If we have any feelings at all injustice has a feel to it. It digs deep within us and causes pain. It gnaws and twists and our insides growl in disgust. It feels ugly and foul and obscene. We see it and we wince. We think to ourselves, God, look at that. That is viciously wrong. That is grossly unfair. That is inhuman. We feel that. We feel it deep within us.
If we don’t then injustice is ignored and injustice ignored allows evil to exist. It shrugs its shoulders at the sight of monstrous wrongs. It is bored with something being right, being fair, being equal. It yawns while the blood of the innocent spills slowly in front of it. Injustice is not moved by violence or death. Injustice turns away disinterested.
Injustice thrives on excusing itself of responsibility. It elevates itself above laws or rights or decency. It struts. It grins. It believes it is invincible.
It was injustice that cleared Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson of any crime for killing unarmed teenager Michael Brown. White injustice. Cowardly injustice. The injustice of a nation teetering on spiritual bankruptcy. A nation so tiresomely racist it leaves most of us exhausted and despondent.
Many blame the victim. That’s the way injustice gets inside the system and turns things awry. Injustice will keep on harping about how big and unruly the black teen was; how he refused to do what he was told; how his persona, his physical build, his bluster caused his death. Injustice says he deserved what he got.
Injustice has not looked at officer Wilson. And it won’t. Officer Wilson is untouchable. Officer Wilson is white and white is always right. And besides, he is the law. And you don’t, in this country, fight the law even if the law panics, even if the law overreacts, even if the law is just wrong.
From his jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama, Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote, “Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.” Not then, Dr. King. And sadly, not now. Not as long as injustice towers over us and we wave off its corruption and allow it a place of dignity in our society.
© 2014 Timothy Moody