Kings Fight For Justice Essay, Research Paper
King s Fight for Justice
Justice is like a breath of air: each person is entitled to it, and is born with the right to take it. Definitions can sometimes lack the true meaning of a term. For example, justice has a different meaning to each person. The Webster Dictionary defines justice as: Conformity to truth and reality in expressing opinions and in conduct; fair representation of facts respecting merit or demerit; honesty; fidelity; impartiality; as, the justice of a description or of a judgment; historical justice. (806) However, perhaps it is not the definition of the word, but the way the term in used and interpreted which gives the term it s true definition.
Justice knows no race. Dr. Martin Luther King describes justice in his essay, Letter from Birmingham Jail. King had been imprisoned for participating in sit-ins at lunch counters; he was searching for racial equality. King went to jail for a cause he believed in; he was fighting for not only his rights, but also justice. King wrote his essay in an attempt to gain justice, not only for himself, but also for all African Americans. King is a role model for many people; he used words and peaceful measures to fight for his cause.
Justice is not bias. King was perhaps the most influential leader for African American rights. He strove for equal laws and equal rights among races. King knew that he could find justice if he could find just laws. However, sometimes it is easier to define something by defining that which is opposite. For example, King first defined an unjust law before defining a just law: Let us consider a more concrete example of just and unjust laws. An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow and that it is willing to follow itself. (159) By this King intends it to be understood that an unjust law is one that forces the minority to follow the majority. However, with a just law the minority is willing to follow. King specifically applied the lack of justice to his position as an African American man lacking the right to vote: A law is unjust if it is inflicted on a minority that, as a result of being denied the right to vote, had no part in enacting or devising the law. (159) King felt it ridiculous that he should have to obey a law inflicted upon him without having the right to vote for or against it.
Justice lives within the Constitution. Laws are intended to preserve justice. The founding fathers of America first created the Constitution of the United States to establish justice . With this Constitution they documented it to be that all men [are] created equal . However, for many years African American men would not be included statement. Therefore, for many years Dr. Martin Luther King fought for the justice and equality granted to him in the Constitution. King wanted laws to be accessible to all people, despite race, because it is laws, which grant justice, give people rights, protect people from danger, and protect the right to life. This is why it was King s point that if one could not participate in the law-making process (voting), then it was unjust for the
laws to be directed at him.
Justice is something that is taken for granted in the United States of America. There are many countries in which justice is not known. For example, in Saudi Arabia, where women cannot vote and are viewed as second-class citizens. In this country, women are not granted the simple justices we undervalue. Perhaps if one knew these injustices, he could truly appreciate justice. For one to truly understand justice, he must be able to comprehend injustice. Because to understand the definition of something, you must also understand what it is not. Justice is not discrimination or segregation. Justice is fair; it does not know inequality. It does not see black and white, but is the equilibrium among the two.
King, Dr. Martin Luther. A World of Ideas: Essential Reading for College Writers. Fifth Edition. Lee A. Jacobus. Boston; Bedford, 1998. 151-169.
Webster s Revised Unabridged Dictionary. Third Edition. Noah Porter. G&C Merriam Co., 1913. 806.