Valuing Justice over Fear

Murphy, Elvage G.
January 2010
NAAAS & Affiliates Conference Monographs;2010, p1480
Conference Proceeding
Throughout the history of the United States, African Americans have and continue to demand justice to address longstanding and illegal discriminatory policies, institutional racism, and the extreme indifference, bias, and intolerance exhibited by law enforcement. The meaning of justice varies from one person to another. Its definition is as widespread as the disagreements about the most effective means to assure people who are most in need are not deprived of it. Traditionally, justice has been a highly valued and glorified concept. It is deeply rooted in the diverse religious and spiritual history and traditions of the African American community. However, as a result of increased fear, indifference and self-interest, the pursuit of justice has been diminished in value and compromised. To most people, justice is viewed as a tangible asset to be bought and sold like shares on the stock exchange, or screamed for when someone is incarcerated for a crime they committed, or when we don't like the sentence imposed by a judge. Justice should be premised on the belief in accountability, righteousness, and conformity to the truth. Individually, and collectively, we have given up on and abandoned these precious principles. This presentation is a discussion about what perspective, attributes, principles and values the African American community must reassert, exemplify and demand from one another before the true fruit of justice is realized. Those values are: personal responsibility; faithfulness and commitment; accountability; and honoring our identity, legacy, and history.


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