A Broader Perspective on Ferguson
By: Anand Tayal, Guest Contributor
Does Might Make Right?
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to argue the contrary, for that would not be “right”. The elusive right answer or right way to live one’s life is plainly laid out by the mighty. The mighty can most loosely be defined as those in power or who have control. Throughout history a group of individuals have always set forth the criterion of how the weak should live their life, and the weak conform to these unwritten rules because there is no other option.
This can be observed in almost every powerful society dating back to the Greeks and Romans. The vagueness of a definition for righteousness essentially leaves principles such as justice up to an individual’s interpretation. However, this interpretation can be so broad and widespread, so in response the mighty invented laws specifically laying out what is not right and punishments for engaging in such indignant behavior.
The mighty could be correct for not trusting the weak masses to have control over such a complex world. This kind of thinking seems ludicrous especially in a country like America. In America, we are under the false impression that the masses are equally represented in legislature while in reality, the lobbyists are secretly pulling the strings. The myth of equality needs to be dispelled, as the mighty will continue to dominate over the masses because justice historically favors them. This may come as a surprise in our cozy American bubble, where we cherish the principles of equality and justice for all.
Recently I have come to see that this is a fallacy. Over the weekend, my friends and I were walking towards Yale University in New Haven Connecticut, notorious for its criminal activity. Upon nearing the campus, a homeless man approached my friend and grabbed his hand. The shock was overwhelming especially because we were walking through an impoverished area in suits and ties. The man asked for one dollar in exchange for some life changing advice.
My friend hesitantly accepted the poor man’s offer, more out of fear than intrigue. The man then took off his hat, unveiling a six-inch scar running across the top of his head. The wound was poorly stitched and ghastly to look at. He then told us that a group of police officers had thrown him to the concrete and repeatedly beat him over the head with clubs and drove off. This came as a surprise, considering that the police are supposed to represent justice on the streets.
Another example that has recently attracted national attention is the Ferguson shooting. Regardless of who provoked the shooting, the police’s militant tactics and clear disregard for the First Amendment was shocking. The shooting of Mike Brown and the violence against the other peaceful protesters were unwarranted, and spurred a series of protests across the nation. Additionally, exterior groups such as the KKK have used the shooting to motivate their own agendas, thus disgracing the police force as a whole. Obviously, this is not justice, and the nationwide scope of the shooting has made it into a political issue.
Police brutality is a clear example of the mighty abusing their position in the justice system to commit terrible crimes. Finally look to the newfound power corporations have within our justice system. With the recent rulings in NML Capital vs. Argentina, Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby, and Citizens vs. United, corporations can now regulate their employees health insurance plans, investigate foreign reserves, and propagate their favorite politicians with super PACs. The sizable advantage corporations, the police, and others posses makes equality unfathomable. Whether through a position of power, or wealth the mighty surely dominate the weak, which is unjust.
In my world the concept of “right” is non-existent and impossible to have in today’s society. Conforming to our system of justice is not necessarily right, but then again who am I to judge for I am neither mighty nor weak. As a teenager my future endeavors will define which category I fit into, and my perspective will change based off my own standing. From my current unbiased viewpoint the mighty definitely make what we perceive as right.
Additionally, I would prefer being a part of the mighty to reform our broken interpretation of equality. The aristocracy of the mighty is nearly inevitable but maximizing everyone’s ability to enter this exclusive category should be prioritized in order to actually benefit society. However, the cream will always rise to the top and falsely promoting a sense of equality shields everyone from the underlying truth.