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Civil Rights legend John Lewis lays it down.
“In the speech, King describes what he calls the “other America,” one of two starkly different American experiences that exist side-by-side.”
“If Bloody Sunday took place in Ferguson today, would Americans be shocked enough to do anything about it?”
“Should people accused of stealing be held accountable? Definitely. But the justice system entangles the most vulnerable so effectively that even the innocent often find it easier to just plead guilty.”
JOHN LEWIS IN THE ATLANTIC: Growth and progress could be this nation’s reward for facing the challenge of our times with courage and a demand for equal justice. The American Revolution, the Civil War, the Great Depression, and the civil-rights movement of the 1960s were moments when the United States could have been torn from its very foundation, but a creative response to this turmoil helped move the nation forward.
At its best, non-violent protest is a strategically engineered crisis designed to wake up a sleeping nation, to educate and sensitize those who become awakened, and to ignite a sense of righteous indignation in people of goodwill to press for transformation. That’s what the protests galvanized by the deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, and others are trying to accomplish. READ ENTIRE HERE
If Americans are to be honest with themselves, they must admit we may never know what actually happened to Michael Brown because of the unusual way the grand-jury process was conducted by a local prosecutor whose independence was in doubt. They must admit that publishing a selective collection of details online corrupts the integrity of grand-jury deliberations and proceedings meant to be held in confidence. It subverts a judicial process designed to air the arguments of both sides—the victim and the perpetrator—exposing them both to challenge and cross-examination.
The last paragraph is the kicker:
“There is a growing discontent in this country. And if the fires of frustration and discontent continue to grow without redress, I fear for the future of this country. There will not be peace in America. I do not condone violence under any circumstance. It does not lead to lasting change. I do not condone either public rioting or state-sponsored terrorism. “True peace,” King would tell us, “is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.”