Retired Supreme Court Justice Alan Page spoke at the Fifth Annual MLK Convocation on Tuesday at the University of Minnesota Law School. He discussed “Shared Stakes Across Neighborly Divides.” The convocation was led by Navin Ramalingam, a 2L who is a member of the Minnesota Law Diversity and Belonging Committee, which sponsored the discussion.
Page invited attendees to reflect on two quotes by Martin Luther King:
“There is nothing more dangerous than to build society with a large segment of people in that society who feel they have no stake in it, who feel that they have nothing to lose. People who have a stake in their society protect that society, but when they don’t have it, they unconsciously want to destroy it.” (MLK Speech at SMU, March 17, 1966)
“More than ever before, [people] of all races and nations are today challenged to be neighborly. The call for a worldwide good-neighbor policy is more than an ephemeral shibboleth; it is the call to a way of life, which will transform our imminent cosmic elegy into a psalm of creative fulfillment. No longer can we afford the luxury of passing by on the other side. Such folly was once called moral failure; today it will lead to universal suicide. We cannot long survive spiritually separated in a world that is geographically together .…” (On Being a Good Neighbor, Chapter 3 of King’s Strength to Love)