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Can Dr. King's Strategy of Non Violent Direct Confrontation End Gang Violence?

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Host Naimah Latif

Host Naimah Latif

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Televised scenes of white police demonstrating overt hatred for peaceful protest marchers attacking them with police dogs and high powered water hoses moved many indignant citizens to join the Civil Rights Movement. Here was hatred that was visibly expressed, and it was easy to confront it with non-violent protest marches and draw it out in the open. Dr. Martin Luther King's strategy to expose and defeat open and violent racial hatred was successful. Today, as the Nation celebrates Dr. King's life and work, we ask the question, Can Dr. King's strategy of non-violent direct confrontation end gang violence? There are often peace marches after someone is shot down, but no one confronts the or exposes those responsible. How would Dr. King's strategy work in drawing out those who are mired in battles for gang turf, their senseless killings creating more fear and danger than white racists ever did? Who would march unarmed through gang turf? Who would march up to the front door of known gang leaders and have a "sit in" on their front porch and pray and sing hymns until they called a truce? Would marchers include women and children like in Dr. King's time? Would we call in television cameras to observe the community's reactions? Do we use the same tactics against police brutality? What about those police officers who are known to be agitators, who harrass innocent citizens in the name of "fighting gang crime?" Do we march to their homes and "sit in" or "pray in" until they resign from their jobs? Dr. King's strategy was very aggressive and very personal in exposing those whose actions were hateful and destructive. Can we successfully use those tactics to address the problems of crime and violence in our community today? If so, how? If such a demonstration were organized ould YOU be willing to participate? Participants in the 1960s Civil Rights Movement reflect on this question.
 

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