Volume 12, 2001
Philosophy and Social Justice in the World Today
An African Perspective
From an African point of view, there is no social justice in the world today and, from that point of view, there may not be much difference between the African, African-American, Asian, or even Western perspectives. There may, however, be some difference in the reasons given in support of this perspective or, rather, conclusion. The African perspective is heavily influenced by events such as the trans-Atlantic slave trade, colonialism, and, more recently, by the report of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the bombing of the American Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The reason, in part, is that all of these events or reports seem to reinforce the belief, which I take to be contrary to the core principle of social justice, that African lives are either worthless or do not count as much as others. Further, they seem to have the effect of cheating Africans or making fools out of them, which, from a traditional Akan point of view, is a violation of the tenets of social justice.