The Lewis statement is worth quoting at such great length because it so clearly spells out what great distance we have covered as well as the great distance yet to go.
He closed his remarks with four recommendations that ought to have special meaning to us all.
(1) a permanent, national act should be passed to guarantee permanent minority voting rights protection;
(2) the permanent voting rights protection for minorities should include a ban on literacy requirements for registration, and should exclude all other requirements except age, citizenship, and residence;
(3) the Department of Justice should be given greater enforcement powers to secure compliance with provisions of a permanent act, and
(4) there should be a greater federal presence in areas where minority voting rights are threatened..
John Lewis' recommendation are simple and direct. If enacted, they will extend to minorities across this country the rights and protections we struggled for over years of disappointment and difficulty.
That national protection is needed is self evident; millions of Black and Brown people North, West and South find themselves still powerless because they are deliberately excluded from the political process.
In our section of the country, it was done by white [illegible] cowards riding at night, the midnight bomb or the test what Albert Einstein could not pass; in the rest of the country, exclusion is more subtle but just as pervasive. In big city after big city, North of the Mason- Dixon line and West of the Mississippi, political machines and official hostility have combined to keep us unrestricted and unlistened to.
It is not without accident that there are proportionally more Black people registered to vote now in Selma, Alabama than there in Brooklyn, New York.
Many of you are Mayors of towns and cities deliberately made small by the hostile
Notes and Questions
Nobody has written a note for this page yet
Please sign in to write a note for this page