Liberals and diversity
Matt Bruenig

I also support diversity and justice, and like Mr. Bruenig do not believe they are mutually exclusive. Reconsidering the value ethics that underpin our system of justice may be one path forward and I find relevant wisdom in the words of Confucian philosopher Mengzi:

“The trees of Ox Mountain were once beautiful. But because it bordered on a large state, hatchets and axes besieged it. Could it remain verdant? Due to the rest it got day and night, it was not that there were no sprouts or shoots growing there. But oxen and sheep then came and grazed them. Could this be the nature of the mountain? When we consider what is present in people, could they truly lack the hearts of benevolence and righteousness? That by which they discard their good heart is simply like the hatchets and axes in relation to the trees. With them besieging it day by day, can it remain beautiful?”

If our system of justice was revised in consideration of the siege of Ox Mountain, I see a path forward that would serve justice and diversity. We would recognize that value ethics are a product of environment and circumstance, not an abstract feature of our Constitution, and perhaps reform our system of justice accordingly.

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