Tag Archive for Republicans Hate Democracy

Fighting Back: “We must reform the laws and institutions that have perpetuated inequality and injustice.”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Senator Doug Jones of Alabama weighing in on the need for change to achieve social justice.

(As Americans peacefully protest across our nation against racial injustice, Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) delivers this week’s Weekly Democratic Address. Senator Jones begins by connecting today’s protests to the protests in Alabama nearly 60 years ago that helped spark the Civil Rights Movement. Senator Jones closes by asking Americans to join him in listening and learning so that we can become a stronger and more just society.)

“I spoke Sunday afternoon at a rally for justice at Kelly Ingram Park in Birmingham – where 57 years ago, in the shadow of the 16th Street Baptist Church, the Birmingham Police turned fire hoses and vicious dogs on peaceful demonstrators – many of them schoolchildren – who were making a stand for equal rights and importantly a stand for dignity. The scenes from Birmingham at that time – and around the world – made it clear that the inequity in our society could no longer be ignored. Sadly, the legislative changes that came from that movement have been eroded over the years in far too many ways.

“There is a clear and direct path from the shadow of the 16th Street Baptist Church where four little girls died in a bomb blast to the death of George Floyd, just a week or so ago – and centuries of injustice that preceded both. […]

“The test we all face today is not only in changing our laws. We must commit ourselves to personal and systemic change. Can we see the dignity and the humanity of those who in some way are not like us? Can we have hope for others and work for their success? We must pass this test together. And we must maintain as a sense of urgency at reforming the laws and institutions that have perpetuated inequality and injustice.”

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

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How did that turtle get there?

Yesterday, June 4th, was the 96th anniversary of the day that Congress passed the 19th Amendment, granting the right of women to vote, and sent it to the states for ratification. That act was an example of what happens when people of goodwill come together to right a wrong. It happened again in 2006 when a Republican president signed the re-authorization of the Voting Rights Act … a bill that had passed 98 to 0 in the U.S. Senate and 390 to 33 in the House of Representatives.

Since 2006, this happened:

First, in 2013, Chief Justice John Roberts declared that there is no racial discrimination in America, none, zero, zilch, nada … and that the quaint pre-clearance rules in the Voting Rights Act should be relegated to the dustbin of history. Then, to exactly no ones surprise, in 2013 and 2014, teaparty governments in states that would have been subject to pre-clearance passed some of the most onerous voter suppression laws in the country.

Hillary Clinton, June 4, 2015:

‘You find a turtle on a fence post, it did not get there on its own.’ Well, all of these problems with voting did not just happen by accident. And it is just wrong, it’s wrong to try to prevent, undermine, inhibit Americans’ rights to vote. Its counter to the values we share. And at a time when so many Americans have lost trust in our political system, it’s the opposite of what we should be doing in our country.

From HillaryClinton.com:

During a speech at Texas Southern University in Houston, Hillary Clinton called for expanding Americans’ voting rights while decrying Republican efforts to restrict them. The latest in her long history of fighting to expand voting rights, she called for universal, automatic voter registration for every American in every state when they turn 18. She called for a new national standard of no fewer than 20 days of early in-person voting in every state, including opportunities for weekend and evening voting. And she urged Congress to restore key sections of the Voting Rights Act, which the Supreme Court invalidated

VIDEO from CSPAN:

Secretary Clinton was at Texas Southern Universty to accept the inaugural Barbara Jordan Public-Private Leadership Award from The Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs and the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at the university. She spoke to the gathering:

… like every woman who has run for national office in this country in the last four decades, I stand here on the shoulders of Barbara Jordan and so does our entire country. […]

… unfortunately, Barbara isn’t here to speak up for them and so many others. But we are. And we have a responsibility to say clearly and directly what’s really going on in our country—because what is happening is a sweeping effort to disempower and disenfranchise people of color, poor people, and young people from one end of our country to the other.

Because since the Supreme Court eviscerated a key provision of the Voting Rights Act in 2013, many of the states that previously faced special scrutiny because of a history of racial discrimination have proposed and passed new laws that make it harder than ever to vote. […]

Today, Republicans are systematically and deliberately trying to stop millions of American citizens from voting. What part of democracy are they afraid of? […]

We need a Supreme Court that cares more about protecting the right to vote of a person to vote than the right of a corporation to buy an election. […]

But of course, you know what we really need? We need more elected leaders from Houston to Austin to Washington who will follow in the footsteps of Barbara Jordan and fight for the rights and opportunities of everyday Americans, not just those at the top of the ladder. And we need to remember that progress is built on common ground, not scorched earth. […]

As Barbara Jordan famously reminded us, when the Constitution was first written, it left most of us here out. But generations of Americans fought and marched and organized and prayed to expand the circle of freedom and opportunity. They never gave up and never backed down.

And nearly a century ago on this very day, after years of struggle, Congress finally passed the 19th amendment to give women the right to vote in the United States.

So that is, that is the story of progress, courageous men and women, expanding rights, not restricting them. And today we refuse, we refuse to allow our country or this generation of leaders to slow or reverse America’s long march toward a more perfect union.

Commentary and full transcript below …

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