In 2008, the United Nations officially declared June 8 to be “World Day of Social Justice.” This decision marked a significant step forward in the pursuit of social justice and a more equitable globalization.
While the festival is commemorated on Feb. 20 every year, the theme for each year is a little different. “Closing the disparities gap to achieve social justice” and “A call for social justice in the digital economy” were two of the most important initiatives of the past two years.
This year the theme of World Day of Social Justice is “Achieving social justice through formal employment.” A question that lingers around this celebration is if we are living up to the mission of this day? Which is the coming together of people from all walks of life to support the idea of justice.
From the perspective of many young Black men in America the answer to that question may be a resounding “no” considering the current climate we’re in.
Within the first two months of this year, 19-year-old Isaiah Williams and 22-year-old Amir Locke were both killed while sleeping on the couch in apartments after the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police and Minneapolis Police departments fatally shot both after trying to serve no-knock warrants less than a month apart.
Neither one of them had anything to do with the crimes that they were accused of, which leads back to the question, are we living up to the mission of this holiday?
For me as a young Black man, I would say absolutely not. If I’m being honest, for a day that is supposed to support the idea of justice I rarely see any justice being done for young men that look like me.
Justice to me means that each man and woman is being held accountable for their actions within a society when a law is broken; each should be prosecuted equally and fairly no matter what their socioeconomic status is.
This has not been the case for young Black men as they are targets for modern day lynchings a.k.a. no-knock warrants.
World Day of Social Justice is a day to celebrate the strides that we have made as people in the name of justice, it is also a day to mourn the ones who have passed and still haven’t received any form of justice no matter how you define it.