Saturday, January 17, 2009

Honoring MLK Jr. Day: Read the Letter

As we approach the holiday commemorating the life of Martin Luther King Jr., I have a homework assignment for those interested.

Read, or reread, his Letter from Birmingham Jail, as I did this weekend. It is one of the most forceful pieces of communication in human history. Simply inspiring.

It's also a reminder of how conditions in this country only 45 years ago were so unacceptable for so many Americans. And how a brave few, our own Rev. Shuttlesworth among them, stepped up and risked everything to change this, gradually building a vast army for justice. Their courageous and steadfast commitment to change and justice, while so many other sat on the sidelines, changed this country, changed all of us, forever.


Anonymous said...


"Let us consider a more concrete example of just and unjust laws. An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself. This is difference made legal. By the same token, a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow and that it is willing to follow itself. This is sameness made legal."

Reduced property taxes for Indian Hill with claims of "Gentleman Farming" (CAUV) ?

"Sometimes a law is just on its face and unjust in it's application. For instance, I have been arrested on a charge of parading without a permit. Now, there is nothing wrong in having an ordinance which requires a permit for a parade. But such an ordinance becomes unjust when it is used to maintain segregation and to deny citizens the First-Amendment privilege of peaceful assembly and protest."

All the more prevalent when the public square is commercialized and controlled by 3CDC corporate interest ?

"If I have said anything in this letter that overstates the truth and indicates an unreasonable impatience, I beg you to forgive me. If I have said anything that understates the truth and indicates my having a patience that allows me to settle for anything less than brotherhood, I beg God to forgive me."


Anonymous said...

Obama can not hold a candle to the inspiration MLK has provided me. I can't listen to his famous speech without feeling butterflies and the hair standing up on the back of my neck. This isn't to blast Obama - the bar was set as high as the heavens.

Anonymous said...

When the school treasurer recently admitted to stealing 46K from the district, she was put on probation and ordered to repay the stolen funds. The granny robber, about the same.
A young black black robs a liquor store and he goes to prison for years.
MLK speaks truth, but who's in power to advance a change?
The disparity in sentencing between whites who steal through embezzlement is no less a threat to society than the black guy robbing a bank, liquor store, etc.

We have soooo far to go

Anonymous said...

There is no question that two systems of justice still exist. Indiduals who have the means can get serious cases diverted, admission to programs for which they are ineligible, AND expungement for criminal justice contact. The poor can rarely get a foot in the door....unless it is the jail. I agree, we still have a long way to go, and we need to elect public officials who have a sense of fundamental fairness.

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