Home » education » Liberty And Justice For All: An American Fallacy, Pt.1

Liberty And Justice For All: An American Fallacy, Pt.1

Jeff Linamen

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Justice is a fallacy. A fallacy is a flaw in reasoning.

Justice is an ideal. Ideals are models for imitation. An Ideal is the conception of something in its absolute perfection.

Absolute perfection does not exist.

Perfect Justice does not exist.

10403056_10152842025119780_8786610817675958005_nLast night, the grand jury decision to not press charges in the case of Michael Brown – the black 18-year-old who was shot and killed in Ferguson on Aug. 9th by white police officer Darren Wilson, was announced live on national television.

My social media network immediately began to blow up after the announcement, with mostly– expressions of anger and distrust; and only a few in support of the decision. For most of my friends (and the people I follow), it was about the seeming lack of justice and ongoing racism in this country.

At 1:30 a.m., Police Chief Jon Belmar announced at a briefing that at least 12 buildings were set on fire, two police cruisers burned and reports of bottle throwing, broken windows and gunshots were widespread. The police responded with smoke, pepper spray and tear gas aimed to disperse potentially unruly crowds.


It was reported that the jury of nine whites and three blacks met on 25 separate days and heard more than 70 hours of testimony from approximately 60 witnesses, three medical examiners and other experts on blood, toxicology and firearms.

frederick-douglass-justice-deniedFerguson is just a match re-igniting the fire that is racism in America. This is not the beginning of something new– it is only another episode in the long, ongoing battle of inequality and racism, sparked by distrust and a long history of violence.

As long as there is the perception of racism…

Then racism is real.

Tyrants-Opposition-10513500_1508536292711859_522097056596663394_nI do not condone the outright unlawful, destructive behavior of the violent protestors. They have become terrorists. They are no different than ISIS or Al Qaeda.

They are destroying their very own community. They are hurting their neighbors and themselves. Unfortunately, for many of them, this is the only way they know how to be heard.


Treat people like animals and they’ll eventually behave like animals.

The American Justice System is not perfect. It’s certainly not absolute perfection. But, it is the system we have. It works in theory. But theory in itself is a test. A test that at times, America seems to be failing.

I think it’s important to draw a line between the justice system and the the issues it is forced to try and reconcile.

Any unlawful act creates a situation in which there will never be complete justice for all. Not to mention all the legal acts that unjust.

A friend of mine on Facebook shared this:

The West Wing Season 7, Episode 8- Undecideds Written by Debora Cahn

Matt Santos (Jimmy Smits)
You know, I find myself on days like this casting around for someone to blame. I blame the kid, he stole a car. I blame the parents, why couldn’t they teach him better. I blame the cop, did he need to fire. I blame everyone I can think of and I am filled with rage. And then I try and find compassion. Compassion for the people I blame, compassion for the people I do not understand, compassion. It doesn’t always work so well.

I remember as a young man listening on the radio to Dr. King in 1968. He asked of us compassion and we responded, not necessarily because we felt it but because he convinced us that if we could find compassion, if we could express compassion, that if we could just pretend compassion it would heal us so much more than vengeance could. And he was right: it did but not enough. What we’ve learned this week is that more compassion is required of us and an even greater effort is required of us. And we are all, I think everyone of us, are tired.

We’re tired of understanding, we’re tired of waiting, we’re tired of trying to figure out why our children are not safe and why our efforts to try to make them safe seem to fail. We’re tired. But we must know that we have made some progress and blame will only destroy it. Blame will breed more violence and we have had enough of that.

Blame will not rid our streets of crime and drugs and fear and we have had enough of that. Blame will not strengthen our schools or our families or our workforce. Blame will rob us of those things and we have had enough of that. And so I ask you today to dig down deep with me and find that compassion in your hearts because it will keep us on the road. And we will walk together and work together. And slowly, slowly, too slowly, things will get better.

God bless you. God bless you and God bless your children.

The West Wing episode 7.08 “Undecideds”, original air date 4 December, 2005 – See more at: http://westwingwiki.com/2014/04/season-7-episode-8-undecideds/#sthash.z0J1gg11.dpuf
Dialogue, discussion, education, truth and understanding are what is needed here.
Not violence.
America is still young. The American ideals of freedom: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; liberty and justice for all; all men are created equal—  didn’t even exist in reality when this country was founded. Slavery and the inequitable treatment of women the most blatant at that time.
Today, we are dealing with racism, equality, gay rights, women’s rights, immigration… the list goes on.
Lip service in this country must end.
Eyes must be opened.
The blind faith of justice revealed.
Positive action needs to occur.
Otherwise, the violence will never stop.

1 Comment

  1. ShantiOm says:

    Thank you for this thoughtful response to such an outrageous situation. Sometimes I cannot even believe that the news is real – can this really be how reality is? Can this really be the state of “justice” in America? And you are absolutely right – anger and violence will only make things worse, compassion and action is what is needed!


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