Confronting Injustice LO6689

Sherry L. Gould (
Sun, 14 Apr 1996 20:47:15 -0400

Replying to L06676 where Rol says:

> My thinking has been precipitated by reading about Martin Luther
>King and wondering why he did what he did. Then it was a short step to
>wondering why others do not do likewise. Myself included.

Martin Luther Kings' life was dedicated passionately to what he believed.
He believed he needed to use forceful strategies to force a resistant
society to address the injustice he saw and abhorred. And he paid the
price that path extracts. The same price Jesus Christ paid for
confronting injustice boldly.

>My answer is that injustice is not something I "don't like".
>It is morally reprehensible, and yes, "attack" is the right way to
>approach it. In my view, people who practice unjust behavior may need
>education, but today they are behaving as bullies.

There was a time when I was much more vocal about any injustice I
perceived. I got beat up a lot and I didn't see my efforts as effective
against the price I paid. One thing I have learned is to attempt to build
some solidarity with others about the injustice before I go off, guns
ablaze, only to be cut down. Over time I have come to view an arena of
influence, or dominion where in I have responsibility to maintain my
integrity with like minded others with whom I have cultivated
relationships. I have come to accept limits to what I can accomplish and
be content to make progress in my own sphere.

>Many people walk away from injustice, and think they have done enough. Is
>it enough? Why is it enough? Will that behavior -- walking away from it
>-- eventually eliminate injustice? When we do not actively confront it,
>are we in fact implicitly giving it support?

IMHO, walking away is not enough. In my organization fighting injustice
is intrinsic regarding child welfare. However I will talk about a topic
that may be as welcome here as a bull in a china shop; Sexual Harassment.

We have had two incidences where we determined action was needed. That is
not to say we have only experienced inappropriate behavior twice. In both
cases serious consequences were administered by the administrations of the
offending parties' agencies. We truly attempted to act with dignity and
honor for all parties in these situations. They were each cases where the
offender had crossed an unmistakable line. And still in each case there
were men and women who were offended that we would take action. And there
were others who wanted us clearly to be quiet and go away. However I do
not believe we made harsh enemies, (except for those who lost their jobs),
or gained a reputation as trouble makers.

The dance for me is how to exert pressure in a way that gets results,
educates participants without losing effectiveness for future action. I
believe that when you remain steadfast to your beliefs with out
unnecessary harsh judgment, or rash behavior, you are more apt to be
perceived as someone who cares instead of being written off. Sometimes I
think people humor my strong ethics. I feel, at times, I am allowed to
act when others would be shunned and I think it has to do with a gentle
certainty I have about the action.

Thanks Rol for the topic. I am very interested to hear how others think
on this subject.

Sherry Gould

-- (Sherry L. Gould)

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