It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

page: 1

log in


posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 11:21 AM
The first thing that really struck me in Dr. King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail was of course the iconic phrase “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” At its core I believe this statement to be true. I’ve often come back back to these words when thinking about my country’s role in world affairs.

For example, there are countries whose regimes are oppressive towards women, in some cases downright misogynistic. I believe men and women are equal halves of the same whole, and should be respected as such. I believe, in the very fiber of my being, that the oppression of women because of religious or cultural ideals is a grave injustice.

Having said that, I’m left to wonder when one group of people is justified in imposing their will on another group. Even in cases where great injustices are being committed, is one view of justice to be held in higher esteem than another? When so many different people have such varying ideas of what justice is, who’s to decide which view is the truth?

So the question remains: if justice is indeed being threatened, whose idea of justice is it? Dr. King’s title of Reverend shows clearly where his ideals come from. While I don’t subscribe to his religion or any other for that matter, my idea of justice is very similar to that of Dr. King.

In other parts of the world you may find a view of justice that says women are subservient to men and thieves ought to have their hands cut off. A world governed in such a way would indeed be a utopia to some, but to others it would be an anathema. So what does Dr. King mean when he says justice? He’s a man who saw a problem in the world and strove passionately to fix it. Do we as a nation have that same obligation to step into other sovereign nations and impose our ideas of justice on them?

Somehow while I wasn’t looking we became the most heavily armed, most heavily incarcerated, chronically unhealthy nation in the world. The “land of the free and home of the brave” has more people in prison than any other country, and is losing more service members to suicide than to all of our five current wars combined. So where do we get the moral authority to enforce our justice on anyone else?

I'm not really asking the question. I know we don't have the authority. But what are the options when injustice is encountered? Either work to stop it, or let it continue right? But can we say "Hey that's an injustice what you're doing there! You need to stop that!" even if that's their ingrained way of life?

MLK knew that the disenfranchisement of balcks was/is an injustice. He got into the faces of whites and imposed his will on them, wanting to change something that had been a certain way for 200 years. Of course he was justified in doing so, we know that. So why do I have moral misgivings about going into other countries and telling them how to change their lives? I personally don't want to interfere in the affairs of other countries, just as I don't want outsiders trying to change my ideals.

But injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere right?

posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 11:51 AM
Good OP.

It seems that the common element found in justice and injustice, whether it seems wrong or not, is subscribing to a certain ideal and maintaining that it is an ideal for everyone.

It is the forcing of ideals on others where it becomes injustice. MLK wasn't pushing an ideal, but withstanding and fighting against the ideals that had distorted the truth so much, that it considered humans unequal due to something so superficial as the color of their skin.

Injustice is the enforcement of ideals on others. Justice is the fight against those unjust ideals.

In my opinion.


posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 11:59 AM
reply to post by ZeroReady

Why dont you talk about specific things you disagree with?

The world needs police. I plan on stopping anyone who wants to pour battery acid on the faces of a little girls for the crime of learning to read.

If you dont... then get off my planet.


log in