On a frequent basis, I get messages from death row inmates. Due to the volume of my work, I can only engage a small percentage of those who write. In early November, I received a request for help from Tennessee. Opening the envelope, I figured Andrew Thomas would get my regrets. I was wrong.
As we reflect on the past year, it seems the news was rife with suffering and pain in the world.
Over 400 days after Officer Timothy Loehmann opened fire on Tamir Rice in a Cleveland playground, killing the 12-year-old boy, Cuyahoga County prosecutor Timothy McGinty announced no charges will be laid.
“The students have taken the struggle for justice into their own strong hands. … The youth must take the freedom struggle into every community … into every nook and cranny. … The students will certainly want to delve deeper into the philosophy of nonviolence.” —Martin Luther King, Jr., 1960
Winter has begun.
This week we have honored the Solstice, and in so doing have been reminded by the earth, sun, and elements that this is a season of transition. Life cycles have come to completion, laid to rest, as the soil and elements prepare for a new day.
Looking back on 2015
“Until we have the courage to recognize cruelty for what it is … we cannot expect things to be much better in this world. … We cannot have peace among men whose hearts delight in killing any living creature. By every act that glorifies or even tolerates such moronic delight in killing we set back the progress of humanity.”
As the days shrink into long dark nights and the heightened activity of the holiday season accelerates time so that December seems fleeting, FOR staff and I pause to reflect and find peace by counting our blessings.
Wow — 2015 was an incredible year!
Early in the morning of Nov. 15, a 24-year-old black man named Jamar Clark was shot by police near the Fourth Precinct police station in Minneapolis under uncertain circumstances. Some witnesses say that he was shot “execution style” while handcuffed. His family removed him from life support, and he tragically died later that day.