Today, too many would-be movement leaders simply want to be Dr. King or Mrs. Rosa Parks: they want the glory and privilege of leadership without the burdens or sacrifice and sustained hard work. Movements are not built from the top down by powerful leaders but percolate from the bottom up from people who share common grievances.
In 1961, Martin Luther King Jr. and President Kennedy took a stroll through the White House. When they passed the Lincoln Bedroom, King noticed the Emancipation Proclamation wall, and took the opportunity to raise the issue of civil rights. He suggested something radical: a second Emancipation Proclamation.
While there are troubling undertones of racial suspicion and fear in Trayvon Martin's killing which must be addressed as justice is sought, the fact is that most Black young people murdered by guns are killed by Black shooters -- just as most White children and teens murdered by guns are killed by White shooters. Sadly the tragedies of Tucson, Aurora, Newtown and elsewhere made clear that none of us are safe anywhere or immune to the pervasive threat of gun violence. We are all in the same boat and must act together to stop the plague of violence. Gun safety laws that only apply in one city or state can't fully stop our national epidemic of gun proliferation and violence any better than we can stop a flu epidemic by vaccinating one family.