Simple questions for a self-righteous judge

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Baba Galleh JallowBy Baba Galleh Jallow

O you self-righteous judge

Draped in the mantles of heavy justice

Why pass judgment and declare sentence

Slam your hammer and close the case

When all you have is hearsay

Even from the horse’s mouth

When all you have is but one side

Of a case you know little about?

Are you not sworn to uphold justice

To balance the scales of truth before passing judgment?

O you self-righteous judge

Did you see the fire ignited by the plaintiff

In the heart of your guilty defendant?

Did you see your victorious plaintiff

Gleefully add the fuel and gloat

At the cruel cackling of the senseless flames

As they consumed the defendant’s heart?

Were you there

Did you hear your plaintiff call

The defendant’s mother unspeakable names?

Did you see your plaintiff plant

The seeds of discord in the house?

Were you there

Did you see your plaintiff deny

The defendant his rightful share?

Did you see your plaintiff steal

The possible future from the past

By opting for separate ways?

O you self-righteous judge

Draped in the mantles of heavy justice

You are sworn to uphold the sacred law

How then can you self-righteously pass judgment

Deliver sentence with total confidence

When all you have is hearsay

Even from the horse’s mouth

When all you have is but one side

Of a case you know little about?

O you self-righteous judge

Draped in the mantles of heavy justice

Sworn to uphold the sacred law

You know little about this complex case

Yet declare judgment and close the case

You lay praise here and damnation there

Is that your version of Holy Justice

To deliver sentence on mere hearsay?

To utter calumny on innocent beings?

O you self-righteous judge

Draped in the mantles of heavy justice

Sworn to uphold the sacred law

Should you not get the facts before you judge

Should you not hear the other side

Before clapping your hands and passing sentence

In a case you know little about?

Beware injustice or self-righteous judge

For as you judge

You shall be judged

Apologize before the day

When you shall have to render account

O you self-righteous judge!

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