Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.

“1963 is not an end, but a beginning…”

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  It is a day we celebrate this man’s legacy.  It is said that when Marshall Rosenberg was developing Nonviolent Communication he based his system of communication on how nonviolent leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr spoke and conducted themselves.  But anytime we as a nation lift up prophets from the past as heroes of today we risk closing our ears to the continuing reverberations of their message.  For any prophet who makes a significant mark on history proclaimed a message that was not only for their own time but a message that is relevant to all times and all places.

Please listen to King’s “I have a Dream” Speech…it is only 14 minutes long:

Now, consider this speech in light of facts about our contemporary situation:

  • Roughly half of the 2 million Americans in jail are black, while Blacks are only 12.5 percent of the US population.
  • One in three black men possess a felony record.
  • The main drivers of this mass incarceration of blacks are the War on Drugs and “Get Tough on Crime” laws.
  • In most states those with a felony record are denied housing, work, opportunity to serve on a jury, and the right to vote.

These facts come from a study done by the Chicago Urban League and Michelle Alexander’s book The New Jim Crow.  In this book, Alexander argues persuasively that the War on Drugs has effectively created a new racial caste system that has simply replaced the racial caste system that civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr fought against.  As the four facts above illustrate there continues to be an under-class in America, largely along racial lines, where Black men and women still do not have the right to vote, are still discriminated against in terms of housing, and still are unable to find suitable work.  I strongly urge every one of my readers to read Michelle Alexander’s book The New Jim Crow.  It is eye opening.

I will leave you with a video of a CNN interview of Michelle Alexander which is only six minutes.  Please watch:

January 15, 2018Permalink
Free Practice Group

Twice a month I lead a free Compassionate Communication Practice Group. Open to those new and advanced students. We meet on the First and Third Monday of the month at 6 pm. We gather at 640 Hawthorn Lane in classroom 8. Classrooms are behind the church and to the left, next to the parking lot. Practice Group sessions usually run for 2 hours.

The next one will be on July 6th at 6 pm.