Last week I had the opportunity to listen to an interview with an American lawyer on CBC Radio. He was introduced as a “disruptor of injustice”. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about that title since first hearing it.
I am in relationship with so many people who face oppression and injustice on a regular basis. Admittedly, I cannot claim to know oppression in the same way: I am a Caucasian Canadian (a country that was colonized by people in my ancestry) who has a paid job and lives in a house. However, when I see people being treated unfairly I can feel it in my bones. I’m told that my generally calm disposition takes on a different quality: I become fiercely determined.
I also become weary. Which is why hearing the story of the lawyer was a timely encouragement. To date he has helped exonerate 156 people who stood on death row. That means he proved they were actually innocent of the crimes they stood to die for. He also spoke of the people he couldn’t manage to save in time. His job is not an easy one. Martin Luther King Jr said that, “Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals”.
Every time I have shared about situations that need addressing at The Dale or in my own life, I am struck by the overwhelming response of people who want to help. The question is never how am “I” going to speak out, but how can “we”? The prophet Isaiah said, “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed.Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow”. We need to do this together. I think that the goal of justice is most often met when a committed group of people, whatever size it might be, show their collective passion for it.
We each bear witness to a variety of injustices every day. None of us can fight every battle. I will likely never be involved in seeing people released from prisons in Alabama. I am however going to be involved in standing up for my friends who are marginalized due to poverty in Toronto. And you? It could be something entirely different. Together let’s be disruptors of injustice.
PS Your eager desire to help my Mom has not gone unnoticed. She has asked me to communicate that she is feeling much better, largely in part because the hospital is not going to force her to accept a facility just because it has a short waiting list. Stay tuned for more information as we become free to share it.