Saturday, January 16, 2016
Martin Luther King Jr. on Today's Police and Justice System
One of the characteristics of real leaders is the ability to see long range - well beyond the challenge at hand. One of Martin Luther King Jr's most effective leadership qualities was his long-range visionary prowess.
He could see beyond the status quo at the moment, the day, the year. And he established his objectives in line with that thinking. Clear examples of his foresight can be pulled from his dialogue and conversations on injustices and police brutality that some 40 years plus later accurately call out wrongs and ills of a broken justice and policing system.
“We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality.” — MLK, Aug. 28, 1963
“The white man does not abide by the law… His police forces are the ultimate mockery of law.” — MLK (1968)
“We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity.” — MLK, Aug. 28, 1963
“We have got to go all out to deal with the question of segregation justice. We still have a long, long, way to go.” — MLK (1965)
“How long will justice be crucified and truth buried, how long?” — MLK (1962)
“Wounded justice lying prostrate on the streets of our cities.” — MLK (1962)
“The beating and killing of our… young people will not divert us. The arrest and release of known murderers will not discourage us.” — MLK
“When we truly believe in the sacredness of human personality, we won’t exploit people … we won’t kill anybody.” — MLK (1968)
It should be disturbing to all of us that almost a half century after King's observations, these atrocities against mainly people of color have not been mitigated. Moreover, in certain contexts, they've escalated.