The willful and wanton murder of George Floyd serves as a powerful reminder of the ongoing institutional racial and social injustices in this country. The painful wounds that flow from the unequal administration of justice run deep. In a democratic society, law is the covenant that binds free people together. The legitimacy of that covenant rests on the bedrock of equal protection—the fundamental principle that everyone stands on a level playing field in the eyes of the law. Racism, however, makes equal protection impossible. To mistreat a person on account of that person’s skin color is evil. When that racism takes the form of state-sponsored police brutality, the ties that link us together as fellow citizens sear from the pain of the oppressed.
No one is unaffected. While wrongfully imprisoned by police in a Birmingham jail, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. taught the world that the infection of inequality lands on each of us: “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.”
We, the faculty of Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, denounce the murder of George Floyd and the senseless killing of countless others. We share the heartache of all those who are hurting from the continuing stain of racism. We also stand in solidarity with our many students and alumni who are battling on the front lines to make this country more just. Their example inspires us, and we remain steadfast in our mission of shaping future lawyers dedicated to forging a system of justice that lives up to our nation’s stated, yet unrealized, ideals.The courage and passion of our students and alumni provide hope that the day is near when the constitutional guarantee of equal protection becomes a living, breathing reality for all races.