MLK and Injustice Today

December 15, 2011

Political Theory


Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Injustice can only be brought forward by those injustice it’s occurring to. The oppressed have to come together and prove that the law doesn’t treat them equally. History has taught us that this is a long process; The African-American Civil Rights Movement lasted for over a decade (officially — although the African-American struggle lasted over a century). 

However, we live in a different society today. Protest movements are buffered by improved communication. We have access to instant communication — something that protesters in the past, such as Martin Luther King, Jr. did not. The power of protest is being recognized more than ever — Time’s 2011 Person of the Year is none other than the Protester.

Yet, our law-makers are still slow to respond. While they are entitled to their own opinions, they should be responding to fact. The gap in the distribution of wealth isn’t a matter of opinion — it’s backed up by hard numbers. The hardships suffered by the LGBTQ community isn’t a matter of opinion — it’s backed up when we see statistics such as LGBTQ teenagers are six times more likely to commit suicide than their heterosexual peers. 

So why are our law-makers slow to respond to blatant injustice? Is injustice such a threat to justice then? 

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2 Comments on “MLK and Injustice Today”

  1. ryanjcarney Says:

    Because there really isn’t much pressure on those lawmakers from the people who want to see the change – there’s little threat of them losing their seats on government and their funds come, for the most part, from lobbyist and special interests (whether is be defense contracts, the NRA, pharmaceuticals or whatever). What’s their incentive to work for the people and deal with “injustice” when others pay their bills and there is hardly any threat to their power?

    Until the people start applying that real pressure and money is taken out of our politics (yeah that’s wishful thinking, I know) stuff isn’t going to change.

  2. keroboim Says:

    It takes a long time for things perceived to be more important to work its way through the political system as it is. Additionally, if most people can’t clearly see the effects injustice can have, it will not become a big enough problem and prompt government action. In the eyes of lawmakers, there may be a few reasons they are slow to act or don’t even address the problems at all. First, I believe lawmakers are very concerned about their perception to their fellow lawmakers. They don’t want to be seen as the one who is in support of things that go against tradition or the norm. Secondly, I don’t think representatives from groups who are not being treating equally have a strong presence in Washington. As such, their problems and potential solutions are not at the front of lawmakers minds. Third, representatives from these groups may not have the capabilities or resources to lobby the way big businesses lobby when they want laws changed/enacted.

    According to the difference principle, social and economic inequalities are to be to the greatest benefit of the least advantaged members of society. Social inequalities present today do not benefit the least advantaged members of society; in some cases, they may do a lot more harm. In order for change to happen, individuals need to organize and revolt. When this is done, lawmakers will not have a choice but to address the problems at the very least.

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