Our brothers, our sons, our fathers are being slaughtered in the streets. The law has become lawless. Michael Brown's blood and the blood of countless others cannot be spilled in vain, not now, not with a man like you, finally, on the stage. Mr. President, I ask you, what will your legacy be?
For decades, American civil rights advocates have connected the dots between the domestic fight for civil rights and the international struggle for human rights.
The politics of respectability in the black community may not only hinder us from acting and engaging in the constructive protest, lobbying and collective action needed to create a more just society, as it has with respect to the Ferguson protests, but it may also prevent us from simply being and living freely.
I am still trying to deconstruct why the Ferguson community's outpouring of grief, loss and anger was met with such an impersonal, aggressive and unrelenting show of militarized police use of force uncharacteristic of peacetime policing.
Once we learn to see the stories of LGBT people not as "their" story but as human stories, then we can see that we are interconnected and our struggles are universal. After all, all people have to learn to feel comfortable in their own skin. We all have parts of ourselves that we need to come to terms with and accept, whether we're gay or straight.
There may be no middle ground on reproductive rights. But if the fetus wins, if a girlfriend's abortion decades ago gets blamed for someone's suicide, if "personhood rights" take precedence over women's rights, we will be back in the dark ages.
It's almost as if they are saying please don't go away, please stay, because the moment you leave or turn the channel, no one will care anymore. They will go back to struggling in silence and irrelevance.
How do you convince the people of Ferguson that we're one American family? How do you convince Michael Brown's grieving parents of our common values and equality under the law? Does the president even believe that what he said is actually true? Healing hasn't happened yet because old wounds were never resolved.
Missouri is America, and like the nation itself, both racial strife and promise, are part of its enduring legacy. Long before black teenager Michael Brown, died tragically in a hail of police bullets, the dramatic epicenter of America's racial fault lines often emerged in Missouri.
There are the large moments. The ones where the Veil is lifted. These are the moments when the music stops and the dance ends. These are the moments when one can keep humming the tune and twirling like nothing has changed or stop to realize that those beyond the Veil have no cause for dancing.
Sure, it's great that Paul Singer has helped pass marriage equality in states and raised money for four Republicans who voted for equality with the vast majority of Democrats in New York. But, meanwhile, he is undermining LGBT rights -- and all progressive causes -- by helping opponents of equality win more House races and helping Republicans win control of the Senate.
Despite the crystal-clear conclusions drawn by the Kerner Commission about why the '60s had seen so much urban unrest, and what would happen if we ignored the lessons of the these rebellions, we are right back where we were 50 years ago.
While pledging non violence, many are coming to the conclusion that it's time to take a stand against an unabated offensive targeting working people and other minorities that has systematically eroded their rights, their livelihoods, their future.
This question of citizenship and political representation is as important today as it was then -- yet the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party is not even mentioned in many major U.S. history textbooks.
What if we start to live into the promise and hope for liberty for everyone? What if we hope to believe and live like everyone is created equal? What if we actually lived like everyone is my neighbor?
What we must remember always -- and something I have told many juries in the past -- is that the most powerful person in the world, on a day-to-day basis, is not the president of the United States. No, it is a police officer.