situation to benefit themselves. Opportunism is a form of social injustice that aims at achieving a solution of one while creating a problem for another (Pogge & Thomas, 30).
The Theory of Opportunism
According to Biran & Shraga 2011, opportunism is the practice and a conscious policy of taking selfish advantage of the situations without taking regard of their consequences that will happen to others. Self-driven and selfish motives always guide opportunism. It can also be capitalizing and utilizing the mistakes of others in order to create opportunities for oneself. This theory of opportunism has happened for centuries in order for societies to thrive and survive. Although it can be useful and advantageous to one side, another side is not benefitting at all and is being intimidated knowingly or unknowingly
Social injustice has shaped many societies since memorial to become what they are today. The very traditional old beliefs’ concerning a certain group of people is still in existence in our current generation. The same knowledge has been handed over to the next generations and hence shaped a society into what it is today. These have made it difficult to come out of their situation for they do not see any way of possible for them to change. These people however much they try to fight back, they take a very long period to remove such dogma from those who negatively belief about them. For example, the whites had made the opportunities they had when they acted masters of slaves to press on the African Americans hindering their progress (Biran & Shraga, 23).
Opportunism has led to unending injustices from one generation to another has inflicted populations into pressures. It has also closed their doors of opportunities and hence creating a society based on poverty and all sorts of problems and injustices. Those who manage to cross the other side pass across a rugged path to success and most of them tend to lose hope while about to achieve their dream. All forms of injustices exist due to differences in races, gender and social class, knowledge power and also the capital. These causes of crimes are discussed below on how they spearhead poverty to certain population on this earth (Geertz & Clifford, 44).
Race is a social concept that is used by humans to differentiate them giving out large populations. It also includes groups either by cultural, anatomical, historical, geographical, linguistic, genetic, ethnic, social and or religious affiliation. Difference in races has led to intimidation of populations by others who term themselves as superior and think they should treat themselves in a special way. They term another group as unworthy and inferior to them and subject them to pressures so that they can retain their position. People always view race as one’s skin color and hair texture. The greatest world racial distinction is that of between blacks and whites. The whites have always viewed them as superior and inflicting the blacks to pressures such that they cannot get themselves out of their position. The habit began since the two races started to interact with one another from the period of slavery. They also interacted during colonization to the present time of poverty and injustice against them all over the world (Geertz & Clifford, 27).
The lives of the today’s African Americans have been a greatly shaped by the despicable era of slavery. The era racial terror continued end of reconstruction to the period of the Second World War and then Jim Crow Crew’s era came. And later racial apartheid that led to civil rights movement and now the today’s era of mass incarceration. People have celebrated the achievements of the blacks and their triumph over these vices. They have not been able to look at the present undisputable yet painful reality of racial inequality and also subordination. Although the blacks have achieved a lot and conquered all the obstacles ahead of them, there are a significant unrecognized number of them who have yet made it. They have been subjected to poverty by the present society hence causing racial tension in America and around the world. A deeper understanding concerning the whites and blacks history can help us in a greater sense to achieve reconciliation and truth so as to overcome historical injustices (Gates & Henry, 55).
According to Gates & Henry (19), prejudice in race happens in the case of American blacks versus the American whites. The American blacks have been subjected to an unjust rule by the US authorities and the police. The whites are using their success during the era of slavery to safeguard their dominance by criminalizing young African Americans. Criminalizing people prevents them from getting proper official jobs and also become unable to exercise one's rights to vote. Many African-Americans are prone to be judged for a criminal offense and end up in jail. This misuse of an opportunity to suppress the success of a group of people can make them become what they are not. Due to a series of police killings of the blacks by the police has led to the eruption of widespread protests across USA. A good example is that of a teen boy who was killed by a white police in Ferguson town.
Gender injustice is another form of opportunism that has led to poverty on the female gender all over the world. Women do not get opportunities to help so as raise their living standards because the society is male dominated. Men have used the opportunity of male dominated religions and cultures to hinder the progress of women. Traditionally, most organizations have been male dominated, and men have used this idea and belief as an opportunity to suppress women slowly for centuries. Statistics shows that more than seventy percent of women live in the category of those people who do not earn more than a dollar per day. Political and economic situations are hard in these discriminating nations and also social progress at a standstill where women are more discriminated. Also, women can work two-thirds working hours and can produce half of the world’s food. It indicates that women can play a crucial role in the development of the country and has not been utilized well (Pogge & Thomas, 20).
Gender equality does not necessarily mean equal opportunities. Women should be given equal opportunities to improve their lives and nation as a whole. The report that was done in 2007 shows that the closure of the gap between men and women in United States of America could raise the nation’s GDP by 9%. In japan, the GDP would increase by 16% while in Europe will increase by 13%. Women utilize these statistics well and use them as an opportunity to work hard and make their lives better. Such a great opportunity will elevate women, and poverty will decrease hence bettering the lives of many people (Pogge & Thomas, 42)
Variance in social class has contributed to a lot of injustices and poverty since we can remember. Societies have been living in terms of social class for a long time, and this has not changed at all. The upper social classes dictate on the lower social classes and controls what they should earn. They also control who to move from one social level to the next. Traditionally in many societies, the slaves were not elevated to any other level no matter their struggle. The statistics show that, one in every three male children born in the year 2001 goes to prison. And also many African-Americans are likely to get incarcerated as compared to their fellow white men. For failure to create reforms, there will be about forty percent of Alabama’s African-Americans might be completely disenfranchised as a result of a criminal conviction. This disenfranchisement has made people remain weak due to lack of jobs as one cannot be employed formally when holding a criminal record (Biddle & Bruce, 21).
There has been discriminatory racial sentencing, policies and even tactics that have aimed at targeting mass population of the same color imprisonment. Also, these communities are not well represented in a court ruling system hence leading to unfair judgments on the weak. A good example is that of the Ferguson shooting whereby a white officer killed an unarmed young teen and won the case in court. Misuse of the judicial system by a larger society to intimidate another is the show of how deep-rooted discrimination is in any that the corporation. Although the community is not well represented, the government should protect its people and mainly the minority groups. An approach that can aim at achieving equal rights for the people can solve this problem.
Opportunism also exists in the event of power, knowledge, and capital. The poor do not get opportunities to pursue their success. Taking the case of the recent Texas Voter ID Law has closed many doors for the poor and the immigrants in USA. The law has a lot of requirements that are not favoring a large number of eligible voters. As revealed, once one of the requirements in absent, you will not be allowed to vote. As shown, those who are not that much literate are not able to know what the law requires. Much of these requirements need use of internet for registration of the voter, and those who are not computer literate like the native Indians cannot register (Biddle & Bruce, 81).
In conclusion, opportunism has led to high levels of poverty and subjection of social injustices to the vulnerable. Social injustice is the claimed unfairness that rewards some and burdens others. The Texas Voter ID Law has closed many eligible voters outside for it is discriminatory, and its requirements are many. Also, opportunism has shaped lives of many societies and has affected them to this day. In addition, racial injustices and gender crimes have led to poverty among the affected populations. The society should remedy this disease of opportunism to end poverty not only in America but also in the world.