It’s been a very unsettling week, particularly in America, but rippling throughout the world. We are in challenging and painful times and we shouldn’t ignore what is happening simply because we live down under in Australia. As a wider community, the protests, the demand for justice and the end of racism should impact us just as deeply as it is those in America.
There is a shift and a change happening. In the midst of this eradication and upheaval where many are calling for justice, there are also many calling for Order with America now deploying their national guard and setting ‘no tolerance’ curfews.
Order and Justice. How do they coincide and which do we favour more? Which should we care about more?
For those calling for order, how do you say we can have order when the system of justice is ‘out of order’? It is arguable that to call for order without justice is simply to cover a festering wound pretending that, somehow, it will heal and get better when we all know that it won’t. As the human body works, arguably, so do the social constructs surrounding racism. We are infected and action needs to be taken.
On the other hand, there are those calling for justice. Dr Martin Luther King Jr. once said that protest “is the language of the unheard.” It is the method of those that do not have a voice. Whether some have gone too far, by looting and causing destruction, is an argument shadowing the real issue – a call for justice.
We are currently experiencing 2 pandemics. COVID19 is a new pandemic. The pandemic of racism is not new at all. For centuries, racism, bigotry and marginalisation has been tolerated and systemised.
It is no longer enough to simply ‘not be racist’. It is time to be actively against racism.
Order is important. But justice is first.
Once we get justice in order, there will be order.