The world is full of injustice, both present and past. In my opinion, injustice is mistreatment of others through abuse of power or neglecting other people’s call for justice. Injustice is also manifested when an individual, or a group of individuals deny others their legal rights to undertake certain acts. Going back to the time of slavery in the New Land, slaves suffered torture in the hands of their masters, who should have protected them, and when they became free, they suffered from discrimination and segregation. Today, black Americans encounter injustice through disproportionate arrests and prosecutions (Weatherspoon, 2014). The chances of being imprisoned because one is black are quite high. Nobody should suffer injustice, especially in a democratic country where majority rules while minorities still have a voice.
Injustice is an abuse of power because power is connected to justice. Leaders who utilize their powers effectively believe in justice for all. In most cases, injustice results from self-interest. For instance, when an employer opt to pay employees wages below what the law indicates, this can be termed as an act of self-interest and unfair advantage for the employer. Such employer is only interested in accumulating profit at the expense of poor employees, who are left with no option, but to work for the greedy boss. The law enforcement may still be harboring the stereotype that connects people of color to crime.
Individuals should strive to do the right thing, even if the consequences of doing so are undesirable. I have an inspiration of becoming a leader, and one of the things that I would like people to remember me for is the commitment to justice. I have encountered an act of injustice through my friend Jason. Jason was fired from his work by his boss for refusing to sign a document that could have allowed his boss to get away with thousands of dollars through fraud. Although the boss was not in charge of employee, he had the power to instruct the HR manager to fire him. The letter of dismissal indicated that Jason had refused to cooperate with his boss for no apparent reason.
My moral understanding is based on Kantian deontology, which implies that we all have moral responsibilities to do things that are considered right and to avoid engaging in activities that are morally wrong. Deontologists hold the concept that some actions can be right or wrong, but they are not based on the consequences (Barrow, 2015). Hence, leaders should always aspire to do the right things not because they expect desirable results, but because it is part of their duty to do so. People can live comfortably in the society if they are devoted to doing the right things, regardless of the consequences.
However, deontologists may be compelled by absolute rules to follow the course that might reduce the overall happiness of others. For instance, deontologists would find it wrong for a person to lie to a murderer in order to save his/her life. Most people would do the best they can, including lying, to evade the hands of their tormentors. A leader may be compelled to offer licenses to firms that pollute environment, just because such firms would offer employment to the local people. Thus, deontological ethics should be reviewed if they are to be applied appropriately in the practice of justice.
Spinner-Halev, J. (2012). Enduring injustice. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Weatherspoon, F. D. (2014). African-American males and the US justice system of marginalization: A national tragedy. Basingstoke: Palgrave Pivot.