Fairness and Justice

Discuss some issue of personal concern, and its importance to you.


Fairness is a quality that I try hard to embody, and I admire those who demonstrate the impartiality necessary to be just. But people often mistake impartiality as the defining characteristic of someone who is fair. Empathy is more essential because it is necessary not only to understand but to be invested fully in a situation in order to render a fair judgment.

About a month ago I encountered the first critical situation that required me to question what it meant to be fair. Two of my classmates created and showed a video that poked fun at some of the racial stereotypes affecting minority students. The video sparked deep divisions as students expressed strong opinions judging its content, context, and significance. As co-head of Another Perspective, Dalton’s diversity group dedicated to discussing issues affecting students, I felt an obligation to facilitate constructive dialogue that would allow the various factions to meet. During our first meeting of about one hundred students, I was distraught over how best to be fair. I had my own opinions: that school is not the place to attack peoples’ identities; that the very nature of the film as offensive towards some meant that everyone should feel upset; and that no one has the...

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