Our nation owes a great debt to the young persons and older adults who protested against acts of actual or perceived police misconduct in Baltimore, Maryland; Staten Island, New York; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Ferguson, Missouri; Cleveland, Ohio; North Charleston, South Carolina; and other cities around the country. They are the moral conscience of our nation.
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.
That things haven't gone deeper into the constant fear and violence that permeated the decade of the 1960s is a testament to the grassroots organizing that takes place around this country, in ever urban, suburban and rural area.
By focusing on what matters to you, you benefit and connect with others, who then feed that energy back to you. A virtuous cycle. THAT is how you profit from your passion.
During my childhood I was aware that I was different in color from the majority of people around me, but my father and mother emphasized brainpower, not color. Color was what you were, but not using your brain was a choice.
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.