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Skip to 0 minutes and 10 seconds African philosophy of education is important not only because it is geared towards the achievement of moral justice, but also because it creates opportunities to aspire towards the achievement of compassionate justice. And this idea of compassionate justice was made famous by two people, Martin Luther King, Jr. and of course, Mahatma Gandhi because Mahatma Gandhi’s claims for democracy, citizenship rights, and freedom on the basis of non-hatred, nonviolence, and dignity is an example of compassionate justice. In other words, when human beings can solve the hatred, their dislike for one another, when they act with dignity, with honor and civility, and without embarking on violent action, then they would practice compassion justice.

Skip to 1 minute and 18 seconds This is what Gandhi stood for, and this is what he died for. And in fact, the very idea of compassionate justice is also linked to African philosophy of education in the same way moral justice is linked to the cultivation of African philosophy of education.

Compassionate justice

Mahatma Ghandi’s compassion for people’s vulnerabilities should be clear, along with his view that one way of remedying ‘racial injustice’ is to acknowledge that some people experience such vulnerabilities.

To identify human vulnerability therefore is an important task of compassionate justice. In addition, once the vulnerability has been identified, something positive has to be done to address the injustices people experience. In this regard, Ghandi urges people to embark on making claims for democracy, citizenship rights and freedom on the basis of non-hatred, non-violence and dignity. In his words, Án eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind’, thus accentuating the important of having compassion and exercising forgiveness towards one’s fellow human beings.

Consider the following question …

Why should justice be connected to compassion?

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This video is from the free online course:

Teaching for Change: An African Philosophical Approach

Stellenbosch University