For decades, American civil rights advocates have connected the dots between the domestic fight for civil rights and the international struggle for human rights.
Scripture tells us that the weeping may last the night but joy comes in the morning. I sure hope so, because my heart is broken. Michael Brown is one of too many men and boys of color targeted and dehumanized by a system that operates as though some people are worth more than others.
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.
Has America's moral arc bent toward justice over the last half century? By some measures, it appears not.
All three groups have been dehumanized as the "other," the bogeymen that will destroy if they are not destroyed. And all of us know what it is like to be trapped in the ghetto and have the walls close in on them, and all know how it feels when the lynch mob comes.
Have you been paying attention to the news lately? If so, I'm sure some of it has depressed you. Just as history has made us believe that the human race has made progress, reality will tell you the awful truth that we have not come that far at all.
There has to be something concrete that makes those of us living in the United States more than just co-residents who share little other than proximity. There has to be something that makes 300 million people into "we" and "us." That something is civic nationalism.
I am one of the fortunate ones. I have never been to war or singed with its insanity. When I see my government voluntarily send our citizens into battle without truth, on rationales that obviously lie to our faces, I want to raise my scream to the biosphere.
The ideal way to implement change is to wait for Congress to change the laws. The most efficient way for an American citizen to make their anger felt is by boycotting Walgreens.
Think about when you've fallen in love in your life or the first time you held your newborn child in your arms. The colors looked brighter, the sounds were clearer, and it felt like your heart was going to burst with love and joy.
Where education and "dialogue" with lukewarm Christian "allies" continues to be a one-sided effort to which only LGBTQ Christians and a handful of outspoken allies contribute, perhaps it's time to recognize what Jesus taught in the parable of the sower.
We can no longer ignore the economic reality, thanks to Professor Piketty, that without forceful government intervention on behalf of the people, inequality will increase.
Dr. King famously said, "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice." The Civil Rights Act changed the face of the nation, bending the arc sharply on July 2, 1964. But much work remains. On the 50-year anniversary of its passage, let us rededicate ourselves to the task of building a fairer, more just society.
Let us use the same spirit that powered the Civil Rights Act to re-energize our commitment to continue to push for positive change and equal access to opportunity for all our community. We can and must not only honor, but learn from our historic accomplishments.
On a recent walk-through of the new National Center for Civil and Human Rights (NCCHR) in Atlanta, CEO Doug Shipman looked at the group of social justice activists and their families and said, "This is it right here -- skim, swim or dive. There's content for every type of audience."
Architect Phil Freelon, whose Freelon Group recently merged with Perkins+Will, will be heading to Atlanta on June 23 for opening ceremonies centered around the design of his newest civic space: It's the strikingly symbolic National Center for Civil and Human Rights (NCCHR).