I didn’t really understand it fully and I don’t know that I ever will. It is complex, it is ever-changing, and it is a process.
But so far…this is what I know:
If life was a race that everyone was running…and everyone had to run the same course and the same distance, that would be a fair race, right? Anyone can win it…
But then we consider some of those things that technically have nothing to do with the actual race…
Some of the runners are naturals, while some are not.
Some of the runners got to be at the front of the starting line.
Some of the runners got boxed in at the back of the starting line.
Some of the runners had fans to cheer them on and provide them water and others did not.
Some of the runners got injured during the race.
Some of the runners had asthma or another pre-existing condition and some were completely healthy.
Some of the runners had new running shoes and socks.
Some of the runners didn’t have shoes at all and were running barefoot.
Some of the runners got rained on.
Some of the runners didn’t sleep the night before.
Some of the runners were blind.
Some of the runners had to push a stroller with children.
Some of the runners hadn’t eaten for days.
Would you say that this race was fair?
Sure…it’s all the same race, right?
Anyone can win if they just run fast enough and set their mind on it…right?
Anyone can do it…it’s all about hard work and perseverance…right?
Maybe the front runners say so. But often times if you’re in the front of the race…you don’t know what’s going on behind you. You didn’t know that someone was pushing a stroller of kids when you weren’t. You didn’t know that someone passed out because they didn’t eat the day before when you loaded up on carbs. You didn’t know that someone was running without shoes. You just didn’t know…
The people in the back know this, because their position in the race allows them to see this. They are made aware of every disadvantage and extra challenge that they face.
So you see…Everyone is running the race.
Social Justice is not about saying you aren’t running or you’re not working hard or that you are undeserving of what place you take in the race.
I believe you are all trying to run this race…
But when we take some time to look at the things that don’t have anything to do with the race itself….we suddenly see that those are the things that have everything to do with the results of the race.
And that is what Social Justice is about.