What happens next? A serious movement for political and social change has to cohere around the endemic violence. The changes must include better-trained police, an end to racial profiling, the demilitarization of the police and a national embrace of community policing. This is just a start. We need a new civil rights movement. Let it begin with a moment of silence.
So you know a good cop? Great. I hope there are more out there. But racism is a system, not one person.
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.
The killings of Oscar Grant, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Walter Scott, and Freddie Gray, along with the militarization of municipal police forces, the rise of the prison-industrial complex, and the riots, are all symptoms of a much deeper malady.
In the face of the systematic racism of America's policing and prison system as well as crippling poverty that disproportionally affects the black community, how does non-violence work to actually solve the root of the problem? Or does it work at all?
Without the violent reaction of the protesters to the provocation of the police in Baltimore, there would not be a national conversation on the abuse of power in the city. The fact that these abuses have continued on for so long, unabated, is indicative of an institution that doesn't care to change.
As April comes to an end and the city of Baltimore is seared by racial conflict, I have been thinking about one of the great examples of the enormous power of public oratory, which occurred 47 years ago and whose anniversary is rarely noted.
I am not a fan of violence, but I am a fan of the people being heard. Now that it has hit the fan, I pray that we open our ears to hear the cries of a people far too long trampled upon, a people who can take no more.
In the House and Senate budget proposals for fiscal year 2016, passed with only Republican votes at the end of March, there are big winners and big losers. The big winners are defense spending and contractors and very wealthy people and powerful special interests. The big losers are children, our poorest group in America, and struggling low- and middle-income families.
It's a fascinating story about a humble Renaissance Man who left behind the best kind of legacy -- one that's articulated in human relations and in modern architecture.
The sun comes up slowly on the banks of Louisiana's bayou's. Lazy mornings mark the arrival of day even as moss covered trees swing sweetly in the hot and steamy breeze.
For all the accolades poured out upon Jesus, little is said about the harsh realities of the police state in which he lived and its similarities to modern-day America, and yet they are striking.
Why is universal health care, which is commonplace around the world, so hard to achieve in the United States? Why are we unable to overcome a market-based system that leads to a hundred thousand unnecessary deaths each year?
The Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act, signed by Governor Mike Pence last week, is one of the most biased pieces of state legislation we've seen in our modern era. The fact that it is cloaked in the name of religious freedom is particularly offensive to me as a member of the clergy who has been engaged in ministry and social justice work my entire life.
Once more, we must courageously embrace Nonviolence 365, which is based on my father's nonviolent philosophy and methodology, as the answer to the "crucial political and moral questions of our time," and not as a mere response to incidents but as a lifestyle and a force for good that permeates our culture, including our media and entertainment.
How does a citizen protect himself against a police officer's tendency to shoot first and ask questions later, oftentimes based only on their highly subjective "feeling" of being threatened? The short answer is you can't.