Justice: We Will Continue the Fight

by Rukiya Faizah

Justice, in itself, is a powerful word. I want you to close your eyes and visualize a time where a group of people, because of the fact that they were different, were dehumanized. Let me take you back to the enslavement of Black people in the United States. Imagine...being rounded up like cattle and forced from your homeland to some strange place where you are then stripped of your man and womanhood. You are told on the daily that you are nothing; you will never be anything. Now, with that in mind and in looking at the path that African-Americans have had to travel, let me ask you about justice and the lack of it in the United States. Will, or better yet, can justice ever be served?

Justice, to me, is getting what you are due. Justice is the fair treatment of all people under God. It is not so much an "eye for an eye" type of situation but more like receiving the proper recognition for your troubles and, in turn, being secured with the proper resources to assist you in exceeding in life (regardless of the misfortune that was placed upon you). What I am saying is this--if a man cuts off my hand then allow me to chop of his or at least help me get to where this affliction (that you caused me to have) will not put me at a disadvantage. You hurt and disabled me, therefore, you must help me through this.

It's all about getting what you are due and Black people have so much due to them that I tend to assume the possibility that justice will never reach my people. The reason for my stating and assuming this is because after all these years of oppression Black people are still not able to assimilate into the "mainstream culture" and remain to be treated as though we are a threat to society. We are still being bullshitted (excuse my language) around and disrespected in the good old United States of America.

This is in no way suggesting handouts, but what I am suggesting is the appropriate, respectable, and unprejudiced treatment of women and men. Black people have been fighting for justice in America for many, many years. In reading chapter 2 of Black Liberation by Fredrickson, I was able to grasp a deeper understanding of the religious side of the struggle for justice. Because Christianity is not based upon the superiority or inferiority of races, Black movements were able to use this to aid them through muddy waters.

I view the breaking away from white churches as an accomplishment, not because it separated "us" from "them", but because it gave Black people a stronger and more effective voice in the struggle for the liberation of our people. What did surprise me in this chapter were the different views that early African-Americans and Africans had concerning this "independency." (I put independency in quotations because even though Blacks broke away to form their own churches they were never truly independent; they always had some white person trying to keep them in check.)

Early African-Americans felt the same way as I do concerning the departure from the white churches but early Africans felt just the opposite, in fact they believed that separating would only cause more problems. I feel as though it attributed to our success in America because it made us stronger as a whole unit. I deeply and sincerely believe that once African Americans learn to come together we can provide a stronger and more tightly bound foundation in fighting for our justice.

Religion, as chapter 2 pointed out, was a great base in setting the pace for political movements and it was the unequal and unjust treatment that forced African-Americans to create their own churches.

Bringing this essay to a close, I would like to make one final point. That point is the fact that here we are several years later and we are still facing racism. We are still looked at as a threat to society and told that we don't belong here. Still, to this day, there are Blacks being beaten and lynched just because of the color of their skin. Think about Rodney King, Garnett Paul Johnson, James Byrd, and all the other African-Americans who receive this kind of treatment everyday in every way possible (be it verbally, non-verbally, emotionally, psychologically, or physically) So, once again I ask, can justice ever be served? Will Blacks in America ever receive the justice that has been due for so long? I will tell you what; we won't stop fighting until we do.

Justice: We Will Continue the Fight by Rukiya Faizah

© Copyright 1999. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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