Peace activist and Civil Rights leader, Dr. King chanted this statement outside a California prison, which was holding Vietnam War protesters on December 14, 1967. In his commitment and passion for justice, and in his inimical and profound way, he understood several connecting strands:
I see these two struggles as one struggle.
By fighting a war “against the self-determination of the Vietnamese people,” he realized that his country, the United States of America, had been proliferating injustice. While fighting for the civil and human rights of people in his home nation without opposing what King believed to be the clear exploitation of the Vietnamese people would have contradicted his declaration that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Throughout his life, he invoked his vibrant image of the “inescapable network of mutuality” that links all of humanity.
Dr. King is but one of literally countless social justice activists, known and unrecognized throughout the ages across our remarkable planet.
They have placed their values and their very lives on the line to ensure a better, more peaceful, and equitable world for themselves and their descendants, a world highlighted by a more level playing field between people of every identity and background, and one where a safety net catches people who have hit tough times and people with limited abilities to meet their needs.
Because of their courageous dedication to the concept of fairness and justice in the relationship between the individual and the state and between states, in their devotion to obliterating the barriers of social mobility by working actively for equality of opportunity and economic justice, they have given us so much.
But as we know, the struggle for social justice is ongoing, and the journey must continue before we collectively reach our ultimate destination.
Throughout the Brett Kavanaugh Congressional hearings, Dr. King prophetic truth again surfaced. In the toxic environment in which the President of the United States and leaders on the Republican side of the aisle blocked comprehensive FBI investigations into Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s credible allegations of sexual abuse against Kavanaugh, peace could not prevail since justice was denied.
Protestors rightly demonstrated their outrage and disgust at a process in which the majority of Senators failed to believe a woman who took great risks to her personal and professional life to come forward and tell her truth.
It was a process that protected a man who quite obviously committed perjury under oath, who politicized the hearings with claims of vast left-wing conspiracy theories, and who clearly demonstrated a lack of character and temperament to sit on the most powerful and prestigious judicial body in the land.
Right-wing politicians, pundits, and Fox News entertainers now march to the beat of identical mid-term elections talking points that represent these protesters as constituting a well-funded extremist, angry, and violent mob that is attempting to topple the three foundational pillars of our government: the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial.
From McConnell and Graham to Grassley and Ryan, from Hannity, Pirro, and Carlson, to Ingraham and Fox & Friends, to Trump, they have raised the clarion call of fear and resentment against anyone who speaks up, anyone who resists the seating of Kavanaugh on the United States Supreme Court.
On Twitter, Fox News contributor Todd Starnes called protesters “animals” who shouted in the Senate gallery during the vote to confirm Kavanaugh, and called for them to be forcibly ejected:
Those screaming animals in the Senate gallery should be tasered, handcuffed and dragged out of the building. #Kavanaugh
Donald Trump referred to the protestors as “evil” and as “an angry left-wing mob.
Trump defines women sexual abuse survivors as “a mob”– many of whom either did not have the support and the safety to tell their stories and be heard, and those who spoke up but were not believed or taken seriously.
On the other hand, Trump referred to torch-bearing neo-Nazis and white supremacists marching through the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia some of whom “were good
If you want to see an actual mob, simply attend a Trump political rally where the Bully-In-Chief revs his crowds into heated frenzy by demanding to “lock her up.”
So yes, Donald, and Mitch, and Lindsey, and Chuck, and Paul, and Laura, and Jeanine, and Tucker, and Sean, and Steve, and Ainsley, and Brian, and to the rest, you cannot expect peace without justice.
Or as Jimmy Kimmel succinctly put it on his late night program, October 8, 2018, you cannot expect peace when “The Washington Monument is like a big middle finger now pointing at us.”
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