And Sicilia had a stern judgment to make — as King did in his time — about the U.S. government: “Since the war was unleashed as a means to exterminate (drug trafficking), the United States, which is the grand consumer of these toxic substances, has not done anything to support us.”This was about Javier Sicilia and the war on drugs in Mexico.
MLK? Harsh? Maybe the writer is thinking about this speech, Beyond Vietnam — A Time to Break Silence:
My third reason moves to an even deeper level of awareness, for it grows out of my experience in the ghettoes of the North over the last three years — especially the last three summers. As I have walked among the desperate, rejected, and angry young men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But they ask — and rightly so — what about Vietnam? They ask if our own nation wasn’t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.One year later to the day Martin Luther King Jr. was shot dead. This is what he died for:
This I believe to be the privilege and the burden of all of us who deem ourselves bound by allegiances and loyalties which are broader and deeper than nationalism and which go beyond our nation’s self-defined goals and positions. We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for the victims of our nation and for those it calls “enemy,” for no document from human hands can make these humans any less our brothers.What do you think Martin Luther King Jr. would have said about the tens of thousands dead in Mexico from the failed War on Drugs? Do you think he would have believed putting up a border fence would stop it affecting us? As we build still more prisons to lock up the largest proportion of any national population anywhere? When 85% of those in the prison system are black, those same “desperate, rejected, and angry young men” who caused him to break his silence, or their desperate, rejected, and angry descendants, many of them right here in south Georgia? When Georgia and other states are privatizing justice for the profit of private prison executives and shareholders?
MLK began his speech with this quote:
“A time comes when silence is betrayal.”We don’t need a private prison in Lowndes County. Spend that tax money on education.