President Biden, Vice President Harris deliver remarks at the 10th anniversary of MLK memorial in D.C.
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are speaking at the 10th Anniversary celebration of the dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C.
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Ladies and Gentlemen, the 46th president of the United States Joe Biden accompanied by Vice President Kamala Harris. Mhm. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah mm. Mhm. Okay dr joe Ratliff will lead us in the invocation. Prayer may we pray. Holy holy Lord God almighty this morning let our glad hearts rise to you. We confess the shadow are turning from you. The darkness thin overwhelms us our choices defeat us. We become afraid re grieve? Your heart harm others and disappoint ourselves. So from your compassion is that never fail. But I knew every morning unclench our hearts. Cast away the darkness from our paths soften our spirits with gentle grace. Buying our wounds, touch our Brokenness open are angry fist. That's the poison of unforgiveness from our souls and restore us two full communion with you with others and with ourselves some teachers to know better what time it is in our lives. To apply our hearts to wisdom our hands, his service. We applaud this day as we bind ourselves of the work of dr martin Luther King Jr His love for justice for all. Make such a worldview brought in our capacity, care for the least. And the loss may justice roll down like a body stream and drown our hate our differences. So it may be amen. Ladies and gentlemen to perform. Please stay. Please stay standing for the performance of lift, lift every voice and sing. Please welcome Miss Michelle Fallon the arrest Artistic director for the Children of the Gospel choir. Yeah, yeah, yeah lift every for sun. Sing to one ring ring with the whole Yeah, on knees also. Liberty let her rejoicing rise highest. The listening skies let it resolved notice the room cooling seas sing our song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us sing our song full of the hope that the president has proved, oh facing the rising sun of a new day be gone. Let us march on till victoria. Yeah on stony. The old we trot pitter the charge passing rod 10 more days. Woop on Boone had died yet with a sturdy beat have not a weary feet come to the place for which are far so it we have come full for a way that with tears has been watered. We have come shredding our path through the blood of the small watered out from the groom. Me past till now we start and at last with the white cream of our bright star woman is cast. Yeah. Mm. Yeah. Mm. Yeah mm. Oh for weirs called divorce or tears. Oh how I screwed. Oh those oh who has Oh jeez food in more parts we pray lest our feet stray from the places our God where we met he lest our hearts drunk with the wine of the world we fought understand two are true to. Yeah, ladies and gentlemen, please take your seats representing the Memorial Foundation's first class of social justice fellows and speaking to dr King's tenants of hope and love. Please welcome taylor cowan of Houston texas to the stage. Good afternoon, I am taylor J cowan and I'm a first year law student at Howard University School of Law. Mm Yeah, I first want to thank mr harry, johnson and mr brian Agnew for their dedication. Hard work and commitment to the Memorial Foundation. I am proud to represent the 50 fellows of the inaugural social justice Fellowship program. It is an honor to be here to commemorate DR King and speak on a virtue about which I care deeply love. DR King was and continues to be the embodiment of love. Love as DR King most famously said, is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend. As many of us have seen time and time again, love really is not the easiest virtue to live up to, especially during a time when discrimination, racism and division surrounds us. Yet when faced with the burdens of hatred, violent and evil. Doctor King still chose to lead with love When I was in the 6th grade and facing the typical challenges of a 12 year old middle schooler. My dad first introduced me to a quote by Dr. King. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. Although the battle by which I'm confronted may change over time. King's words have provided me with light meaning and purpose throughout my life. That quote encouraged me to push past the self doubt that came along with college and law school admissions reminding me to love my personal journey, embracing all the ups and downs. King's words challenged me to see the best in everyone I encounter and to remember the good and humanity in spite of what I see on the news and most importantly, that quote encourages me to be a light for others because at the end of the day we are all human and could use a little love As first year law students were taught the intricacies of the law at howard in particular. We examine and question how the law is written and how laws impact black people and people of color. That said sometimes it is hard for me to see how love is written anywhere into the law, especially when it is used as a tool dispute injustice. An attempt to reverse the progress that people like Dr King and countless others have worked so hard to gain. Uh huh. But what I am constantly reminded of is to never lose hope because as DR King said out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope. Thank you. Yeah, thank you telling that was so wonderful. Thank you so much and we appreciate her being the inaugural class of our social justice fellow fellows program. Thank you so much. And while she's from Houston texas who would have thought democracy, justice, hope and love Those are the 4-10ants that are whether we're central to Dr King's vision. These tennis function as a reminder of what we aspire to become and how much further we have to go today. Our next speaker lives up to Dr King's for tennis every day is one of the most powerful and influential politicians in our country. House speaker nancy Pelosi represented. She represents a 12 congressional addiction for California. The House of Representatives for 33 years in 2007. She made history as the first speaker of the House. The first woman Speaker of the House. Please give it up for her. Please welcome speaker of the House. None other