By: Trina Chu
I believe that Dr. Kristie Dotson’s position on the question of diversity and racial justice is that we should care about racial justice: we should “wake up” or be aware of the various movements that advocate for equality and justice for all. I agree with this position and would like to add that to have a just world we must not only be aware but also speak up. But first, we should have a shared understanding of the words “racial justice,” “social justice” and “diversity.”
What do these words really mean?
Superficially, “racial justice” means any law should be administered or enforced impartially, fairly and equally regardless of one’s race. On a deeper level, it means any act, any type of treatment towards an individual should be color blind, e.g., school admission policies, employment hiring, administration of justice, etc. These should all be carried out without preference based on one’s skin color or ethnicity. “Social justice” means any social program must be carried out without preference of one group over any other based on one’s skin color, nationality, economic and social status, gender, age, etc. On a deeper level, “racial justice” is part and parcel of “social justice.” And “diversity” is defined by Miriam-Webster dictionary as “ the quality or state of having many different forms, types, ideas, etc.; the state of having people who are different races or who have different cultures in a group or organization.”
We will not be able to freely and openly discuss anything about a just world in terms of racial, social justice and diversity until we all agree on the definitions of these words. Thereafter, we can have a racially just world, but only, if we all are aware, speak up, and live and breathe altruistically like Jesus or Buddha, a good Christian or good Jew, Buddhist or altruistic atheist, good Muslim, etc. We must live not for just ourselves, but for others as well. Everyday. Can we live and act altruistically everyday? We must strive to.
Founding and participating in the various, mentioned, social movements are just one way to bring about a racially just world. Another is to speak up — be a more involved citizen. Racism and social injustice exist because we fail to prevent it by not partaking in our civic duties.
On average, only 40 percent of the U.S. population voted in most local, state, and national elections. You can’t complain you’re discriminated against and that the justice system incarcerates 80 percent to 90 percent more minorities than whites if you don’t get out and vote for the right persons to the district attorney office and the judicial seats.
When you’ve experienced discrimination and racial, social prejudices, speak up. Speak up by telling people about your experiences, getting legal representation to obtain your legal protections, writing to your newspapers, voting out self-interested officials, voting for term limits for all elected offices, running for public offices, etc. Speak up and be the change you want to see.