I've been thinking about this a lot lately, especially with the murder of Trayvon Martin. Everybody wants justice for his stupid, shitty death and for his grieving family.
But justice is the thing you go after only after someone has caused harm. Never before.
I'd rather have fucking safety, equality, and a society that functions for everyone than after-the-fact justice. I think Trayvon's parents would rather have him alive and happy and unknown than some martyr for Kids and People of Color who are killed by racists.
Justice doesn't actually fix what it broken. It just gives some measure of relief for the ones left behind.
Which leads me to the phrase Social Justice. You know, I don't give a flying fuck if people who are shitty acknowledge racism or sexism or classism or ableism or homophobia or transphobia, etc etc. I don't care what they think or feel. I don't give a flying fuck if they never change their minds about what horrid things they believe. I care that their horrid thoughts and beliefs are allowed to form actions that do others immense harm.
Maybe that's where the failure of social justice is (not complete, little baby steps happen and then bigger steps happen. But so mind numbingly slow that the costs are monumental in terms of lives and burnout). Maybe we have to say fuck the changing of hearts and minds and just start isolating abusive shitheads from the populations they would hurt. Racist cops could no longer be cops. Misogynist politicians could no longer be politicians. Anti-choice doctors could no longer be OBGYNs. And shitty-ass murdering douchenuggets would not get access to a gun.
I don't know. Maybe this shit doesn't translate into the bigger picture. I know that the Trayvon stuff is making my heart break and my stomach turn. I know I am lucky that I will never have to get the kind of phone call Trayvon's mom must have gotten. Kid's white like paper. He could be wearing a hoody and firebombing doctor's offices and he wouldn't raise much of an eyebrow.