than the honorable nancy Pelosi. Oh my God, I'm good. I'm wasn't having. You're not. I can see you all that. Oh hello everyone. Mr President madam, Vice President, All the friends of democracy, Justice, Love and hope. Who are here today. And thank you President Harry johnson for your kind introduction to you and chairman. Guy Vickers, Thank you for bringing us together uh for this beautiful event in your organization's stewardship of these tributes to DR king. Let's hear it for parry johnson and Guy Beckers. That's an applause line. Mhm. It's always a thrill. I'm sure I can speak for everyone here. It's always a thrill to return the MLK Memorial and to do so today. Today as we celebrate 10 years since the dedication when we were joined by President Barack Obama and our former colleague, the beloved congressman john Lewis. On that day, john lewis said this. He referred to the monument as a monumental piece to love and to non violent resistance on the front yard on the front yard of America to symbolize the cornerstone of our true democracy. Dr King's presence on the front yard of America with presidents Washington presidents Lincoln presidents jefferson. Well his presence while not not a president has brought luster to the front lawn. Has brought justice to the front lawn and has brought many, many more Children to the front lawn of America. Today it is a privilege. I know for all of us to return to the mall with so many were here for that dedication. So many who played a role in in the idea and then uh the fulfillment of that idea of this my mind mint and that are many members of the congressional black caucus who are here today. They are led by our chair now Joyce Beatty and I want them all to rise the members of the congressional black partners. Thank you for your leadership And I also want to thank martin Luther King the third marc morial former mayor MA real and memorial Muriel browser for their participation. And isn't it a thrill in an honor to be here A privilege to be here with president biden today. Thank you President I'm. And how proud are we that we are here with the first woman and the first african american Vice President of the United States. Yeah thank you mr President Nearly 60 years ago. Well it was actually 58 I remember because I was here but I couldn't stay to see the speech because I had to leave to go get married so now I know how many years ago it was because that's how many years I've been married, but it was such an equation to see so many people converging on Washington D. C. Among others are dearly john lewis. And to hear that for people to hear DR King not far from here deliver his immortal call to action now, he said, is the time to make real the promises of democracy now is the time to make justice a reality for all of America's Children. So as I said, I'll speak about that democracy, we must make real the promises of democracy for families lacking affordable healthcare, childcare, lacking good paying jobs with dignity and justice. We must make real that the promise of democracy. Americans denied their right to vote and have equal justice under the constitution. We must make real the promise of democracy for communities of color facing police violence and racial injustice, we must make real the promise of democracy for our Children who deserve a safe, secure healthy housing and a future and who face environmental injustice. In his books. Strength to love DR King said God never intended for one group of people to live in super Poulos inordinate wealth while others live in abject deadening poverty. That challenge that call to action could not be more important than it is today. As our president proceeds to build back better DR King often preached that change does not roll out on the wheels of inevitability but comes through continuous struggle from the earliest days of our democracy, freedom loving people have struggled to create change for our nation. Indeed, the story of America is the story of ever expanding freedoms in our country, strengthened by the vision and inspiration and leadership of President joe biden and some applause I'm okay. Mhm. And with a great leadership of Vice President Kamala Harris, strengthened by the leadership inspired by the activism of millions of americans across the nation who are crying out for hope, love, justice and democracy. And blessed by the example of DR King, let us drive to make real his dream and make real the promise of democracy for justice. Hope and love. Thank you all very much. And now it is my honor to introduce the Vice President of the United States. But I'm going to ask all men of Alpha phi alpha to please stand at this time and let the Vice president know that you are in the house. Mhm All right guys, All right, that's enough. That's enough. Yes, he was so dr key was indeed an alpha and it was the alpha phi alpha fraternity that came up with the idea to build this memorial in honor of DR King. So we could never take that away from the mid of Alpha Alpha. I see y'all down at the captain's and omegas, but it was an alpha idea, I digress. I am sorry Mr President, forgive me, Madam. Vice Father forgive me, I am not honored to introduce our next speaker. The Vice President of the United States Kamala Harris. Vice President Harris has dedicated her life to public service. Having previously been elected District attorney of san Francisco California, Attorney general of that state and the United States senator. And now vice president. She is the first woman, the first black american and the first south asian american to be elected Vice president and was the case with any other officials of officers that she held the through line from DR king to Vice president. Harris started for her at an early age when her parents would bring her to civil rights demonstrations. She has said those demonstrations introduced her to her role models ranging from Supreme Court justice, Thurgood marshall, Another man of alpha phi alpha to civil rights leader, constant baker botley and their work motivated her to become a prosecutor from her time as an undergraduate student here in Washington D. C. At Howard University through today. She has been a leader in this country for human rights and we are so honored to have her here today. Please welcome the Vice president of the United States Kamala Harris, Thank