Tag Archives: Martin Luther King

Everyone needs to hear what Neill Franklin is saying to honor Martin Luther King today

This email from the executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition showed up in my inbox today:

Dear Eapen,

On a day when we honor a man whom historians may well come to describe as one of America’s Founding Fathers, I am reminded of how inspired I have been by the words and deeds of Dr. Martin Luther King.

When I think of countless LEAP supporters from all walks of life devoting themselves to defending the vulnerable, hidden and scorned victims of our drug policies, I feel his words,  “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” taking material form. Real policy reform protects the weakest among us.

When I reflect on the inequitable enforcement of our drug policies, I am reminded of his statement that, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” Selective, discriminatory enforcement is a cornerstone of a policy that has always been more a war on certain people than a genuine war on addiction.

When I think of LEAP’s founding fathers, the five cops who had had enough of this unjust war and created an international organization of law enforcement professionals who confront the status quo, I am bolstered by his statement that, “We who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive.”

But mostly, especially when tempted to walk away and take the easier path, my commitment is reborn in his words, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

And so, on the day of his birth, I speak for LEAP when I express our gratitude for his work and a re-commitment to his ideals.


Major Neill Franklin—Retired
Executive Director


Addendum: Here is a picture of Neill Franklin, Diane Fornbacher, and I outside the White House at a 40th anniversary vigil for the Drug War last June.


The audacity of belief

I refuse to accept the cynical notion that nation after nation must spiral down a militaristic stairway into the hell of thermonuclear destruction. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant. I believe that even amid today’s mortar bursts and whining bullets, there is still hope for a brighter tomorrow. I believe that wounded justice, lying prostrate on the blood-flowing streets of our nations, can be lifted from this dust of shame to reign supreme among the children of men. I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits. I believe that what self-centered men have torn down men other-centered can build up. I still believe that one day mankind will bow before the altars of God and be crowned triumphant over war and bloodshed, and nonviolent redemptive good will proclaim the rule of the land. “And the lion and the lamb shall lie down together and every man shall sit under his own vine and fig tree and none shall be afraid.” I still believe that We Shall overcome!

-Martin Luther King, Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech, 1964

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