Skip to main content

Injustice Has a Feel to It

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  

Popular posts from this blog

The Light in the Faces of Our Incredible Human Family

National Geographic Journalist Paul Salopek is walking across the world on foot to trace the pathways of the first humans who wandered out of Africa in the Stone Age to claim the earth as theirs. His journey will cover 21,000 miles and is estimated to take 10 years. He is four years into his massive expedition and already he has discovered that humanity is mostly kind and generous, welcoming and caring, hard-working and disciplined.
I watched a brief piece about Salopek’s journey on the PBS News Hour this week. I have included a link below.
What is extraordinary about his adventure is his realization that in spite of all the wars and turmoil across the globe, he has learned that “The world is an incredibly hospitable place.” In following the ancient trade route called “The Silk Road,” Salopek has gotten to know a variety of people young and old. And though he has so far encountered a few dangerous situations where he had his water supply stolen, was once ambushed by raiders, and was sho…

Our National Lack of Self-esteem

There is a brokenness in our society, a pervasive moral collapse, a reckless disregard for community, neighborliness, courtesy, and compassion.
Our government leads by this example. Both parties are incompetent to guide us into a more responsible living, into a serviceable structure of humanity. Our leaders are dominated by greedy oligarchs who don’t just want more, they want everything, even if it costs our society its dignity, its soul, even its future.
What is on display here daily is a wretched lack of self-esteem. The loss now influences all of us. We’re all affected in ways that keep us shamed by our actions.
When we feel powerless, aimless, without any higher goals than the accumulation of things and the momentary thrill, we then mute our intelligence. We live by raw emotions—anger, appetite, urges. We don’t think, we don’t consider, we merely react. We push. We disregard. We threaten. We act out. And we fail.
Self-esteem is a learned process. It builds on genuine successes that ar…

Is the Soul Solid, like Iron?

Mary Oliver has a beautiful little poem in which she asks:

“Is the soul solid, like iron?
or is it tender and breakable, like
the wings of a moth in the beak of the owl?”

It is both.

The soul, we are told by philosophers, theologians, and mystics, is our essence, the permanence of our true self. It is that part of us that lives beyond death. Or so we are taught by religion. Where exactly the soul exists beyond that, has of course, been long debated.

There are times in life when something deep within us is, as Mary Oliver says, solid as iron and we operate out of some sense of aliveness, confidence, and inner strength. It may be fleeting, but there when needed; or it may carry us through long periods of endurance when we build a sturdy self, confident and capable of our abilities and talents.

This is the work of the soul. This is a part of our spiritual development. This is what enables us to believe there are forces in life, loving and generous and mystical, that nurture and compel us tow…