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DANIELS: Betrayed By the Criminal Injustice System

Lee A. Daniels | 2/26/2014, 3 p.m.
It all seems so familiar, doesn't it? A Black man, or woman, or child is murdered by a White person ...
Lee A. Daniels

Why? Because it is part of Black Americans’ legacy of struggle. Because Blacks owe it to the innocent to rescue them from the well of lost souls. And because of what another truth of Black history makes clear: The spasm of furious racist violence against the Civil Rights Movement in the South in the early to mid-1960s was actually a harbinger of the movement’s successful completion of that stage of the Black freedom struggle.

So, today, the violence – of language and of murderous action – against Black Americans exemplified by the Michael Dunns of the nation in fact signals that the retrograde force of White supremacy is still losing ground.

That isn’t a “happy” thought when measured against the tragedy that ended the life of a youth who had his whole life ahead of him. The only consolation available to those who seek to fully right that terrible wrong is to remember the most powerful answer to the question of what becomes a tragedy most and stand their ground on the fundamental lesson of Black History – enunciated first by the 19th-century White abolitionist Theodore Parker, and given fresh energy by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

Lee A. Daniels is a longtime journalist based in New York City. His latest book is "Last Chance: The Political Threat to Black America."