LeBron James and the narrow tribalism of “social justice”

Take the Women’s March, a series of street protests against Donald Trump that was started predominantly by middle-class white women, and then disintegrated when its organizers decided that actually white women were part of the problem. The movement sought out “women of color” to be its figureheads—only to discover that these new leaders had a history of supporting anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist Louis Farrakhan.

That’s the tribalist style of today’s “social justice” movement. They cannot make common cause among all women because they are too focused on the grievances that one particular group of women has against another. So what started out as a “women’s march” ended with bitter infighting between white women, “women of color,” and Jews.

Or consider the Democratic candidates’ recent LGBTQ Forum, where a question to Pete Buttigieg was interrupted by demonstrators who thought that letting a gay man ask questions was an insult to the transgendered. And then a transgender child was interrupted because letting a transgender child ask questions was an insult to black transwomen. How can you have an LGBTQ movement, when the L, the G, the B, the T, and the Q are so busy venting their resentment at each other?

These conflicts aren’t mere excesses of the overenthusiastic. They flow from the fundamental logic of these movements.