Inscribed in the stone of the Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial, Mahatma Gandhi reminds us to “Make injustice visible.” Models used to illustrate a pattern or progression of injustice – making it visible – assist in educating for and about social justice.
The Spiral of Injustice presents a downward spiral to explore injustice through the devolving sequence of language, avoidance, discrimination, violence, and elimination. As a model, the Spiral counters static images of injustice to present the fluidity and/or the internal and external motions of a community in which injustice becomes publicly apparent.
It rests on a fundamental principle that the biases one has are not inherent, but rather learned and inherited through individual, cultural and institutional prejudices, and reinforced through acts of discrimination that are both witnessed and performed throughout one’s life. While one cannot be divorced from his or her social and historical context, it is important to understand that what has been learned can be unlearned over time. Fundamental to understanding and dissecting the devolution of injustice is that each level acts individually and in concert with others to normalize bias, promote and codify discrimination, and lead to the devolution of the next corresponding level.
“The Spiral of Injustice – When Humanity Devolves” adds further definition to each of the five levels through the lived and learned experiences of five guest authors.