Posted BY: Sloan Oliver

In his Letter from Birmingham jail, Martin Luther King Jr. wrote “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”  The corollary is, “an injustice to one is an injustice to all”; meaning that society is interconnected such that if one person is wronged, all of us are wronged.  Gotta wonder what MLK Jr. would say today about American justice given President Trump and half the country are facing injustices – everywhere.

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Justice should be blind.  Lady Justice is shown holding a scale and wearing a blindfold to represent the impartiality of the law; that regardless of one’s position in life, the scales of justice will be weighed and applied equally to everyone; that the law is objective, giving no preference based on gender, race, or creed.  Sure, mistakes are made (after all, we’re human) but the American justice system is the best, most fair, in the world.  That’s what we’ve always been told.  And until recently, I believed that as well.  I was firmly convinced that the publicized cases of injustice were anomalies that rarely occurred. 

Blacks have long disagreed, insisting that justice was administered differently to Blacks than to Whites.  For over a century, Blacks were correct.  Look no further than the countless prosecutions of Blacks on trumped-up charges such as “whistling at a white girl.”  Blacks would frequently be found “guilty” of a crime by an all-white jury, despite the defendant’s rock-solid alibi and zero evidence against him.  Just as egregious were the many times that Whites, who committed crimes against Blacks, were seldom charged; or if they were charged, found “not guilty” despite overwhelming evidence of guilt.  That unequal justice helps explain why many Blacks shouted for joy when O.J. Simpson was found “not guilty” of murder (in 1995) despite overwhelming evidence that he killed his ex-wife and her friend.  Those shouts were because a black man had beaten The Man.

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