IT WAS obvious on the first day of Chris Hurley’s manslaughter trial that the police officer was unlikely to go to jail over the death of Mulrunji Doomadgee.
No matter that it wouldn’t have taken much for the 200-centimetre, 115-kilogram senior sergeant with the short fuse to fell the drunk, barefoot 74-kilogram Aboriginal man. No matter that three doctors testified that a knee to the abdomen most likely split Mr Doomadgee’s liver in two and caused him to bleed to death. No matter that Mr Doomadgee had provoked Hurley by resisting arrest and punching him.
With no other witnesses to the event, it was always going to be difficult for the jury to decide beyond reasonable doubt that Senior Sergeant Hurley deliberately caused Mr Doomadgee’s fatal injuries. ~ A predictable result three years in the making, Cosima Marriner, The Age, June 21, 2007
Brothers and sisters, if you and I would just realize that once we learn to talk the language that they understand, they will then get the point. You can’t ever reach a man if you don’t speak his language. If a man speaks the language of brute force, you can’t come to him with peace. Why, good night! He’ll break you in two, as he has been doing all along. If a man speaks French, you can’t speak to him in German. If he speaks Swahili, you can’t communicate with him in Chinese. You have to find out what does this man speak. And once you know his language, learn how to speak his language, and he’ll get the point. There’ll be some dialogue, some communication, and some understanding will be developed.
You’ve been in this country long enough to know the language the Klan speaks. They only know one language. And what you and I have to start doing in 1965 — I mean that’s what you have to do, because most of us already been doing it — is start learning a new language. Learn the language that they understand. And then when they come up on our doorstep to talk, we can talk. And they will get the point. There’ll be a dialogue, there’ll be some communication, and I’m quite certain there will then be some understanding. Why? Because the Klan is a cowardly outfit. They have perfected the art of making Negroes be afraid. As long as the Negro’s afraid, the Klan is safe. But the Klan itself is cowardly. One of them will never come after one of you. They all come together. Sure, and they’re scared of you.
And you sit there when they’re putting the rope around your neck saying, “Forgive them, Lord, they know not what they do.” As long as they’ve been doing it, they’re experts at it, they know what they’re doing! ~ After the Bombing / Speech at Ford Auditorium, Malcolm X, transcribed and edited by the Malcolm X Museum and Noaman Ali, February 14, 1965