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Essay on Social Justice, Politics and Activism


There have been different connotations and interpretations to the meaning of what would constitute a comprehensive interpretation of the meaning of social justice. However, in our previous class session, we defined social justice within the context of three key elements. The first element necessary for the establishment of social justice would be the fair distribution of wealth, opportunities and privileges within a society. The second encompasses fair and equal treatment of every person in the society irrespective of wealth, race and gender among other factors. The third and final element being the provision of access and opportunity to all people in the society and particularly to all those who are in need of it the most.

Example of Absence of Social Justice in the Community-essay on Social Justice, Politics and Activism

            The daunting task faced by most communities today lies in eliminating untoward ideologies that serve to discriminate against people. One of most controversial areas that has been the subject of major debate historically is the issue of discrimination along racial lines. The African American community has borne the brunt of discrimination in many sectors of life. The most controversial sector perhaps being the discrimination inherent in the criminal justice system. African Americans have for the longest time have been subjected to racial profiling and stereotyping in the criminal justice system. There have been numerous complaints and instances reported where African Americans have been unfairly arrested and treated in inhumane ways by officers of the law.

The under lying argument is that this form of discrimination has been materialized in the form of individualized and institutionalized racism. Individualized racism denotes personal bias that one develops over time. Institutional bias on the other hand refers to the procedures and systems that have been entrenched as law and policies in institutions that impose a barrier progressive attainment of individual rights. Individualised racism presents itself when arresting officers discriminate against African American by profiling them as being more likely to commit a crime. On the other hand, an example of where institutionalized racism presents itself is where stringent immigration, licensing and pre-admission policies are established as a bar to access of opportunities and other permits. These inhibitions are symbolic of an absence of social justice that has equal regard for every person in the society.

There are several measures that can be employed to try and rectify the overriding racial discrimination inherent in the justice system in order to achieve a certain degree of social justice. One of the possible solutions is tougher penal provisions for officers found to be culpable of acts of racial discrimination. For instance, Courts should impose heavier fines or jail terms to officers who are found culpable of unlawfully arresting or harassing people of different racial backgrounds. This will act as a deterrent to any future possible cases. Another possible solution is premised on collaborative cohesion programs that seek to enhance relationships between different races in the society. This will help solve a deep rooted cultural pre-existing problem by dealing with the root cause of the conflict (Crawford).

Activism that Has Brought About Social Justice-essay on Social Justice, Politics and Activism

            One of the most monumental and influential social rights activist who influenced great social reform is Rosa Parks. Rosa Parks is largely remembered for her stand against racial segregation that was an integral part of the society during the middle 20th Century. One of the most notable symbolic events that has been lauded for centuries was the Montgomery bus boycott that was a boycott against the segregation of African Americans from whites while using bus transport. During this period there was apparent social injustice and discrimination against the African American community that was deep rooted to the point of legislation that championed for the different treatment of different races. Rosa Parks refused to move and pave way for a white traveller who at the time was considered to have superior rights to their African American counterparts. As a result of the boycott, the Supreme Court passed a law declaring the Montgomery segregation as unconstitutional. Her exemplary leaderships, vision and charisma paved the way to other social reform activists that has aided in reducing the disparity in terms of different treatment of various groups in the society. The move towards social reform is a progressive one that can only be achieved gradually.



















Crawford, Adam. “Governing Through Anti-social Behavior: Regulatory Challenges to Criminal Justice.” The British Journal of Criminology (2009): 810-831. Print.