Tag Archive for Justice

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr: “We shall always march ahead, we cannot turn back”

The day set aside to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday is a good day to reflect on the power of resistance, the power of peaceful demonstration, the power of We The People insisting that our government reflects our values and addresses our needs.

Last year, the Holiday Proclamation was written and signed by President Barack Obama, the first black president, and was marked with a speech by then Attorney General Loretta Lynch, the first black woman attorney general.

Today is about them – and tomorrow will be about them and every tomorrow will be about them until that day when our government once again reflects the values of her citizens.

On August 28, 1963 a quarter of a million people gathered to support civil rights, and share Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of equality.

Dr. King:

We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.

We cannot turn back.[…]

With [our] faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

Full transcript below along with a video of John Lewis, President Barack Obama’s presidential proclamation for the final Martin Luther King Day holiday of his presidency, and Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s speech in Birmingham.

VNV Tuesday – Poetic Justice 11/7/17

An excerpt from the poem The Welder by Cherrie Moraga; the complete poem can be found here: The Welder

…I am now
coming up for air
Yes, I am
picking up the torch.

I am the welder.
I understand the capacity of heat
to change the shape of things.
I am suited to work
within the realm of sparks
out of control.

I am the welder.
I am taking the power
into my own hands.

It Takes A Village: VNV Wednesday – Does She Weep?

The Village News & Views June 21, 2017
Wednesday Get Over the Hump Free for All


Greetings, Village Meese. It’s Day 153 of the Resistance and time for another Get Over the Hump post and discussion thread. 

The general theme of the day is Justice.

She is said to be blind, not able to see whether those who are brought before her are rich or poor, of what skin color, sect or sex, but I think most of us are present to the reality of our American system.

In Trumpland, the courts have helped us Resist the Muslim Ban, and other RW agenda items, but at the same time, the news is filled almost daily with verdicts that render no justice for the victims.

Yet justice is one of the things we strive towards, and one of the things we as Democrats believe should be accorded equally to all.

My depiction in our banner seems to be weeping beneath her blindfold. Tears are sadness and pain, but they are also compassion, and sometimes, mercy.

The victims of injustice are among those we fight for.

Remember them today.

WTFJH yesterday…  Day 152: Spicey.

Wonkette… Count The Gunshots In Philando Castile’s Dashcam Murder

Bustle.com… Who Was Charleena Lyles? She Was Shot & Killed After Calling 911

Rantt.com… The 7 Women In The Senate Leading The Resistance

It Takes A Village – VNV Tuesday: Silence Is Not An Option 4/4/17

Rev. Dr. William Barber at a Moral Mondays rally

This past weekend the Rev. Dr. William Barber spoke at Riverside Church in NYC as the kickoff of the church’s yearlong Beyond the Dream: Living King’s Legacy, an”education and action initiative to create a more just and peaceful society.” April 4th is the fiftieth anniversary of King’s Riverside speech. (The text of Dr. King’s speech can be found here: Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence.) Basket attended the service, and what follows is his report:

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr: “We shall always march ahead, we cannot turn back”

Today, the day set aside to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday, is a good day to reflect on the power of resistance, the power of peaceful demonstration, the power of We The People to insist that our government reflects our values and addresses our needs.

On August 28, 1963 a quarter of a million people gathered to support civil rights, and share Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of equality.

Dr. King:

We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.

We cannot turn back.[…]

With [our] faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

Full transcript below along with a video of John Lewis, President Barack Obama’s presidential proclamation for the final Martin Luther King Day holiday of his presidency, and Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s speech in Birmingham.

President Obama in Dallas: “Can we see in each other a common humanity and a shared dignity?”

Yesterday, President Obama spoke at an interfaith ceremony in Dallas Texas to honor the lives and service of the 5 police officers murdered last week: Lorne Ahrens, Michael Krol, Michael Smith, Patrick Zamarripa, Brent Thompson.

He spoke also of the killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castille whose deaths sparked nationwide protests including the protest that those police officers were part of and protecting; he spoke of systemic racism, injustice, the failures our of institutions and hardened hearts.

President Obama:

When African Americans from all walks of life, from different communities across the country, voice a growing despair over what they perceive to be unequal treatment; when study after study shows that whites and people of color experience the criminal justice system differently, so that if you’re black you’re more likely to be pulled over or searched or arrested, more likely to get longer sentences, more likely to get the death penalty for the same crime; when mothers and fathers raise their kids right and have “the talk” about how to respond if stopped by a police officer — “yes, sir,” “no, sir” — but still fear that something terrible may happen when their child walks out the door, still fear that kids being stupid and not quite doing things right might end in tragedy — when all this takes place more than 50 years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, we cannot simply turn away and dismiss those in peaceful protest as troublemakers or paranoid. (Applause.) We can’t simply dismiss it as a symptom of political correctness or reverse racism. To have your experience denied like that, dismissed by those in authority, dismissed perhaps even by your white friends and coworkers and fellow church members again and again and again — it hurts. Surely we can see that, all of us.

We also know what Chief Brown has said is true: That so much of the tensions between police departments and minority communities that they serve is because we ask the police to do too much and we ask too little of ourselves. (Applause.) As a society, we choose to underinvest in decent schools. We allow poverty to fester so that entire neighborhoods offer no prospect for gainful employment. (Applause.) We refuse to fund drug treatment and mental health programs. (Applause.) We flood communities with so many guns that it is easier for a teenager to buy a Glock than get his hands on a computer or even a book — (applause) — and then we tell the police “you’re a social worker, you’re the parent, you’re the teacher, you’re the drug counselor.” We tell them to keep those neighborhoods in check at all costs, and do so without causing any political blowback or inconvenience. Don’t make a mistake that might disturb our own peace of mind. And then we feign surprise when, periodically, the tensions boil over.

