James T. Ingram, a columnist for the St. Louis American, tweeted an arresting photo of civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., with the comment, "Hands Up, don't shoot, Ferguson PD!" The events in Ferguson show that the racial inequality that King fought to eradicate endures to this day, especially with regards to the disproportionate number of Black men who are the victims of police violence.
MLK -- Bad check... marked insufficient funds
In the 1963 "I have a dream" speech, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. pointed out the nature of the problems with inequality and injustice with a powerful metaphor:
"In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men - yes, black men as well as white men - would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness... It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check that has come back marked 'insufficient funds.'"
For every Black iconic success, there are many more whose situation seems more hopeless every day. The people of Jefferson, MO, young and old, are echoing that same sentiment today, following the death of Michael Brown.