you so much madam President. We appreciate you being here with us please. I'm so to be here. Thank you everyone, thank you, you know, I can't help it. Um Thank you Mr johnson for your leadership for your vision, for your warmth and for your love. On this day we celebrate Dr King and this monument to him, Love is pervasive all around us right now um Speaker nancy Pelosi, thank you for what you are doing. I have known the speaker for a very long time, having started my elected career in san Francisco, she has always been who she is today, a fighter for working people and a voice for those who must be seen and known and to whom all deserve kind of dignity that God intended. Thanks Chairwoman Joyce Beatty and my I will call you still my colleagues at the congressional black Caucus, thank you all for your leadership and to the king. Family martin Luther King the third dexter scott King and Bernice King for their commitment to carry on the legacy of their family, multi generational legacy and to everyone here today, thank you. There are so many leaders who are here and as we all know this monument has in many ways been distinguished from almost every other monument. In fact every other monument along this beautiful tidal basin. Because this monument for most of us here is dedicated to a man who lived among us. Many of us we're alive when DR King lived this monument, whatever your age is dedicated to a man whose voice we can still here whose words still echo not only across this city, but throughout our country and our world doctor reverend martin Luther King, Jr was a prophet, he was a prophet and that he saw the present exactly as it was being clear eyed and he saw the future as it could be. And he pushed our nation toward that future and it's important to remember DR King pushed even as on a daily basis his character was being maligned. He pushed even as his family on a daily basis was being threatened. He pushed even as his very life was in jeopardy and toward what would be the end of that short life. He pushed even harder, drawing a straight line between racial injustice and economic injustice, demanding more for black people, for people of color, for working people, for all people. And it may not sound radical now. It was radical then. So as we remember his life and celebrate the anniversary of this beautiful memorial. Let us be guided by those same connections he made as they exist today. Racial injustice today is inextricably linked to economic injustice, to the impact of the climate crisis, to the impact of covid 19 and to the threats to our democracy. Yeah. And I believe then knowing and seeing that the path forward is clear. We must put people to work in good union jobs and invest in the care, the child care, the home care that people need to be able to go to work, we must reform our criminal justice system and our immigration system. We must defend and strengthen the right that unlocks all other rights, the right to vote And as we all know in 2013, the Voting Rights Act, that Dr. King and so many others fought for was gutted by the Supreme Court decision in Shelby beholder. That decision opened the floodgates for the anti voter laws we see being passed in states throughout our country today. And to be sure we should not have to keep fighting so hard to secure our fundamental rights but fight, we must and fight we will. Mhm. So right now there are two bills in front of the United States Congress that would help to restore the voting rights act and strengthen the right to vote for all americans, the freedom to vote act and the john Lewis voting rights Advancement act. These two bills are among the broadest efforts to protect and strengthen the right to vote since DR King died. But yesterday as senate democrats voted to advance the freedom to vote act. Senate republicans voted against even debating it even debating it as though it's not a debatable point. They refused to even come to the table to talk about it. Well today I am reminded of the words we all are the many words we've heard including from our young leaders. The words of DR King's partner in that struggle. Coretta scott King and she said and I will paraphrase freedom is never really one you earn it and you win it with every generation with their sweat with their tears and with their blood. The leaders of the civil rights movement and the coalition they built one The Voting Rights Act. These were young men and women After all. We remember Dr. King was only 39 years old when he died and yet they knew their power. They knew that there is real power when your cause is just and they used then that power to push democrats and republicans to pass that landmark bill. So today as a nation, we must summon our own power as leaders. We must leverage our own power and we all have a role to play and the president and I are clear on ours. We are and must be unwavering in this fight and we must use our voice to call out any effort to obstruct justice and to call for justice everywhere. Remember um and Dr king knew this. America is not defined by her perfection. America is defined by our commitment to perfecting and in our nation that will forever be the work forward. As DR King did. We must keep believing a better future is possible and as Dr king did we must keep pushing toward that future. So as I have the great honor of introducing our president, let me end today by recognizing the impact that this memorial has had for 10 years. I think about it for a decade. Visitors from all over the world have come to this very place. The words that are etched in these walls now etched in their hearts and on their smartphones. The history that is told here because of this place is now part of their own and I know that when they leave here they do so determined to do their part to build a better future. So on behalf of our nation, on behalf of our world, thank you all for making this memorial possible. And now it is my great and distinct honor to introduce a phenomenal leader who was here when this memorial was first unveiled. A leader who I know because I see it every day draws so much inspiration and remind so many of the work. In the words of Dr King, our President of the United States, joe biden. You can see this person got it. Thank you camera. Mhm. Mhm Thank you all so very much. Mr President. Mhm Harry. Thank