U.$. citizens are said to comprise a nation which embraces freedom. Freedom is said to be such a fundamental element of our nation that we insist on forcing our concepts of it upon other countries. The government coined a military mission "Operation Enduring Freedom." The colonists declared war on the British in the interests of freedom; freedom was a major element in the fuel for the civil war; and the U.S. invaded Iraq to "secure" Iraqi freedom. Freedom seems to be the fuel to the fire of many struggles over the centuries in U.S. related matters.
Justice is also something that's supposedly held dear in this nation. This Justice Department, along with its affiliates, is among the biggest governmental agencies in the nation. Our courts supposedly produce justice. People are murdered by the government, via capital punishment, in the name of justice. People are killed on the battlefield in the name of justice. Unarmed men are shot down in the streets by police, in the name of justice. Justice, as we know it here in the U.S., seems to be a grim reaper with a thirst for blood.
Sometimes what one says about their character is not always in harmony with their actions; the same is applicable to a nation. As the old saying goes, "Actions speak louder than words," and I believe that the actions carried out by a nation's government are the true indicator of what that nation's principles and values are. Governmental action here in the U.S comes in the form of legislation, policy, enforcement, and rulings.
So despite what we say as a nation regarding how important freedom is, the question becomes: Are our actions in line with what we say? I think not and here's why. We say that we cherish freedom. In fact our Declaration of Independence says that man's freedom is an unalienable right, yet we have a larger number of people incarcerated than any other nation in the world. People will have many rationalizations as to why this is so, but from a purely objective analysis none hold up. Being the number one wielder of human captivity, while supposedly holding man's freedom in the highest regard, are two totally irreconcilable positions.
Additionally, even as the Declaration was written and for years afterward, slavery was an accepted institution in this country. So while freedom was being formally recognized as a man's inalienable right, certain men were being denied that very right. How can those two positions be reconciled?
Freedom, as defined by the Black's Law Dictionary is: Quality or state of being free; liberty; independence
And Free is defined as: Not in bondage to another; enjoying liberty; independent.
Prisoners, slavery, excessive laws, our government seems to be the personification of the anti-freedom. Surprisingly many citizens seem oblivious to this paradox.
And who defines justice, being that it's such a fluid concept. I mean, one person's justice can be another's injustice. In the interest of having a formal gauge, I'll refer to the "Webster's" dictionary for definition. Justice is defined: Uprightness; equitableness; fairness.
Now consider some of the actions committed by our government.
During the westward expansion of this nation, the government continuously laid claim to lands that they had previously agreed to leave to the First Nations. The First Nations were, for the most part, patient as Buddhist monks when facing these recurring betrayals. But even a priest can reach his boiling point, and when the First Nations reached theirs, the government resorted to forcefully taking the land. To take the property of another by means of force or fear is robbery. Robbery is a crime punishable by imprisonment/fine. This is not very much in line with justice is it?
Then think of the governmental approval of slavery in this nation. Not in regard to the actual practice of slavery but the fact that our government once deemed it acceptable and now denounces it. The key here is that despite the reversal, the government has made no restitution for this crime. No formal apology, no monetary compensation, or any "peace offering" to the New Afrikan nation.
In contrast, the German government has formally apologized and committed monetary compensation to the Jews for the Holocaust. And even in the United Snakes of Amerika, the government has started providing compensation to the First Nations. But I suppose that the decision makers in the government feel that Amerika is above any measures to make amends to mere "niggers." (No offense to anyone in the New Afrikan nation, to which I belong. I simply use the word that the imperialists would in their reasoning). Yet they still boast Amerika as a justice loving nation.
And moving right along into more modern times, a focal point relevant to this subject is Amerika's criminal justice system, which is contrary to the meaning of justice. For starters, studies have shown that Black nations and Latino nations receive harsher sentences and more severe charges in comparison with their caucasian counterparts. This is in regards to the very same or similar criminal acts.
A good example of this is the sentencing disparities between crack cocaine (mostly found in inner city, oppressed nations, neighborhoods) offenses and powder cocaine (generally associated with suburban, caucasian, neighborhoods). Despite the fact that the powder form of the drug has more of it than crack, five grams of crack will get one the same amount of time as about one hundred grams of powder cocaine. How absurd is that? There's nothing just about a system that harbors racial disparity.
In the interests of promoting a safe and healthy society, the government has instituted the position of prosecutor. In their prosecutorial duties, the prosecutor is supposed to be bound by moral, ethical, and legal restraints. One of the main legal restraints supposedly binding the actions of a prosecutor is the constitutional "guarantees" that every defendant is supposed to have. In theory, a prosecutor must respect a defendant's constitutional rights.
In reality, Amerika's Supreme Court has deemed a prosecutor's violation of certain constitutional "guarantees" acceptable. Therefore prosecutors don't feel very obligated to respect a defendant's constitutional rights. Add to this the fact that prosecutors have been granted immunity from civil liability in relation to their on the job misconduct. This basically give them license to disregard the law, having nothing upright, fair, or equitable about it.
There are plenty of instances which can illustrate precisely how unjust the so-called justice system is. Biased/racist judges and prosecutors, intentionally ineffective defense attorneys, discriminatory laws, all of these things help shatter the facade of legitimacy and justness of what is called the justice system. And ironically New Afrikans, the same people who were subjected to the inhumanity of slavery, are disproportionately targeted by the criminal "justice" system. It appears that the main facet of justice in Amerika is overt oppression. Amerika is the enemy of both freedom and justice.
MIM(Prisons) adds: A recent book review further highlights the true injustice of the prison system in Amerika. And overall this comrade makes a very important point about the hypocrisy of the U.$. claim to support freedom and justice. We will, however, point out that in order to achieve a society that truly affords everyone freedom and justice, we must first dismantle capitalism. And that will not happen overnight. For this reason, we support an explicitly repressive society called the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, which is a transition period between capitalism and communism where the government is run by the people and actively represses the freedom of the former bourgeoisie. We can not be idealists and think that it is possible to just magically conjure up a society where all are equal when those in power will fight to retain their power, and our culture teaches people to work first for individualist selfish goals. We will need years of retraining and re-education for people to truly work in cooperation for the common good.