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Solution Paper #50: The MLK Solution Of Non-Violence

Three of the greatest thinkers about society and violence vs. non-violence, were Martin Luther King, Mohatta Ghandi, and Martin Luther. We write here to revisit the need to reassess the approach to violence tried by others that has not succeeded. approach of and to non-violence.

As we wrote in our December 10, 2015 column, an open letter To Black Lives Matter, NAACP, and out of town demonstrators, it all boils down to the devisive tension that runs high with the Black Community as a result, raising a key question, to often ignord: Whose community?  Ours or out of towners?

Out of towners are equivalent to what many on the left oppose: regime change, and yet that is what out of towners want: for us to not only change, but to change in the way they say we should change. Our concern is that with diffeent factions, saying “to hell with due process” strips the protection it gives us, which is why when the law school teachers’ unconcern with due process should be scary to the out of towners, as it is scary. What happens when a group you don't favor suspecds due process sahying, "well, they did too"

As we wrote in that December 10, 2015 column, we know protesters mean well.  But continued protest outside the 4th Precinct in North Minneapolis raises serious questions about your theor goals as they cause divisions within leaders of our community, not only in North Minneapolis, but across the metropolitan area.

We all, black and white, sympathize with their cause, but not their methods.  When you push people away and won’t wait for all the evidence (preferring to “shoot first and ask questions later”), you hinder civil rights struggles, causing people who want to help and invest in our communities to shy away from doing so.

This is OUR community, OUR city.  Their disrespecting us, trashingus and blocking our streets, blocking access to public transportation, creating problems for our elderly and those travelling to work by bus, won’t help the cause of civil rights as these actions disrespect and undermine the civil rights struggle.

When the Mayor and key Black leaders and Jamar Clark’s family asked demonstrators to stop their demonstrations and violence, and theysaid no, even Minnesota's US Representative Keith Ellison said about the result of their efforts:  “The unintended effect is domestic terrorists are coming to the protest to start trouble."  And even t hough they eventually came ato their senses and disperse, they left worse than a bad taste in local mouths: they destroy hope and efforts to make desired change..

We live in a nation of laws established to protect both majority and minority.  We do it better than any other country.  We, including many of our Black communities, are the envy of the world.  The opportunity of demonstrators to demonstrate and say what they will is because they are protected by the Constitution’s  5th, and 14th amendments regarding “due process” (the state must respect all legal rights of individuals, protecting them from excess use of the law).

There are Black attorneys on both sides of these conflicts.  What startles us are the law school professors leading demonstrators to betray our laws, especially the very parts they learned that were established to protect their due process.

Saying “to hell with due process”  strips the protection it gives, which is why law school teachers lack of concern abaout due process is scary.  Why doesn’t your concern for justice take you to demonstrate before the front doors of the Office of Criminal Apprehension and the FBI?   

Demonstrators using violenmce have inspired silent white clergy to openly criticize Black clergy and Congressman Keith Ellison, accusing them of being out of step.  Demonstrators using violence undermine civil rights struggles by casting aside due process and equal protection under the color of law, enabling chaos and anarchy.

Ssaying that it is time for old leadership to move on and that we should then, as a community, accept this a guard of leadership is common with misplaced youthful exuberance.  It has been a common complaint since Socrates expressed it in ancient Greece, 2,500 years ago. 

The premise of demonstrators that due process and constitutional guarantees may be dismissed and abandoned because they don’t like something is an invitation to anarchy at the expense of freedom and liberty.

It is not the tradition and history of the African American to embrace anarchy and dismiss the rights of others nor is it what allowed us to gain the attention of America over the past 100 years in our struggle for equality of opportunity, for not only the sons and daughters of the African but for the sons and daughters of all citizens, are protected by the doctrine of equal protection under the law.

Posted Friday, December 11, 2015, 11:59 p.m.

Most recent update posted August 8, 2016

Ron Edwards hosts "Black Focus" on Channel 17, MTN-TV, Sundays, 5-6 pm, and co-hosts Blog Talk Radio’s “ON POINT!" Saturdays at 5 pm, providing coverage about Black Minnesota. Order his books at Hear his readings and read his columns, his solution papers and his "Tracking the Gaps" web log. Formerly head of key civil rights organizations, including the Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission and the Urban League, he continues his "watchdog" role for Minneapolis, and his work to contribute to the planning to help mold a consensus for the future of Black and White Americans together of Minneapolis.

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