In the past year or so, there has been a tendency for white people opposed to any outcry against police brutality and ongoing racial discrimination to invoke MLK's words about the content of character being the yardstick to judge a man instead of skin color.
How do we eliminate the bias against black skin which seems to be so inextricably linked to issues of discrimination that have a real impact on the progress of African-Americans? Economic investment, legal reform and improvements in education are certainly needed. But, I also believe that positive multicultural media is part of the solution.
'Why?' It's the most useful one word sentence in the English language. It's how we begin the search for causes, for understanding, for truth. We have to figure out why something happened before we can figure out how to make change going forward.
We all know what it's like to be so frustrated that we are tempted to damage something or someone we hold dear. That could be punching a wall, throwing a dish or cell phone, or sadly enough, assaulting a loved one. None of these responses are justified or right. Hence, we need a remedy.
Police, at this point in my children's lives, continue to represent and practice safety, assistance, respect and justice. But I know the day is coming when my children will stop being adorable little kids who garner high-fives and smiles and compliments from adults.
Some African Americans have argued with me that comparing the riots to the Arab Spring gives too much credence to the miscreant behavior of some black youths. But that's the problem. Inured to black suffering, we all have a double standard for African Americans.
The events in Baltimore should be a wakeup call for communities to examine the state of their civic health. And this should not be limited to those working within the political realm.
How might Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, reflect on Hillary's Baltimore-soaked bravado?
This epidemic of deaths of African-American youths at police hands is not new. In 1966, the police shot and killed 16-year-old Matthew Johnson, an African-American, in the Bayview Hunters Point area of San Francisco where I grew up. I was 12 years old; now I'm 60.
Whether or not one believes in the fairness of the justice system, the picture that African-Americans see is stark and bleak. The facts stare them in the face every day.
The night I was ready to riot was in the spring of 1979 in Chicago. Chicago's "finest" had been on the move for weeks, having fun attacking the gay community. Gay clubs were harassed regularly, almost one a week.
One valuable action is to contribute to community organizations working to address the inequities and outrages of the criminal justice system, as well as economic inequality, racial health disparities and structural barriers to building political power for people of color. At this moment, more than ever, if you believe that #BlackLivesMatter, you should support a stronger movement for racial justice.
As residents of Maryland and the nation brace for what could potentially be another night of civil unrest in Baltimore, it is important to pause and reflect on what has brought us to the current moment.
Look, if you can follow a complicated episode of Game of Thrones, then you can follow this narrative playing out in Baltimore. What makes it worse is that we've seen it all before.
I once introduced a best-selling thriller writer at a reading here in Michigan and mentioned -- among other things -- that he was a finalist for some award. When he got to the podium he quipped, "You know what a finalist means, don't you? It means you didn't win."
If you find yourself in the challenging position of having made such a recording, whatever you do, don't go it alone. Ideally, find that lawyer or advocate you can trust. If that is not realistic, find a person who recognizes that you will deliver the video, but who has your best interests at heart.
Sponsored by Arts for Amnesty and California Endowment, there are over 30 events over the 10 days -- discussions, music, stage, film, workshops. It was an ambitious undertaking that I hope folks will get to check out accidentally or purposely.
Welcome to the Age of the Instant Upload...
Contrary to the myth we've been sold that more police, and more jails and prisons, are the best or only way to keep us safe, the real solutions to community safety lie in the things that make for thriving neighborhoods.