Monday, January 23, 2012

'Justice Must Be Blind'

Reading the Venerable Bede is good for the soul. A recent post of his has haunted me now for several days. In it he comments on the tragic deaths of two young men, different circumstances, same decayed culture. One young man was Stephen Lawrence, and his death some ten years ago has finally resulted in two convictions, but it is the manner in which the government seeks justice in these cases that so underscore the decline in culture. Like England, our system of justice is based on the notion that there is an inherent rightness that every man can find access to justice, that the system of justice is not a respecter of persons, and that all men stand equal before it:
"There are at least two books about Lawrence written for use by children in primary schools. Whatever spirit is animating that, it is not healthy opposition to the crime of murder. Yet this is a point one is almost incapable of making without incurring the insanest slurs. When Princess Diana's death led to that extraordinary and shameful mass-psychosis characterised by Kim Jong-il-style incontinent public grieving, and the mass assembly of thousands of people all individually cocooned in self-obsession, it was permitted to say that we were witnessing something dark and shameful and unprecedentedly vulgar, without implying the least disrespect to those who actually knew her and whose grief was genuine.

So it should be possible here to say that by fixating on Lawrence's murder above and beyond those of the thousands of others killed in like fashion every year on Britain's streets, we not only create the illusion that it was in some way exceptional, we further enable the cultural climate in which the true scale of the problem is not confronted by those we have elected to keep us safe. And the fact that we do so not accidentally, not because Lawrence has been arbitrarily adopted as a symbol of that wider malaise, but rather because our rulers have consciously borrowed his tragedy to serve as symbolic of something else entirely, should give all of us pause."
The value of a blind system of justice is all but lost upon today's society. With a Supreme Court justice unashamedly proclaiming her belief in the inherent superiority of a wise Latina, it is clear that we are not far behind our friends from across the sea. Sad to see such feeble thinking taking hold of the culture and country we have lived in and loved.

Bedes has written another great piece. Read the whole thing here.

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