Just a Thought: Injustice should not lead to more injustice


We live in divisive times. Everyone has an opinion. We have freedom of speech. Mix these three together and making it through a day without getting angry at another or being attacked for what you believe in can be quite difficult. It’s tempting to just stay in bed all day.

Social injustice has existed from the beginning of mankind. It will continue to the end of mankind. It also exists in the animal kingdom. Pick any country that has ever existed and you’ll find that there are groups who are treated differently because of their background or the way they look.

Social injustice is unacceptable. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” I agree. We need to seek to end social injustice, knowing that it is impossible to do so.

Humans will always be humans. Whether we admit it or not, each of us has within us racial and discrimination issues. If we can’t get it right, how can we expect others to do so? Nevertheless, we should never give up in seeking to correct wrongs occurring around us.

Life is not fair. We need to begin with acknowledging this concept. Being born in Nigeria I didn’t choose to be born white in a black country. I didn’t choose to be raised in a middle income family where my father worked hard outside the home and my mother stayed home to parent her four children. I didn’t choose to be raised by a family with deep religious convictions. But today I appreciate each of these elements of my history.

With all this and more being said about the journey I’ve traveled, I’m not going to apologize to anyone who believes I’m “white privileged.” I’m not going to feel guilty for the hand I’ve been dealt and how I’ve chosen to play it.

I recognize I had a huge head start at the starting line ahead of a black baby born in the ghetto without a father. I sympathize for this poor child, but I don’t deserve to be attacked because I was born with the color of my skin into the family God chose for me.

It’s wrong when the ghetto born black child is not offered the same opportunities to that of a white child born to a middle class family. It’s wrong when a white student scores 100 on an admissions test and is not admitted to the college he has been dying to get into because another student with a different skin color scores 80 and is accepted ahead of him. Social injustices exist all around us.

I recognize we live in a country with racial problems. There is no simple solution. Awareness and time can work together to improve the problem, but even after generations of doing this, some form of the problem will still be there. This doesn’t mean we don’t continue to work on correcting injustices.

The recent killing of a black man by a white police officer was wrong. There needs to be consequences to the officer for his poor judgment. He needs to be held accountable. That is the American way. We have a legal system in place to issue sanctions when people make poor choices that cause damage another. As a lawyer I make a living off of seeking justice in cases where people have been wronged.

Black lives matter. They matter when a black man is wrongfully killed. They matter when a black man commits a violent crime against another black man. They matter when they are aborted from the womb of a mother. They matter when they own a business that is destroyed beginning when a brick is thrown through their front window in a mob setting.

Where is social justice to the elderly black man who lost everything his has worked decades for because of a group of rioters decide to take away his livelihood by looting and burning his store? It really doesn’t matter the color of the skin of those who damaged him, his family’s life has been forever changed. Then ask the question who is he to call to protect his business investment if all police officers hate black men?

Although injustices occur by law enforcement officers, justice also occurs because of them.

I know many police officers. They’re good people. I feel secure knowing if someone threatens my family’s well being, I can call law enforcement and they will respond quickly to protect me.

It is unfair to stereotype police officers as killers of black men just as it is unfair to stereotype black men as criminals. Most police officers are good people. Most black men are good people.

We need police officers to maintain order in our society. The legal system is designed to bring justice in its courtrooms. In the criminal arena justice typically begins with a law enforcement officer. How do you bring justice to a mass shooter if a man or woman in blue doesn’t stop the shooting and then arrest him?

To say that the elderly black business owner deserved to have his business ruined because a police officer killed a black man is a stretch I can’t make.

Injustice should never lead to more injustice.

Two of my greatest heroes were black men, Jackie Robinson and Martin Luther King, Jr. Both of these men sacrificed their lives to bring about change and to cure social injustice to blacks. They both walked through hell and back on a daily basis. I have studied both of these men’s lives and I get emotional just thinking about the consequences they endured to bring about change. Neither of these men saw violence as a solution to the problem.

Violence typically takes one form of social injustice and turns it into another form of injustice. It becomes a “pay it forward” concept, but not for the betterment of another. Basically, someone says I am hurt so I can justify hurting another...because hurting people hurt people.

We have the right in this country to assemble in masses and to collectively make a statement. That is what Dr. King did with his march on Washington on August 28, 1963 when a quarter of a million individuals of all colors gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial and Dr. King shared that he had a dream.

Change is slow. It begins with action. America has come a long way since abolishing slavery. America has a long way still to go. We need to focus on social injustices, and there are many of them. In doing so we need to assemble in numbers, speak out, and be heard.

We don’t need to be destroying the property or the lives of others. Dr. King said, “Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”

My challenge to you today is to determine a social injustice that is important to you. It may be racial or it could be homeless, abortions, or human trafficking. But choose to help those who are unable to help themselves. Donate money to the cause. Donate your time. But don’t turn one form of injustice into another by hurting innocent bystanders in the process.

Ultimately you will not solve the social injustice you choose in the days you have, but you can surely make an impact on lives of those oppressed today and make this world a better place for those who follow you when you pass the torch on to others.

Just a thought...

Rick Kraft is a motivational speaker, a syndicated columnist, a published author, and an attorney. To submit comments, contributions, or ideas, e-mail to rkraft@kraftlawfirm.org or write to P.O. Box 850, Roswell, New Mexico, 88202 - 0850.


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