The Return of Real Social Justice

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The great Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Without justice, there can be no peace. He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps perpetrate it.” As I look at the prevalent issues surrounding the world and within my home nation; this quote rings an all too familiar bell.

Justice; a noun which should describe one’s empathy and actions towards another has become another fragment of our imaginations. It has turned into an idea; something with the potential to come to fruition but continuously remains hidden in the shows awaiting for a special individual, horrific event or legislation to bring it to life again. With the endless amounts of violence/discrimination that is going on within the world such as the innocent killings of black men by police in the United States or the unsolved murders of missing Aboriginal women within Canada’s western provinces, many people have been screaming out for Lady Justice herself, demanding her, seeing her as the very solution to all of life’s problems.

But I ask, Is it? Can the notion of justice prevent poverty? Can the governing principles of justice prevent inequality, racism, sexism, homophobia etc?

Today, justice has become nothing more but a repetitive word; a trend, one might say, that is used in the unfortunate situation by people who may not truly comprehend the depth of its meaning or what justice entails in order to be successfully implemented. Some may even go as far to claim that justice has lost its unique power and poise it once possessed, rendering it useless.

If you think about it, the concept of justice has not become something we seek but yet fail to follow through with. Have we as a nation become so desensitized to all the horrid forms of injustices in the world that the idea of living in a society where equitableness and moral righteousness prevail seem like a fantasy and therefore unattainable?

This question may seem difficult to answer to some at first, however, although real justice doesn’t seem attainable at the moment; it is definitely something that is reachable and can exist. Justice is one of the many things that bind people together. It compels us to act and also prohibits us from acting in selfish ways with the promise of it being enforced.

So, how do we as a society attain real social justice? How do we display similar attributes that existed when Rosa Parks and the civil rights movements successfully exercised justice with the boycott of the bus system?  I believe, justice is practiced. We implement it every day with the choices we make. We live it in how we treat our neighbors, our friends, and our family.

Each and every one of us possesses such unique qualities that allow us to express our individuality with each other and the rest of the world. It is this aspect that contributes to our diverse society. Nevertheless, as unique and diverse we are as a nation; justice is truly effective when it is practiced not only for self; but for everyone else.


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