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Utopian Justice

By rgrove319 () on link by wildmntnhoney, Utopian Justice, February 13, 2013.

This was great post. I love the title Utopian Justice. The doing of justice and the teaching on justice goes hand and hand. For justice to be a reality, there must be a space of learning between those who want to engage in the process. If we refuse to learn about justice it is virtually impossible to adaquatley pursue justice because it will be unrecognizable. I like how liberation theologian James Cone puts it. He says, " If you want to know about justice, talk and learn from those who don't have it."

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Re: Utopian Justice
I do a lot of work in the field of Family Court, including the inner workings of CPS, in NY. Something I've come to realize is that justice can only be acquired when one has agency; without agency, there is little sense of self-worth; without self-worth there is no confidence to do the work that needs doing to see justice.

That's exactly the problem with many people who are involved in the FC system and who are investigated by CPS. Lack of agency stems from many places but often leads back to a childhood history of abuse, which cycles back into adulthood, resulting in abusive relationships. Even when someone with that history is no longer held back or down by an abuser, their self-actualization is still lived through the picture of what the abuser created. There can be no abuse when a person holds agency, and so child abusers (all forms - sexual, emotional, physical, verbal, psychological) systemically - and often subconsciously - remove agency from a child. That is done through shaming, family secrecy, degradation, and the instilling of fear.

When someone is stripped of agency from a young age, regaining that is not only a difficult task, but one that the person doesn't even know is something she or he should be trying to attain. Add to that the complexity and secrecy of the FC system and CPS, the difficulty in understanding legal language, literacy challenges, lack of time or resources to do the proper research, and court-appointed attorneys that often never speak with their client before a trial, and you've got the perfect storm.

What I'm trying to do is use my own agency - something I had to learn to regain - and the gift of intellect that I've been given, and synthesize and digest all of the information that I have the opportunity to learn through schooling so that I can offer that information in ways that translates to the large portion of the population who otherwise would never be able to access it.
By wildmntnhoney (Jess) on March 4, 2013. [Reply]

Re: Utopian Justice

Justice is a very good term here--and maybe more powerful than the more polite "autonomy", self-respect or even "agency." Many of the students at our small community college seem numb and helpless from a life where no one ever acknowledged them, leaving them essentially voiceless. Robbing people of being themselves is an awful injustice but as you say is not always done with intention.

I wonder if there is some sort of formula or diagram that could map indifference and disconnection without triggering blame or freezing people in unproductive sorrow or regret?

Thanks for the posting.

By scottHJ () on March 5, 2013. [Reply]

Re: Utopian Justice
Oh, c'mon Scott! As if I didn't have enough crazy ideas rattling around in my already overloaded brain, you have to go and offer me THAT gem?!
Seriously, I like it. You should email me sometime (
By wildmntnhoney (Jess) on March 6, 2013. [Reply]

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