Message from Delaine Eastin on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
As Dr. King stated, “The time is always right to do what is right.” The visionary leadership and brilliant writings of Martin Luther King, Jr. have left a lasting imprint on our nation’s conscience. When an assassin killed Dr. King, I hoped Dr. King's senseless, heartbreaking murder would hasten the advancement of civil rights and equality. And yet in 2018, a half century later, our nation has an unhinged, depraved racist in the White House, stoking hatred and division in our country.
In the decades since the death of Dr. King, we have seen a war on drugs foster the mass incarceration of people who are poor, black and brown, and the resultant fracturing of communities. We have seen inequality grow as racism continues to be used to divide the classes.
Dr. King knew that unifying those living in poverty would drive political change; instead we have seen the cultivation of those divisions help elect and fortify the evil that is our president.
Today I march with millions across our nation to honor Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy and to recommit myself to the values and the vision he had for America. I know, as Dr. King said, “our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
I commit to true criminal justice reform, and that begins with an end to cash bail, an end to mandatory enhancements/minimums and an end to the fundamental criminalization of race and poverty. I commit to invest in education, not incarceration.
As Dr. King wrote: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
Let us stand together for justice,