Let's Go To the Mountaintop

Aurora Martin

Today marks the anniversary of the day Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his last speech in which he said that he had been to the mountaintop.  He spoke of the profound need for continued struggle, the need to march ahead; that no dogs, no fire hose, no injunction would keep the nation from moving forward.

As we come to the end of another long week of battles, especially in the Legislature, we may find timeless inspiration from his speech about having been to the mountaintop. Dr. King said he would not have chosen to live at any other time but then, for he knew the level of discontent in that moment was the path forward to his vision of the promised land – to a time when America would make good on what was said on paper.  Today’s level of discontent may persist, marked by mass incarceration, the criminalization of poverty, moral regulations of food, predation on the impoverished, and the further commodification and degradation of labor.

I know our work for justice feels at times like a mountain that is insurmountable, but all the battles, victories, and new alliances CLS forms today and the next is not all for naught and should only embolden our advocacy because we will, as Dr. King foretold, get there someday. I believe we will because our litigation remains fierce, our policy work skilled, and our profile well poised.

There is much to reflect on and celebrate, and yes always, still improve upon. But for me, this is a indeed a good Friday.