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Saturday, May 06, 2017

What Should We Do in the Face of Injustice

When injustice occurs, what should we do?

First, it's important to define the injustice? What happened or is happening and why is it an injustice?

  • Is this clearly an injustice? How do we know? How do we define injustice?
  • Did someone knowingly break a law or rule? Or did the injustice occur due to ignorance, lack of support, or unawareness?
  • Did the injustice persist because some did not speak up, point out, or work towards positive change?
Once the injustice is defined, then it is time to act.
  • First acknowledge the injustice. "Injustice ___ occurred which created ______."
  • Next lay out the steps to remedy the injustice.
  • Change protocol and policy so the injustice does not occur again.
Injustices big and small occur in our lives. Mostly good people may fall into injustice due to ignorance, weakness or lack of awareness. That is not to excuse the injustice, but to say that education and support are ways to remedy that kind of injustice. Then there are some that continue injustice even when they know it is occurring--that's a more grave type of injustice.

We can help children in this regard by forwarding a conversation of what is just and unjust from early ages with questions such as :
  • Is this fair? Why or why not? 
  • How can we make the situation more fair?
Children are typically fair minded.

Overt injustice is easy to spot and rectify, but subtle injustice is more difficult to perceive, and that's why collaboration, reflection, and study related to injustice helps us to notice and then act.

In my own sphere, I am mostly aware of more overt injustices at this point, injustices related to equal access to health care, shelter, a fair wage, jobs, quality education, voice, and choice. These are big injustices that we all have to be mindful of and work to end. For example, is it true that the health care bill proposed by Trump and his colleagues is one that will lessen justice and fair health care for all Americans? If this is true which it seems to be, then we have to find good ways to speak up and act for fair and just health care for all. We are now at an age in history where health care can be considered a basic right, and our challenge is to find ways to give that right to every citizen.

With regard to education, one simple, but profound injustice, is the lack of equity with regard to technology. There are still schools today where students do not have ready access to technology--this is an injustice as this lack of access hinders those students' success. I suspect that if you study which students have access and which do not, you will notice a class/race divide which is unjust.

As good people, we need to look and listen carefully when injustice occurs, and work to make events and opportunities just and fair. 

How do you react to injustice you face? What suggestions do you have for this post?