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There are dozens of definitions of Social Justice.
Wikipedia defines it as the concept of fair and just relations between the individual and society. This is measured by the explicit and tacit terms for the distribution of wealth, opportunities for personal activity and social priviledges.
The Business Dictionary puts a different spin on it, the fair and proper administration of laws conforming to the “natural law” that all persons, irrespective of ethnic origin, gender, possessions, race, religion, etc., are to be treated equally and without prejudice.
The Center for Economic and Social Justice see it as the virtue which guides us in creating those organized human interactions we call institutions. In turn, social institution when justly organized provides us with access to what is good for the person, both individually and in our association with others. Social justice also imposes on each of us a personal responsibility to collaborate with others at whatever level of common good in which we participate and to design and continually perfect our institutions as tools for personal and social development.
Whatever definition one subscribes to, social justice is an “all for one and one for all” kind of thing. Or at least that’s what it’s “supposed” to be.
Society is “supposed” to come together to accomplish a particular goal, something that is in the best interest of everyone, from the smallest neighborhoods, to towns and villages, to states, countries and the world. The collective nature of humanity is “supposed” to be able to get together and figure out how to promote equality and human rights, fairly administer laws and policies, provide opportunities and resources to everyone, without prejudice. Society is “supposed” to participate in change, personal responsibility, create opportunity and chance through action, and this includes re-tooling actions that don’t work or have proved to be ineffective, for instance, the registry.
That’s what social justice is “supposed” to be.
So when it comes to registrants, where does society stand on social justice?
Residency restriction agendas get pushed through at civic meetings, often behind closed doors, before anyone is the wiser.
Equality is lost when registrants can’t apply for jobs in exclusionary zones.
Human rights are deprived when registrants and their families can’t obtain basic housing or jobs to support and feed their families.
Fairness is absent when registrants can’t compete in society because their use of current technology is restricted.
Prejudice is abundant when it involves registrants and reintegration into society.
Change, the one thing that needs to come about most for registrants, the one thing that society needs to collectively agree on so that registrants can resume their lives, is delayed time and time again.
Society as a whole is shamefully under-educated when it comes to the world in which registrants must navigate. Compassion, understanding and just plain old common sense seem lost when it comes to social justice and sex offenses.
Do we live in a society where the words “sex offense” and “social justice”, can never simultaneously co-exist?
Have we, as a society, learned nothing from our past?
While the term may have many definitions, when applied to registrants, it seems that for the most part, there is only Social Injustice.
But, have faith…
There’s always hope for 2018, perhaps a New Year will bring about change and Social Justice for us all.