He concluded with a call to open our hearts and forge consensus to fight cynicism and make changes:

That’s what we must pray for, each of us: a new heart. Not a heart of stone, but a heart open to the fears and hopes and challenges of our fellow citizens. That’s what we’ve seen in Dallas these past few days. That’s what we must sustain.

Because with an open heart, we can learn to stand in each other’s shoes and look at the world through each other’s eyes, so that maybe the police officer sees his own son in that teenager with a hoodie who’s kind of goofing off but not dangerous — (applause) — and the teenager — maybe the teenager will see in the police officer the same words and values and authority of his parents. […]

In the end, it’s not about finding policies that work; it’s about forging consensus, and fighting cynicism, and finding the will to make change.

Can we do this? Can we find the character, as Americans, to open our hearts to each other? Can we see in each other a common humanity and a shared dignity, and recognize how our different experiences have shaped us? And it doesn’t make anybody perfectly good or perfectly bad, it just makes us human. […]

For all of us, life presents challenges and suffering — accidents, illnesses, the loss of loved ones. There are times when we are overwhelmed by sudden calamity, natural or manmade. All of us, we make mistakes. And at times we are lost. And as we get older, we learn we don’t always have control of things — not even a President does. But we do have control over how we respond to the world. We do have control over how we treat one another.

America does not ask us to be perfect. Precisely because of our individual imperfections, our founders gave us institutions to guard against tyranny and ensure no one is above the law; a democracy that gives us the space to work through our differences and debate them peacefully, to make things better, even if it doesn’t always happen as fast as we’d like. America gives us the capacity to change.

But as the men we mourn today — these five heroes — knew better than most, we cannot take the blessings of this nation for granted. Only by working together can we preserve those institutions of family and community, rights and responsibilities, law and self-government that is the hallmark of this nation. For, it turns out, we do not persevere alone. Our character is not found in isolation. Hope does not arise by putting our fellow man down; it is found by lifting others up.

Full transcript below along with raw video of the entire ceremony.

March On! Journey for Justice enters North Carolina today.

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Yesterday was the 52nd anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which took place in 1963. It is an important part of civil rights history, and we honor it. More important is the movement that is taking place now, because the dreams evoked in the past have not yet been fulfilled, and since that time many of the struggles we won have been undermined. There are those in this country who want to turn the clock back.

The NAACP kicked off an 860 mile march from Selma to Washington DC on Aug. 1, calling it “America’s Journey for Justice”.

Our Lives, Our Votes, Our Jobs, and Our Schools Matter. From August 1 to September 16, America’s Journey for Justice–an historic 860-mile march from Selma, Alabama, to Washington, D.C.–will mobilize activists and advance a focused national advocacy agenda that protects the right of every American to a fair criminal justice system, uncorrupted and unfettered access to the ballot box, sustainable jobs with a living wage, and equitable public education.

Each state march has a specific focus: Alabama (Economic Inequality), Georgia (Education Reform) South Carolina(Criminal Justice Reform).

Today the march enters North Carolina where voting rights is the major issue being targeted. North Carolina currently has the most repressive voter restriction and suppression laws in the United States.

Watch this video and hear Rev. William Barber, from the NC NAACP and Moral Mondays Movement talk about what is happening in North Carolina.

Follow me below the fold for more about the events that will be taking place, how you can get involved or offer support.

President Obama Announces 46 Commutations in Video Address: “America Is a Nation of Second Chances”

From the White House blog, Neil Eggleston, Counsel to the President

As a former Assistant U.S. Attorney and criminal defense attorney, I’m well acquainted with how federal sentencing practices can, in too many instances, lead nonviolent drug offenders to spend decades, if not life, in prison. Now, don’t get me wrong, many people are justly punished for causing harm and perpetuating violence in our communities. But, in some cases, the punishment required by law far exceeded the offense.

These unduly harsh sentences are one of the reasons the President is committed to using all the tools at his disposal to remedy unfairness in our criminal justice system. Today, he is continuing this effort by granting clemency to 46 men and women, nearly all of whom would have already served their time and returned to society if they were convicted of the exact same crime today.

In a video released today, the President underscored the responsibility and opportunity that comes with a commutation:

In taking this step, the President has now issued nearly 90 commutations, the vast majority of them to non-violent offenders sentenced for drug crimes under outdated sentencing rules.

While I expect the President will issue additional commutations and pardons before the end of his term, it is important to recognize that clemency alone will not fix decades of overly punitive sentencing policies. Tune in tomorrow as the President, [in an address to the NAACP], shares additional thoughts on how, working together, we can bring greater fairness to our criminal justice system while keeping our communities safe.

Thank you, Eric Holder!

Attorney General Eric Holder: The People’s Lawyer

Eric Holder bids final farewell, heralds ‘Golden Age’ at Justice Dept.

Attorney General Eric Holder bid a final farewell to what he predicts will be recognized in the next half-century as a new “Golden Age” at the Department of Justice, leaving behind a historic six-year tenure as the first African-American man to serve as the nation’s top attorney.

“This is something that has meant the world to me, it has helped define me as an individual and as a lawyer, as a man,” Holder said in his final send-off Friday with the department employees who served under him. […]

In a nod to his historic achievements, the Justice Department released a video earlier in the day featuring prominent politicians from President Bill Clinton to Rep. John Lewis to Sen. Patrick Leahy, describing Holder’s legacy as “the people’s lawyer.” […]

Slipping off his wrist a black band with the inscription “Free Eric Holder” – a fashion statement among his supporters in the Justice Department during the months-long stand-off over Lynch’s confirmation – Holder tossed the rubber bracelet into the crowd in his final act as attorney general.

“I think we can officially say now that Eric Holder is free,” he said.

Transcript of farewell speech below the fold.