HUFFINGTON POST By Rev. Al Sharpton The justice system. We often like to think that in a great democracy like ours, we are all equal under the law no matter what our personal or financial background. The reality is, that while we may have a right to an attorney and a day in court, our judicial system is far from perfect. Too often, those with money and power can avert harsh sentences, while the poor find themselves receiving maximum time and penalties. This aspect of economic inequality — one where a 16-year-old teenager can drive drunk, kill four people and receive no jail time because he allegedly suffered from ‘affluenza’ — is one of our greatest remaining challenges. Financial disparity within our judicial system isn’t a notion of the past; it is ever present today. And perhaps nothing serves as more of a stirring reminder of this grave injustice than the very case of this teen, Ethan Couch, who has forever shattered the lives of many and received nothing but a virtual slap on the wrist. FULL ARTICLE
This past Saturday, approximately 175,000 to 200,000 people gathered and marched in Washington, D.C. to call attention to the civil rights challenges of our time. When Martin Luther King III and I called for this rally, it was widely assumed that we would not be able to get even 100,000 to participate. Those naysayers couldn’t have been more wrong. At a time when so many Americans are gravely concerned about voting rights, jobs, gun violence and safety, hundreds of thousands traveled from across the country to join us because they understand the fierce urgency of now. While we acknowledge progress achieved during the last 50 years, we are not blind to the great injustices of today. On Wednesday, President Obama and others will commemorate the ‘March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.’ We will be a part of that celebration, but we remain passionate about the continuation of the actualization of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.‘s dream that was represented on Saturday. Our work is far from over, but we, the people, are re-energized to tackle injustice head on.