Why Lady Justice Wears a Blindfold

We educators are familiar with something called “the null curriculum.”  That turn of phrase is used to indicate the issues and topics that don’t come up in class as points of instruction.  Perhaps some of my readers have been wondering why the Trayvon Martin case hasn’t made it into this blog yet.  Well, your can stop wondering.  I’ve avoided the topic intentionally while police investigators do their work.

It seems to me that there are several tragedies revolving around this unfortunate case from Sanford, Florida.  First, a young American citizen has been shot dead, ostensibly for nothing more than returning from a local market where he purchased a package of Skittles.  Just the possibility that this could happen should shake every parent to the core.  Second, a citizen on patrol in his neighborhood, a neighborhood affected by crime, has been beaten and bloodied.  Anyone who walks outside at night should be concerned about this; it is not a pleasant thing to cower inside one’s home for fear of being on the street.  The third tragedy is that Americans all over the country, often led by overzealous leaders who seem to need attention to justify their evaluation of themselves, are rushing to judgment.

We should all be concerned.  We should all demand a full and complete investigation.  And we should all remember that Lady Justice wears a blindfold.  The facts of this case must be effectively gathered and then they will have to be weighed objectively in a court of law.  The gathering storm of political and social pressure on all sides of this case will do nothing to further the interests of those who want a fair judgment.  I refuse to add my voice to the partisan screeching taking place about the case.

We must seek justice, but this can only be done if reasonable laws are enforced and if the investigation by police is allowed to proceed unhampered and without bias for any party.  This is the only way to protect every party.

There have been unkind moments in American history when Lady Justice raised her blindfold to ask who sought her counsel and then she denied her wisdom.  There were times when she was forced by those who spoke for her to note that the plaintiff or the wronged party was “just a woman,” or “just a slave,” or “just a person of this or that ethnic group.”  There have been unfortunate moments when she was made to say, “no justice for you.”  Such past wrongs must be guarded against, not repeated.  Two wrongs don’t make anything right, nor do three, or four, or twenty, or a hundred wrongs.

Our motto must be that we refuse to rush to judgment.  We will watch and we will wait.  And we will demand fairness and objectivity for every party involved.  Then we will insist on a cold, factual description of events.  It will be painful, and through her blindfold we will be unable to see that Lady Justice weeps.  If she removes that cover over her eyes, however, we must all weep, for none of us can be assured of her protection.

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4 thoughts on “Why Lady Justice Wears a Blindfold

  1. It’s not so much that I felt Martin was innocent or that Zimmerman was guilty (or vice versa), it’s that certain groups rushed to judgment without knowing ANYTHING other than the dead guy was black. When these groups found out the shooter was Hispanic, they had to (HAD TO!) add the adjective “white” to further their case.

    That is blatant racism. The President of the USA jumped on that bandwagon without any qualms, just as he did in the New Haven police case. Regardless of the facts (or lack thereof), Obama and the usual groups (including the media) decided Zimmerman must be lynched.

  2. The MSM and Obama rushed to judgment initially based on Zimmerman’s last name. Sounds kinda . . . German, ya know? Justice never entered into the equation, only that a black person was dead and the shooter was white.

    Well, as the facts that were initially ignored seeped to the surface, the race baiters had to tweak their propaganda. Hispanic now became “white” Hispanic. They HAD to get the “white” part into the mix. How else would they “prove” white racism?

    The blatant injustice in this case is obvious. What isn’t so obvious, but certainly essential to the situation, is that there is an agenda followed by groups that publically profess to be against racism but secretly advocate just that.

  3. Truth and justice be damned. I’ ve got my agenda that needs to ride the wind of any popular event, no matter how tragic. Signed, ‘If the shoe fits’.

  4. John, your desire to keep justice pure is laudable, but I do not think your blog influences the legal process for Mr. Zimmerman.

    I do think the rush to polarization on the issue is noteworthy, and not because people took issue with no charges being filed in the case. I think it is important to remember that there was no apparent action in this case until the cause went public, if I am not mistaken. I find that to be a reasonable concern for interested citizens, and the desire of the family to publicize the event is liberty in action.

    I think it’s telling that the rush to judgement so many accuse the MSM for was vindicated by the eventual actions of authorities, the official in charge resigning, and the revelation that the accused ostensibly misled the judge on available funds he had received due to his own efforts to make use of the publicity. These are noteworthy despite no firm evidence being presented on ultimate guilt. Of course there is unnecessary sensationalism on both sides — such is the nature of our culture. I do not think we should conflate our tendency to overstate or come to rash conclusion with the idea that the victim’s family, or even the president, erred by making noise about this case. The boyish pictures of the victim and the evil looking photos of Zimmerman were a clear slanting influence, though.

    One thing very significant about this case is the backlash against the American Legislative Exchange Council, and the beginning exodus of corporate members, and further exposure of this organization’s excesses. That IS a big deal and totally noteworthy. It is good for people to realize how sloppily many “stand your ground” laws were written that were facilitated by this group — and what other things this group pushes in state legislatures . And the Zimmerman case rightfully would offer scrutiny about how closely one might be hunting down another individual and still lean on these laws to justify the use of deadly force, as if the victim were the aggressor. We should all be interested in what is revealed about this case in specific and in context.

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