Prejudice and Racism - A Fair and Just Society is Still Only a Dream

Powerful Essays
This Critical Essay Builds Upon the Concepts of Rawls and King to Examine the Potential for Justice in America

Martin Luther King Jr. made many claims about the American society in his famous "I Have a Dream" speech in 1963 that were all legitimate. Today, we have made many advances toward the racial equality that he sought. As a nation, however, we still have not "opened the door of opportunity to all God's children", as King so eloquently put it. In part, this is due to the fact that although our society has reached a degree of political nondiscrimination, this political nondiscrimination has not led to economic nondiscrimination. What it has led to, though, is affirmative action policy and awareness among the people of this country that justice is a complicated process that has yet to be realized. King made us aware that Blacks weren't receiving equal treatment under our laws, and this awareness led to equal rights policy. These equal rights policies have, in turn, led to affirmative action policies. Affirmative action policies of equal opportunity were necessary because political equality was not resulting in economic equality. Today's citizens are still not satisfied, however. This is because affirmative action policy, to date, has been based on egalitarian policy, which has not resulted in economic security nor a sense of balanced justice. In this paper, I will show how Martin Luther King Jr. initiated a growth process in our country by creating an awareness, and that this awareness is gradually evolving toward a justice that we have yet to realize. I will show that Americans are still in the midst of growing pains, and that equality, opportunity, and justice are complex issues that we are slowly working out over ti...

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...s distributive justice. We are a developing nation when it comes to our philosophies, but I am optimistic that with additional ethical participation by citizens in the area of public policy, Americas (like King and Rawls) can still dream of achieving a fair and just society.

Works Cited

Flew, Anthony, ed. Dictionary of Philosophy (New York: St. Martins Press, 1979) 299.

Lamb, Kevin. "The Problem of Equality". The Journal of Social, Political, and Economic Studies. v20, #4 (Winter 1995) 467-479.

Robinson, Dave and Chris Garratt. Introducing Ethics (New York: Totem Books, 1997) 131.

Rusher, William. Editorial. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier. November 25, 1997.

Steinberg, Stephen. "The Affirmative Action Debate." UNESCO Courier (March 1996) p17 (5).

Walters, Ronald. "Criticality of Racism." The Black Scholar v26 (1996):2-7.