DNC Joint Statement on 52nd Anniversary of Civil Rights Act

WASHINGTON –  DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz joined DNC Vice Chair for Voter Protection and Expansion Donna Brazile and DNC Black Caucus Chair Virgie Rollins to issue the following joint statement: 

“As Americans across the country prepare to celebrate our independence this holiday weekend, we also celebrate the 52nd anniversary of the Civil Rights Act – landmark legislation that carried our nation one step closer to fully realizing the profound promise in our Declaration of Independence that we are all created equal. The law expanded voting rights, made discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin illegal, and protected the rights of all Americans to use public facilities, and to access public education.

“The passage of the Civil Rights Act, which was called for by President John F. Kennedy and signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson, truly belongs to the great multitude of courageous civil rights leaders, activists, protesters, and warriors for justice who fought tirelessly through decades of oppression, racism, segregation, discrimination and mistreatment. These American men and women endured unthinkable adversity, sometimes even sacrificing their lives in the struggle, to forge a more perfect union.

“Although they carried our nation a long way, we can best honor their legacy by recognizing that we still have much farther to go. In too many states, conservative politicians are working to roll back the right to vote with restrictive voter ID laws, cutbacks in early voting and same-day registration, and reductions in poll locations, especially in minority districts. Democrats are committed to standing strong against those who seek to win elected office by stripping certain groups of Americans their most basic right – the right to vote.

“The assault on voting rights is a reminder that the deep scars of our past have yet to fully heal, and the promise of true equality has yet to be fully attained. So we must remain vigilant in defending their progress, and rededicate ourselves to the cause of moving forward every day. In too many communities, hardworking families are still struggling to get ahead. And in far too many cases, names like Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray, Trayvon Martin, and others who hauntingly remind us that the struggle for economic and racial justice continues, and that we have a duty to continue to tell their stories.

“Democrats believe our people are our greatest strength, and we will continue to fight to expand opportunity for all Americans, regardless of their race, and to build an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top. We must elect a Democrat as our next president to keep our nation’s march of progress moving forward.”