SELMA, Ala. ( Associated Press) — President Joe Biden has used a somber memorial to “Bloody Sunday” to return a cornerstone of democracy, hailing a milestone in the civil rights movement while pushing to end tougher voter protections. by Congress and a conservative majority, the Supreme Court overturned the threshold election law.
“Selma day is peremptory. The right to vote… the vote is counted as the threshold of democracy and freedom. With it, what can be done,” Biden said in front of several thousand people gathered at one end of the historic Edmund Petty Bridge, which bears the name of the famous Ku Klux Klan leader.
“This fundamental right continues to be challenged. The conservative Supreme Court has gutted the Voting Rights Act for years. From the 2020 elections, a wave of states and dozens and dozens of anti-election laws pushed by the ‘Big Lie’ and voter deniers who now hold elected office , he added.
As a candidate in 2020, Biden has promised to pursue sweeping reform to strengthen voter confidence. Two years earlier, his 2021 initiative — named by civil rights leader John Lewis, the late George George lawmaker — included provisions to restrict party gerrymandering, remove obstacles to the voting process and make the system more transparent. as an uncertain author for different political and economic reasons.
It was approved in the House of Representatives, then under Democratic control, but did not get the 60 votes necessary to advance in the Senate even with a Democratic majority. Now that the Republicans are at the helm of the House, it is extremely unlikely that such a bill will pass.
“We know that votes are needed in Congress,” Biden said, “but it doesn’t seem like there’s a viable path to that.”
Selma Biden’s visit was an opportunity to address the current generation of civil rights activists. Many are dismayed by the lack of progress in voting and want to see the president’s government come out in the spotlight.
Few moments were as important in the civil rights movement as those that occurred in Selma on March 7, 1965, and in the weeks that followed.
Some 600 peaceful protesters, led by Lewis and fellow soldiers Osee Williams, gathered that day, just weeks after Jimmie Lee Jackson, a young black man, was shot and killed by an Alabama police officer.
Lewis and several others were seriously injured by Alabama police officers and Alabama county officers who attempted to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge, intending to begin the 54-mile (86-kilometer) march to the Capitol in Montgomery County. major efforts to register black voters in the southern United States.
“The blood donated on this bridge will help redeem America’s soul,” Biden declared.
Images of police violence have shocked the country. Days later, the leader of the civil rights movement, Martin Luther King Jr., led a march that later became known as “Turnaround Tuesday,” in which protesters approached a police officer’s fence, prayed on a bridge before returning.
President Lyndon B. Johnson introduced the Voting Rights Act in 1965, eight days after “Bloody Sunday,” referring to Selma as one of those times in American history when “history and fate meet together.” On the 21st of March the king began his third march under the protection of the confederates, who had increased in number by thousands to the Capitol to the city. Five months later, Johnson signed the bill into law.