On the historic day of May 1, 2015, I had the good fortune to be with Civil Rights legend Bob Zellner. In the early 1960's, Bob was arrested and tortured by police several times for leading peaceful Civil Rights demonstrations as the first white Southerner to serve as Field Secretary for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Below is his written statement.
Bob Zellner, May 1, 2015:
Today is May Day, an international day of solidarity among working people. On this May Day, 2015, people will take away different things from the actions of the young State’s Attorney in Baltimore, Marilyn Mosby, charging six police officers with serious crimes including murder in the death of Freddie Gray.
A few things occur to me as I reflect on my tears of a few minutes ago. One, that I cried with happiness that even the first step toward justice was accomplished with charges being levied. It says a lot that we have to celebrate such a rare thing.
Another thought is that charges of murder would not have been filed without the intense national and world scrutiny. The notorious Baltimore police, forced to do a textbook investigation of some of their bad actors, were compelled to brand their fellow officers as criminals. The most important takeaway from this morning’s events, however is that the leadership of youth is so clearly seen and even welcomed. Baltimore’s 35-year-old prosecutor related to the Black Lives Matter movement and the new nationwide youth-led moral human rights movement by calling herself a fellow young person and thanking them for providing leadership.
Majorities of whites and blacks say Marilyn Mosby made right decision in charging #Baltimore officers responsible for Freddie Gray's death
PEW Research Center reports:
"Overall, 65% say the decision by the state’s attorney to charge the officers was right, while 16% see it as the wrong decision; 18% do not offer an opinion. The question was asked May 1-3 among 798 adults. (Mosby announced the charges on May 1.)
"Nearly eight-in-ten blacks (78%) and 60% of whites say the decision to bring charges was right. There are sharp partisan differences in these views: 75% of Democrats, 71% of independents and 45% of Republicans express positive views of the decision to charge the six officers."
Fox News and Rush Limbaugh have been screaming the opposite, but the power of race-based propaganda is waning in the United States, even as its production levels climb to historic highs. Who would have predicted this 6 years ago during the cable news backlash against the results of the 2008 election?
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