"How Long? Not Long!" was the question and answer given by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as he stood on the steps of the Capitol building in March 1965 after leading the march from Selma to Montgomery. It was also a declaration that the struggle must continue. Despite obstacles and adversity, people came together and demanded better. They showed that it was not acceptable to establish laws that disenfranchised. They marched together to exemplify that together we can address discriminatory housing practices, inadequate public school funding and policies that keep poverty in place. As a result of their trek protesting injustices, they advanced equality.
In Mississippi, we continue to see communities of color, the immigrant community, our LGBT citizens, and persons with disability marginalized. Mississippi touts the 2nd highest prison population, ranks at the bottom when it comes to education, and continues to have the worst poverty ranking. All of these issues are the result of deep seated, structural and institutional inequity in income, education, criminal justice, employment, and health.
A battle was won 50 years ago but the war still wages. The tactics of enemies of equality may not be as overt but they remain the same. Public schools and quality education remain a focus of attack. Employment opportunities are barred by unnecessary policies. Injustices in application of criminal laws have targeted young men of color.
The time for the arc to turn toward justice in Mississippi is now. It is our sincere hope that all Mississippians join together to establish a better Mississippi. Help us today. Pivot Mississippi toward justice by calling on political leaders to dismantle barriers and increase equity. In honor of Dr. King and other heroes who marched, bled, and died - vote.