Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Symbolism of the Gavel: Social Justice

commentary by D. McClintock

This is in reference to Mishka Zena's two recent posts, one an open letter by Tina Jo Breindel and the other Mishka's commentary on the symbolism of the wooden ruler. Mishka saved my time from explaining the symbolism of the ruler, so I will just comment on the symbolism of the gavel here.

I am no longer angry at IKJ but looking to move forward. Let IKJ have all his milestones he wants. I am very familiar with psychology, for I grew up with a psychologist with a Phd. as my stepfather. I understand that the mere sight of a ruler makes one shiver with anger, for to this person it symbolizes oppression. It brings for many of us unpleasant memories of our childhood experiences. What can we do to be proactive, to replace this disturbing symbol? Hence I propose the gavel. As one of my fans had suggested for my "Changing of the Guards" cartoon, it symbolizes shared goverance, democracy in action and efficient policymaking. It can symbolize student power, as well.

In the beginning of the protests students cried for social justice. After "Black Friday" the demand for social justice got louder. So this will be a symbol for social justice.

The ruler broken by the gavel is not IKJ's ruler per se, but the ruler of oppression that we endured our lives in our pasts. This gavel to me symbolizes shattering the power of painful memories, breaking away old constructs to give way for new ideas, new life.

I support Tina Jo's call for amnesty for all involved in the protests. Early in my blogs I had called for a pardon and a censure. I still support pardon for those protestors if any one of them is found to be guilty. But in this context Tina Jo pointed out, amnesty makes the most sense. I reiterate my proposition that the Board of Trustees censure only acts that are inappropriate (spraypainting, throwing bottles, etc.), not punish the protestors themselves. I also propose that the BoT condemn the actions IKJ and his Administration undertook to suppress the protestors with use of force. Let there be no reprisals, period. Let there be social justice for all!

What do you think?


Jay Croft said...

A gavel is still a "hearing" symbol, because a Deaf person cannot hear it being used to signal a decision.

Anonymous said...

Naw, it works fine. Gavels aren't pounded in the dark, after all. Anyone can see it being picked up and used.

I can't hear the ruler smacking someone: that doesn't make it any less a symbol of oppression, either.

Dianrez said...

The gavel symbolizes Justice. We protested for fairness, professionalism and social justice. As an instrument of finality, its thump can be felt as a vibrotactile signal to move on.

However, we have many times had to take the short end of the decision due to not fully communicating our side; so the gavel could be a symbol of mistrust unless we have had full input and have heard the other side just as fully.

In the protest, we said that our input was ignored, our rights were shoved out the window, and our right to decide for ourselves was cancelled out. The gavel has not yet thumped on this.

We have the right to decide in retrospect whether the protest was justified and what to do about the various people who broke rules. Some were unneccessarily destructive and should be punished in any case; most were peaceful, purposeful and effective and should be recognized as such and given the benefit of amnesty.
All deserve to have their backgrounds and motivations examined as well and jobs restored as a minimum.