Justice..What is it?

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"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic to which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." What exactly does it mean when we claim to live in a land that provides justice for all? How can justice be defined in anything but a broad manner which leaves room for much interpretation, and thus sometimes tragic conflicts? Growing up in a fairly wealthy neighborhood that is predominantly white has made justice a vague faraway concept that is difficult to define. I have never really had to define justice, but after just a couple weeks of this class, I have really thought about what that word means. To me, it refers to the idea that each and every human being on this planet is entitled to live a life free of discrimination, hatred, and fear of unjust crimes, and should that be violated, there will be consequences. While it is a working definition that makes sense to me, I realize that "consequences" is rather vague. Honestly, I do not have a good idea for what adequate consequences would be because I think there is a fine line between punishment and revenge. While it is not fair to leave that decision up to someone else, I also think that throughout the entire world, justice is a progressing idea that is constantly developing and changing, so pinpointing an exact definition is nearly impossible.

This video is a compilation of what different people from different walks of life and what they understand justice to be.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKQPD_FvZYE

As mentioned above, people interpret justice very differently, which is often a result of race, gender, and class privilege. I know for me, coming from a privileged family and being a white middle class female played a role in forming my understanding of what " justice" really means in our current world. Each person comes from a unique background that fosters certain specific biases that then shape his or her outlook on life. Because of the area in which I was raised, I faced very little racial hardship and lived a relatively privileged life for which I am very thankful. It did make the idea of justice seem very far removed from my life though. Knowing that I have been fortunate enough to live a good life, especially after the articles we read in class reinforced that message greatly, has helped me step back and really think about what it means to live in a just world and whether or not we actually do. Unfortunately, we live in a world that will never allow each of those factors to be completely absent when determining what justice is. They will always be there, lurking in the backs of our minds, dictating our decisions and thought processes.

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This page contains a single entry by mcco0521 published on September 22, 2011 12:13 AM.

Social Justice was the previous entry in this blog.

What Is Justice?? is the next entry in this blog.

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