POEM: Impartiality

Judge Stamper was renown
For his impartiality
Still thinking
Nothing of
Stepping on others
Rather than being stepped upon
A so becoming
A courting to a void
Deputizing peons
Siding with minute ordnances
Backed up by deferential canons
Allege paper-thin
Untoward the tramped
His honor
Like a frozen statute
Without peers
A connoisseur of contrived
More accustomed to threat than promise
Of a gavel from above
An arbiter of grievances
A master of small sells
To captive audiences
Gleaning threadbare
Take away messages
A requiem of dis interest
Overseers in black dress
Annunciating your last rights
Offering little chance of
Unless over
A game of squash

This poem is a reflection on the criminal system, which is sometimes criminal.  The alleged impartiality is a convenient notion for those doing the judging.  Though if you look impartially at the effects of such a criminal system, you’d be hard pressed to say it is fair.  The are the most likely to experience at the hands of the criminal system.  The same is true for people of color.  The are the most likely to have the protect them, or punish their opponents.  One only need look at who is in to see that prejudice is rampant, though noting who isn’t in surely cements the case.  White collar criminals are much less likely than “common” criminals to be convicted.  Also, if convicted, they receive much less relative to the harm to society.

Well engineered legalisms often bear little resemblance to the truth.  Biases are institutionalized, blind to the they create.  The veneer of helps shield unconscionable acts from their true effects.  Innocent until proven guilty is often reduced to he’s probably guilty if he was convicted.  This sad of affairs seems to fit under the moniker of the banality of evil.  In an system, where human judgment is minimized and legalisms rule, personal is easily avoided.  The most palpable confrontation with this was during the Nuremberg Trials, following the horrors of Germany in World II, which gave rise to a famous principle: It is not an acceptable excuse to say “I was just following my superior’s orders.”

The banality of is not limited to crimes, nor international crimes.  The shifting of personal to an system is endemic in Western civilization.  This is an everyday for many, if not most, people.  Such experiences usually take one of the many forms of “I am just following the rules.” The real question should be: “Am I just, following the rules?”

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