I started, stopped, and saved this post as a draft back in June. June 18th to be exact because this question:
“What does justice look like to you?”
leaves me stumped every time.
The question first presented itself to me back in February while I was watching a Youtube video by Aurielle Marie of Elle of Two Cities.
She posed this question and it threw me for a loop. I went to type a response and stopped. Stumped that the question pulled so much emotion out of me. My throat hurt and I thought the best response I could give was a video montage of me crying in the comments.
Thoughts of justice made me tear up and in that moment there was nothing I could think of about justice that seemed plausible, possible, and real.
Not only that though…
Now, I know that part of my hesitancy came from the truth I do my best to hide and swallow because I know it’s no good.
You see, I really really really want to be a good person. When I leave here, I want to go to Heaven and see my grandmother and the ancestors I never got to meet.
More than anything, I want to make God proud, but y’all the truth is:
For me, justice looks like revenge.
Cold, hard, absolute revenge.
Some days, goodness doesn’t get me out of bed. Instead my fuel comes from rage.
I imagine horrible awful things being done to Trump, sexual assaulters, horrible family members, exes, bad friends, and etc.
I want people to hurt so bad that when I try to describe what I imagine, I stumble. There are no words for the sorrow injustice makes me feel and so it makes sense that there are no words to describe what justice by revenge looks like.
Still…everything I’ve been taught and know tells me that my feelings are wrong, ungodly, and unkind.
And while I love a gracious and merciful God, sometimes I wish we were on the same page and that my plans and ideas of justice matched with Hers.
But in hindsight, I guess it’s a good thing that they don’t and mainly because who is to say that I don’t deserve the type of justice I fantasize about?
None of us are ever as good a person as we could be and I could stand to be a bit better, myself.
I know this and yet,
it’s so hard to be good, especially when it seems like everyone who is so wrong, bad, dangerous, and toxic keeps thriving. Remain in power and seems to have such a major say in the type of life I and others get to live while in this realm.
So no. I didn’t have an answer for Aurielle then, because I was ashamed by my response and the truth I’d like to neglect when forced to think about what justice looks like.
and a million other chances to do it better the next day has brought me here.
Yes, racism has changed me and so has misogyny, and assault. They’ve twisted up my whole heart and turned me into someone I don’t recognize on some days. However, when I think about what justice means to me–without the violence, death, and pain that often gets me off– justice looks like peace.
Simply peace, freedom, and a life without the anxiety one is sure to develop when maneuvering this world as anyone who is not white and not male.
I could go on and on, but I’ve started and erased my list because it is never ending and I wouldn’t feel right trying to condense it.
Anger gets me out of my bed sometimes but thoughts of peace do too.
So how about you, Wordies?
What’s your one word (or few) that describe what justice looks like to you?