Social Justice in the Classroom

I once took a required course in college called National Government. The book for the class is titled: “The Struggle of Democracy.” The book lists the functions of government: maintaining order, providing government services, and promoting equality.

 

The book defines equality as one vote per person and freedom for all equally (i.e. fair trials, freedom of speech etc.) — but it goes on to say that if money is taken from a rich man is given to a poor man then they both win since the rich man still has plenty of money and the poor man is given the money he needs.

 

The professor agreed with the “social justice” argument in the book and I piped up.

“Well, let’s test that out in this class.” I said.

“What do you mean?” asked the professor.

“Well, the people who get A’s in the class don’t really need all those points. Let’s give some of them to the people who get F’s. Then everyone ends up with a C and we’re all equal.” The class laughed and the professor looked chagrined.

“We can’t do that.” He said.

“Why not?” I asked. “It’s only fair. Unless you think that the people who work hard deserve the grade they get in this class.”

My professor replied: “Well, the college won’t let us,” and then he quickly changed the subject.

Maybe the college believes that if you give everyone a C to make everyone equal there’s no point in going to college — w could just give everyone a diploma and save a lot of time and money. Better yet, let’s just say that everyone is a doctor. All equal. Except, who will change the oil in my car? Who will cook my food at the restaurant when I go out to eat? Who will pick up the garbage every week? Maybe some people are smarter than others. Maybe we’re not all equal. Maybe that’s not only ok; maybe that’s a good thing.

Maybe, just maybe, people should admit that not everyone can achieve what some people achieve. Maybe life is not fair and there’s no way to make it fair.

 

Maybe the best we can do is to allow everyone an equal opportunity to achieve as much as they can based on their abilities and let people decide for themselves how far they will go.

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