I am an 85-year-old white man who watched Dr. Martin Luther King as he responded to being struck in the forehead with a rock by staggering and then singing.
We stood and sang and looked into the eyes of white people whose hatred I can still feel.
Fifty years later, George Floyd was murdered by police as other white cops stood by.
Cell phones may make the difference in this battle for human rights. Millions of Americans, led by young people, are responding to state violence, exposed by phone cameras, in a way that offers hope.
I wish we had cell phones and cameras in prisons.
For the past 25 years, I have visited and advocated for people in Illinois prisons. My best friends, outside my family, are all imprisoned. On a daily basis, everyone in prison, but especially those who are black and brown, are subject to disrespect and insidious treatment.
The prison culture is built on security and fear, not respect and rehabilitation.