Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. – Martin Luther King, Jr. “Letter from Birmingham Jail” April 16, 1963
Those searing words are as apt today as they were a half century ago.
- In some parts of the world a girl is more likely to be raped than to learn how to read.
- It costs just 25 cents a day to provide a child with the vitamins and nutrients to grow up healthy, but every hour 300 children die from malnutrition.
- Global military spending exceeds $1.7 trillion per year, 100 times more than annual cancer research spending.
- One in three black men can expect to go to prison in their lifetime, while black women are three times more likely than white women to be incarcerated.
- Worldwide, women and girls ages 15 to 44 are more likely to be maimed or killed by men than by malaria, cancer, war or traffic accidents combined.
- The world’s nations pumped 2.4 million pounds of carbon dioxide into the air every second from the burning of fossil fuels last year, poisoning our children and endangering life on our planet.
- Over 40% of Americans live in a household with a gun, more than the percentage of young adults enrolled in college.
- One in seven people on earth goes to bed hungry each night, while 1,426 billionaires have a net worth of $5.4 trillion, more than 100 times the amount necessary to eradicate global hunger.
- Only about one third of countries around the world have laws in place to combat violence against women, and in most of these countries those laws are not enforced.
- Our government regularly uses unmanned drones to fire missiles at ill-defined targets, killing babies in the process.
- Every year, 60 million girls are sexually assaulted at or on their way to school.
- Our government detains people indefinitely with no charges and no recourse then forces feeding tubes down their throat when they protest.
- Every 2 minutes someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted, but 97% of rapists will never spend a day in jail.
- 1.4 billion people in developing countries live on $1.25 a day or less, while the top 40 highest-earning hedge fund managers made a combined $13.2 billion in a single year.
- Over a million people lose their lives to violence and millions more are injured and maimed every year.
- Murder is a leading cause of death for pregnant women.
- 85 of the richest people on the planet are as wealthy as the poorest 3.5 billion.
- Our government assassinates its own citizens with no trial.
- 1.6 billion people face economic water shortage, while 2 to 4 million gallons of water are used to frack a single well, contaminating aquifers with methane, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene.
We truly share a “single garment of destiny” and if we accept one of the injustices above, we are enabling all of them.