Black Lives Have Always Mattered
I've just made my first ever visit to Birmingham, Alabama, where fifty-one-and-a-half years ago Martin Luther King Jr. was jailed for his role in organizing nonviolent protests by black Alabamans against the unfair, inhumane and fundamentally unjust policies of their city. While King was in prison, men, women and children of color were attacked on the streets of Birmingham with dogs and fire hoses. Their attackers were police and fire fighters; the attacks were sanctioned by the commissioner of public safety.
- Things like a pervasive and persistent disparity in how laws are enforced on black people as compared to white people.
- Things like a legal and cultural predisposition that official acts of violence are above suspicion.
- Things like the execution of young black men for such crimes as walking through the wrong neighborhood or listening to the wrong music or not showing enough deference to the powers that be.