Blog 2...What is Justice?

| No Comments

Justice is intangible. It may not always be easily recognized, nor does it have one worldwide definition. I like to think of it as a road or a path: It may be paved instead of dirt if someone is white, it may be windy as opposed to straight if someone is gay. It may be filled with hills instead of flat land if you are a woman and not a man.Unfortunately, this road begins from the day we are born.
The concept of justice has been a topic that we have experimented with as children, which is when I think the journey of oppression, white supremacy, and domination also begins. Children bully, exclude, and "other" their peers. The problem is that if they practice these habits at a young age, it is likely their path of justice will remain relatively static through the course of their lifetime. A white child may grow up hating black people because one of their classmates of color budged in the lunch line. In these situations, nobody wins. They key is finding commonalities in each other, things that make us more similar than different. If children learn how to do this early on, how to accept differences as opposed to enforcing them, there will be plenty of time to change the course of their path
As of right now, I consider my own personal road to be paved, but full of small hills and potholes. It is paved because I feel as thought I have not experienced injustice on the same scale that others have. I am white, heterosexual, physically able, of the middle class, and non-religious. I have never been picked on in school because of my race, and no one has openly excluded or insulted me because of my heterosexuality. In other words, I have not experienced oppression in more ways than one. The one factor of oppression that I feel like I have experienced is gender oppression, because I am female and have not always felt like I am treated the same way males are. I can either choose to hate all males because of their unearned entitlements, or I can fight the standard and change the course of my own path.
Sometimes there will be a point in life where a road can be dramatically changed, such as when a previously heterosexual boy begins to realize that he has romantic feelings toward members of the same sex. To understand what justice is, we can compare each individual's path that was formed at birth. At first, this comparison might not appear to solve any problems by pointing out what those differences are. But if we point out what causes different people to be oppressed, we are acknowledging that it exists. Like we talked about in class, acknowledging oppression is the first step in overcoming it. If this is the case, if each of our paths are not static and unchanging throughout our lifetime, who's to say that one day we can't all be traveling on the same path? To achieve this, we must find things that we have in common with those we used to consider "different" from ourselves. If this happens, our small individual paths will gradually start connecting to form fewer individual ones. The goal of looking at justice this way is to eventually be rid of all forms of bullying and "othering". Kids are an open book in their early years of school, and we must teach them early on that everyone has something in common. No matter if the differences can be seen on the surface or not, we are all alike and we all need to work to acknowledge oppression and fight it so that one day we may all be traveling on the same path together.

Recent Entries

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.