I saw this on the internet recently, and I found it thought provoking. I can’t find information about the author, and I’ve seen this quoted on websites from both sides of the aisles. It’s clear we can always argue about what an injustice is or isn’t. But let’s not argue, let’s read this story with an open mind and think about what we each hold so dear we’d stand up for justice no matter what.
What do you think?
First day of class, the law teacher walked in. The first thing he did was ask for the name of a student sitting in the front row:
– What’s your name?
– My name is Nelson.
– Get out of my class and never come back! he ordered him.
Nelson was confused. The teacher was heading towards him, he got up quickly, packed up his stuff and left the classroom.
Everyone was scared and outraged but no one was talking.
– Very Good! Let’s get it started. What are laws for? asked the teacher.
The students were still scared, but slowly they started answering the question.
– To have order in our society.
– So that people pay for their actions.
– No! Does anyone know the answer to this question?
– For justice to be done, spoke shy a young girl.
– Finally! Justice! But what is justice?
Everyone was starting to get mad at the teachers attitude. However, they kept answering.
– To protect the rights of the people.
– Okay. But still?
– To differentiate good from bad, to reward those who do good.
– Okay, so answer this question: Did I act correctly when I kicked Nelson out of class?
Everyone was silent, no one responded.
– I want an unanimous answer!
– NO! They answered with one voice.
– Could we say I committed an injustice?
– And why has nobody done anything about it? Why do we want laws and rules if we don’t have the will to practice them? Each of you is obliged to speak up when you witness an injustice. All of you. Don’t ever stay quiet again! Go and get Nelson. After all, he is the teacher, I’m from another period.
You know, when we don’t stand up for our rights, dignity is lost, and dignity can’t be negotiated.”
– Doris Carrier