In today’s spotlight I want to turn to injustices. Webster defines injustice this way, “lack of fairness or justice; an unjust act or occurrence; the quality or fact of being unjust; inequity; violation of the rights of others; unjust or unfair action or treatment; an unjust or unfair act; wrong.”
How do we correct an injustice? Jason Van Dyke was sentenced to nearly 7 years for murdering Laquan McDonald. Mr. Van Dyke was the first Chicago police officer in decades convicted of murder for an on-duty shooting. He shot Laquan 16 times in 2014. Is less than seven years imprisonment for murder really justice?
Rodney King was awarded $3.8 million in damages in compensation for his beating by police officers in 1991. LA erupted in angry riots over the King beating and subsequent acquittal of four of the officers involved. Did the money make things right? Did the riots settle some score? Again, how do you compensate someone for a true injustice?
Gustavo Perez Arriaga shot and killed Ronil Singh, a 33-year-old officer with the Newman Police Department, early on Dec. 26, 2018. Arriaga, a 32-year-old undocumented immigrant, was charged with homicide and seven of his friends who hid him were also arrested. The county sheriff blames California’s sanctuary laws for the shooting. Officer Singh left behind a wife and young son. How is justice to be served in this situation?
Injustices occur everyday and not just in the areas of criminal justice. How do we correct them, or do we? Some argue that many injustices are not possible to correct in this world and this is why the afterlife is so important. But what if you don’t believe in an afterlife? Is injustice just a part and parcel of life—the best you can hope for is that you’re not personally affected.
This past weekend I watched the Saints/Rams game. By now everyone must know about the non-call that cost the Saints the game in all probability. Everyone knows that the failure to call a flagrant pass interference and personal foul (helmet to helmet hit) made it possible for the Rams to get the ball back and kick a field goal in overtime. Every football pro out there has the odds that the Saints would have won the game, had the call been made, at 98 to 99.9% because of where the foul occurred on the field. There are now at least two class action suits that have been filed against the NFL and the referees directly involved. So, how do you set this right?
Now think of the Rams’ players, and imagine you were a boxer in a fixed fight. You win but discover the fight was fixed. Not your fault, but doesn’t this fact contaminate your victory? The win is tarnished in the fog of controversy. How do you set that right?
Injustice is a frustrating aspect of our lives unfortunately. It would be nice if it were different. We can all work to improve matters for everyone, and we should make our voices heard when we become aware of injustice. If we collectively ignore this responsibility, the next time we may well be on the receiving end of injustice, and there will be no voices there to make our case.
My thoughts anyway, what are yours?
As always, thanks for the read and I appreciate your feedback.