Glenn Greenwald, Advocator of Criminal Justice Speaks at Mizzou


September 27, 2012


Glenn Greenwald, a political journalist, lawyer, and author visited campus on September 27 to discuss the unequal justice system in America. The lecture hall was so full of people, everyone standing in the back had to leave because it was a fire hazard. Greenwald started by explaining that our country began by our founding fathers being critical of the current framework, and it is expected for us to do the same in order to hope of a better future. He pointed out that the justice system is multi-tiered, so everyone is held to different accountabilities. For those who hold power or wealth, the laws are not as strictly enforced as they are in the poor neighborhoods of America. Greenwald recalled different events in recent years that prove the corruption of the justice system. The government has been pardoned time after time throughout history. Nixon was never charged for his crimes, nor was Bush when he infringed on citizen’s privacy by listening in to phone calls. Not only is it biased on wealth, but racial minorities are widely discriminated against. Recently, many American Muslims have been stripped of their right to due process and have been imprisoned for many years without a trial. Because of the bias against certain groups of people, citizens are afraid to fully exercise their rights. When the government blacklisted Wiki Leaks, a few citizens wanted to donate to the news source, but they were afraid the government would put them on some sort of list and track them. Greenwald said that the government is constantly sending a message to the public to fear their power. He reassures us that there is still hope. He says, “No matter how powerful they seem, any structure modified by human beings can be torn down by other human beings.” He adds, “If any reasonable change is going to happen, it has to be outside the voting box.” The citizens have to be willing to make an effort and be openly critical of the current framework, just as our founding fathers.


Josephine Peters