County judge applies lessons from King’s ‘Letter from Birmingham Jail’ to Milwaukee

Elliott Hughes:

Sixty years after Martin Luther King, Jr. described the segregated and prejudicial life of Birmingham, Ala. in a letter while sitting in jail, Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Kori Ashley framed Milwaukee under similar terms.

She started by calling it a “tale of two cities.” One of them was plagued by “poverty, gun violence, car theft and despair,” while the other enjoyed “prosperity, peace and hope.”

Ashley went on to describe a wealth of lessons from King’s seminal 1963 “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” that apply to the racially segregated Milwaukee of today.

“If we do not answer his call, I fear we will surely continue to suffer for it,” Ashley said before a crowd of around 200 people at All Saints Catholic Church, 4051 N. 25th St., on Saturday. “Dr. King’s letter from the Birmingham jail is a written reminder of God’s vision of racial equality and a call to action.”