Monochrome justice: excuses and justifications
By J.S. Vijaya
There are times when a statistic can convey a political ideology and an attached agenda. There are no further explanations needed.
Fancy lawyers use the Latin term Res Ipsa Loquitor (The thing speaks for itself) to convey a simple fact. The federal government and its leaders have decided that it is perfectly fine that out of one hundred newly appointed judges, only two of them are non-white. Read Globe and Mail
It would appear that as long as they pay lip service to the theoretical concept of multiculturalism and “diversity,” no one will notice. I hope I am not giving up any big secrets, but there is a great social and economic class difference between the kind of people who get charged with criminal offences and those who prosecute or defend them. There is even a greater difference between the people who are sitting as judges and the typical accused.
All you have to do is go to a criminal courthouse in any major Canadian city and you can see for yourself what I call the observable and pronounced monochromatic phenomenon on both sides of the bar. If you happen to be a criminal defence lawyer you can predict with a great degree of certainty what you are going to get in advance. These trends are not likely to be reversed any time soon. The pattern seems to be set: just like you are not going to get black people appearing on the reruns of Friends, nor are you going to get a Woody Allen movie where a black guy is a main character.
There will be some government apologists who will tell us with a straight face, “Well we don’t look at the color of our judge applicants, we go by merit alone.” I say poppycock! There will be others who will say, “We try but we can’t seem to find enough minority candidates who qualify.” I say hogwash!
A time has finally come where a real change has to be advocated within the system with the minority vote. We cannot stand idle with our proverbial begging bowls and wait for changes to come. We cannot simply wait politely with our heads down to be invited to the big table with the fine linen.
If we question the status quo loudly enough, they will likely tell us that the invitation was lost in the mail.
I do not believe them.