Our friend Clarence Jones is Scholar in Residence at the Martin Luther KIng, Jr., Institute at Stanford University. He previously served as Dr. KIng’s personal attorney and wrote the initial draft of the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. Several years ago he and I had a conversation and part of what we said to each other went like this:

Mike Weisser: If Dr King were alive today, how would he feel about the progress we have made in civil rights?

Clarence Jones: Civil rights was not Martin’s chief focus or concern. He was first and foremost committed to non-violence and in that respect, if he were alive today, he would believe he had failed.

Mike Weisser: Why would he believe that?

Clarence Jones: Because we are a much more violent country today than we were in 1968.