5 Social Evils That Need Immediate Attention by Daphne Holmes

Freedom for self-determination is an essential feature of productive, equitable societies in which all members share the right to pursue and realize their goals and dreams.  In practice, however, society places limitations on certain segments of the population, standing in the way of self-actualization.  Some interference is inadvertent, resulting from domino effects and other unanticipated consequences, but other prohibitions are built-in to the fabric of society.

Negative social influences initiate from a wide variety of sources, so there is no cookie-cutter approach available for curing society’s ills.  But recognizing the collective problems we face is imperative, nonetheless, lest we allow regressive trends to roll-on unchecked. Identifying social injustice relies on several metrics, including the ability for all members of society to enjoy the fundamental features of productive, secure lifestyles essential to personal stability.

The scope of social inadequacy straddles various segments of our existence, so a multi-pronged approach is needed to address the inequity present in many social circumstances.  There are, however, widely recognized social evils requiring immediate attention. These negative influences stand in the way of progress for some members of society.

Discrimination – Civil rights guaranteed by law are less than a half-century old, in many cases.  While we have made great strides promoting equality, there is still discriminatory behavior unfolding in every segment of society.  Employment practices, while regulated by laws requiring equality, are not always as progressive as they should be, limiting opportunities for some workers.  Despite legal protections in place prohibiting discrimination based on race, creed, color, national origin, age and gender; hiring decisions are still colored by personal prejudices and regressive thinking. Other social interactions also reflect divergent viewpoints about equality, some of which undermine certain social groups’ ability to excel.

Corruption – Ethics and morality contribute to the complexion of society, which is most robust with opportunity when corruption is curbed.  Government and private sector organizations are subject to some of the same vulnerabilities when self-interested officials and employees put personal gain ahead of collective interests.  Corruption’s toll on social justice is hard to measure, but it is clear that it impacts suppressed social groups disproportionately. As members of society ill-equipped to absorb it bear the brunt of corruption’s impacts, citizens of means sidestep its negative effects.

Gun Violence – The impact of gun violence on communities includes diminished mobility for residents caught-up in criminal culture.  Lives extinguished prematurely by gun violence drain society too, by undermining growth and progress within violent cities and neighborhoods. Thousands are killed by gun homicides annually, accounting for a significant obstacle to social justice.  And since many victims are young, the number of human years lost to gun violence eclipses disease and other causes of death, in terms of its actual cost to society.

Uneven Distribution of Wealth and Resources – As members of challenged economic classes strive to pull themselves out of negative social cycles; they often face limited opportunities for advancement. In part, the educational stratification of society places rigid limits on mobility; especially for those rising up from near the bottom of the social hierarchy.  But the division of wealth also continues to create divides between the poorest and wealthiest members of society, supporting a self-perpetuating system of inequality.

Unemployment – Productivity influences every segment of social progress.  The more people we are able to put to work, the more consistently we can provide services and oversight essential to equitable societies.  When unemployment is high, on the other hand, social justice suffers as citizens have less economic freedom and mobility.

We collectively miss the mark at times, creating social inequity requiring attention.  Equality and access to opportunity are essential features of successful societies, so consistently supporting members’ commitment to self-improvement leads to sweeping benefits.  And prioritizing our approach, to direct resources to the proper channels, shows the most immediate results resolving major social shortcomings.


Daphne Holmes contributed this guest post. She is a writer from arrestrecords.com and you can reach her at daphneholmes9@gmail.com.


If you are interested in contributing 800 – 1300 words to the ACPA Commision for social Justice Educators  blog please contact the co- coordinators at vguerrero@allegheny.edu or dboneta@nyu.edu

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