Martin Luther King Jr.“In a real sense all life is inter-related. All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be…
This is the inter-related structure of reality.”



By Marianne Williamson

The problem was always bigger than any one particular case, trial or lack thereof. If Darren Wilson had been indicted, the larger problem would not have been all fixed. And the fact that he wasn’t indicted isn’t going to stop the process of political awakening by which millions of Americans are standing up at last to the institutionalized racism, militarization of police forces and incarceration-for-profit that has black men feeling too often at a disadvantage should they wish to … oh, I don’t know…walk down the street.

The President asked protesters of the Ferguson decision to be peaceful and non-violent, which is understandable. But a system that incarcerates on average one out of every three African-American men, keeps 500,000 non-violent drug offenders locked up, is fraught with police brutality, and has the largest mass incarceration rate in the world, has a lot of nerve telling those who complain about this to be peaceful and non-violent. The system itself is laced with violence. The polite kind.

The Michael Brown grand jury decision is a shock to many, but should be a surprise to no one. Our criminal justice system gets it right sometimes and gets it wrong sometimes. But when it comes to African American men, the statistical trend towards getting it wrong is simply wrong.

The American experiment has never been perfect; it’s a process. America is a long game. It is as perfect or as imperfect as the people who foster and protect it in each generation. We’re a country that’s gotten it wrong many times before, but we’re a country that over time does tend to make things right. And our challenge now is clear. Let’s not be the first generation to wimp out on the job of making right in America something that’s so clearly wrong.

In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Justice in America isn’t magically bequeathed from one generation to the next; no written document can guarantee it always. Justice has to be vigilantly defended and expanded, the longing for it alive in the hearts of committed citizens year after year. And that’s what’s happening today, as people all over America are making it clear that the issue of a skewed criminal justice system will not go away. This is not a bad thing, it’s a good thing. And it’s why I stood applauding those who marched up Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles last night, protesting not necessarily one grand jury decision but rather an legal system now reeking with the stench of entrenched injustice.

Darren Wilson will not stand trial, but our criminal justice system absolutely must. The jury is the American people and the trial has only just begun. May justice be done, in this and in all things. And may it be done through us.