The Medl in News
it’s important that we don’t take his contributions to history for granted. It can be easy for stories like Dr. King’s to become larger than life and lose sight of the real struggle and sacrifice that went into ending the segregation era. Worse still, we can make the mistake of viewing his story in isolation instead of as a part of a long struggle for equality that continues to this day. Of course, I don’t know what it’s like to walk in the shoes of a person of color in this country, and I won’t pretend to. I only see the issues of racial inequality from the outside as an observer. But working in the criminal justice system as long as I have has given me plenty to observe, and it’s plain to see that we, as a country, need to do more to carry forward Dr. King’s dream. Civil rights are something I interact with every day as a criminal defense attorney. No matter who we’re representing, it’s our job to protect the freedoms granted to them under the Constitution, including the right to a fair trial. When fighting for those rights again and again, you start to notice that some cases are more of an uphill battle than others, even when dealing with the same charge. You begin to see the biases in the court system. Any honest defense lawyer will admit that it’s easier to get an acquittal for a white woman than a black man in otherwise identical circumstances. As hard as it can be to face, over 50 years after Dr. King’s death, there is still injustice in our criminal justice system.
A LESSON IN COURAGE
Honoring the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
What always stood out to me about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is his personal bravery. During the civil rights movement, he continually stood up for what was right at great risk to himself. He knew the political climate and that many wanted to silence him forever, and yet, he kept speaking. As we prepare to once again honor the life and legacy of this great American, we should draw inspiration from the strength of his moral conviction.
It’s not just that Dr. King continued to live in the public eye despite being the target of hateful, violent groups — it’s that he did so with such grace. If he feared for his life, he certainly didn’t show it. Greater still, he continued to promote change through nonviolence. To continue to march, protest, speak, and boycott in the face of heinous threats and acts of brutality takes courage and self-restraint in equal measure. I’m far from the first person to praise the moral conviction of Dr. King; his words, actions, and underlying bravery have inspired people around the world for generations. But I do think
So, as MLK Day draws near, let’s not simply remember his achievements as isolated acts of a heroic figure. Let’s honor his memory by living by his words: to love and serve humanity.
– Gary L. Medlin, Esq.
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