Thursday, September 28, 2006

Justice for whomever you think it should be for

What is the definition of “justice”? Apparently there are several definitions. There is the definition that the Center for Community Service and Justice gives; a somewhat liberal definition that everyone has basic needs and we should work to make sure every person gets those needs, allowing Loyola students to go into Baltimore and help those whom they don’t think has what is needed. There is George Bush’s idea of justice where everyone deserves the lifestyle that Americans have, and that allows him to invade other countries, forcing our way of life on many who don’t particularly want it. There is the justice that is given by every prison and judicial system, where they assume that it is justified to imprison someone because of the acts that they might have committed in the past. This leads me to think one thing, justice is a term used by someone to justify whatever action they want to commit or to reject any action that goes against what they want.
This can be proven through the text of Krik? Krak!. For, although beautifully written and an excellent form of prose on so many people’s experiences, it seems the author thinks that an injustice is occurring to the poor in Haiti. Through Guy’s desire and following demise because of the wealthy Arab’s hot-air balloon (76), the poor woman’s necessity to throw away her baby in order to survive (92) and the rich man’s comments asking why the poor cannot “get a spell to make themselves rich,” Danticat is making a very clear statement of who is in control and who is possibly to blame for the injustice occurring in Haiti.(95) It seems that through these examples that Danticat gives, she is trying to show the unjust living situation of the poor and the cynical views of the rich of Haiti. Danticat’s idea of justice seems to be the rejection of whatever the rich or those in government do.
However, Danticat leaves out the description of how even the rich suffered from the government’s constant coups and unjust actions on all people, not just the poor. She does not mention the fires set on those same Arabs’ compounds because of the enemies they had. She does not mention the sufferings that the wealthy went through. She seems to think that the rich only see the poor as the unanswerable problem; they do not have issues of their own, their own injustices that they are facing.
This is a major dilemma! Not only in Krick? Krak!, but even in only defining the word “justice”, it seems that everyone wants justice to fix their own individual problems. This is not said in order to lessen the gravity of their problems, there are severe problems that need more than a quick-fix by other people. Iraq’s problems cannot be fixed by Americans quickly overthrowing their original government and then leaving them without any support system. The problems of crime cannot be solved by only punishing the criminal and leaving them to their own devices in our prison systems. The idea of justice needs to incorporate all people. Justice is supposed to be for all, and in order to accomplish that, we need to see all things through everyone’s eyes. Only in doing this, no matter how idealistic it sounds, will we be able to make justice truly work.