you for your stewardship. You know, uh here in the heart of the capital of the United States America. The tensions and the heat of the nation are vividly on display. DR King stands determined and brave looking out the promised land across the tidal basin stands another giant of our history, thomas Jefferson whose words declared the very idea of America that we're all created equal endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights. We all deserve to be treated equally throughout our lives to state the obvious, no audience knows it better than this one. We've never lived up to that idea but we've never walked away from it fully. We've never walked away in a sermon to the march in Washington dr King called on all America to live up to the full meaning and promise of our Declaration of Independence. And so they stand here in perpetuity and timely and timeless conversation and inspires us and challenges us, reminds us how far we've come, where we need to go and how far how much longer the journey is. It's a conversation. It shapes our days and that we must carry forward Madam. Vice President madam, Speaker, Chair of the Black Caucus, pt Congressional Black Caucus members, the moral foundation leaders of faith and community distinguished guests from here. We see the ongoing push and pull between progress and struggle over the self evident truths of our democracy in our nation. We now face an inflection point and the battle literally for the soul of America, it's up to us together to choose who we want to be and what we want to be. I know I know the progress does not come fast enough. It never has in the process of governing is frustrating and sometime dispiriting, but I also know what's possible if we keep the pressure up. If we never give up. We keep the faith. We're at an inflection point as I know I may be over used that phrase, but it is an inflection point in american history and delivering on economic justice or was the dignity of work dr King was in Memphis On that fateful day in april helping sanitation workers not only for better pay and safer conditions, but to be granted more dignity as human beings. In our time, it's about recognizing that for much too long we've allowed a narrow and cramped view of the promise of America, a view That America is a zero sum game, particularly of the recent past. If you succeed, I fail. If you get ahead, I fall behind. And maybe worst of all, if I could hold you down, I lift myself up instead of what it should be and it's just self evident if you do well, we all do well. That's keeping the promise of America. I've never seen a time and working folks did well that the wealthy didn't do very well. Look, it's a core of our administration's economic vision and it's a fundamental paradigm shift for this nation. For the first time in a couple of generations, we're going to be investing in working families putting them first and helping them get ahead rather than the wealthy and the biggest and most powerful people out there. We're investing in black families With rescue checks and tax cuts that will reduce black poverty by 34%. Black child poverty by more than 50 this year. We're aggressively the leadership of some of the people. I'm looking at right now combating housing discrimination to create a generation of wealth? How did every other person making the middle class from a working class circumstance, just like my dad did build equity in the house, granted it was small, granted it wasn't much, but it was enough to build a little equity. We'll use the federal government purchasing power to unlock billions of dollars in new opportunities of minority owned small businesses and access to government contracts. Is there any doubt that providing more people with just a little more breathing room to take care of their families, generate a little bit of wealth that they can pass on to their Children and create jobs in their communities, would uplift the entire country, all the country, everyone, and as the economy recovers, we are determined and focused on rebuilding it over the long run, No one should have to hold her breath as they cross rundown bridge to determine whether it's safe enough or a dangerous intersection in their hometown. A nation, every american, every child should be able to turn on a faucet and drink water that's not contaminated by lead or anything else. As a nation, everyone should have access to affordable, high speed internet, gone the days when you have to pull up to a Mcdonald's and sit in the parking lot with your child to do their homework when there's virtual learning going on DR King said of all the forms of inequity injustice in health care is the most shocking and most inhumane. This is a once in a century pandemic. That's it this country hard. And especially the african american community, it's like you've all lost someone to the virus or know someone who has lost a loved one. one in 600 Black Americans have died from COVID-19. It's been reported The black Children more than twice as likely as white Children who lost a parent or a caregiver to COVID-19 to have to experience the trauma and loss. Many of my colleagues in the Congress are working on, we have to now work on even more more fervently. And that is mental health care helping people through the difficult theories we have. It's been devastating, but we can find purpose in pain. We can find purpose in this pain. Equity is the center, My administration's COVID-19 response the vaccination rates among black adults is now essentially on par with white adults. The midst of this pandemic were ability to affordable care act to extend coverage to lower healthcare costs for millions. Black families. We're also working alone prescription drug costs by giving Medicare the power to negotiate lower prices. And how do you know the plan will work because the drug companies are spending millions of bucks to try to stop it. That's how, you know, together making health care right, not a privilege in this nation and for the millions, the millions of you who feel financially squeezed and raising a child while caring for an aging parent, the so called sandwich generation, want to make elder care affordable, accessible. So you're aging loved ones can live with greater independence and dignity. We also want to make sure childcare costs for most families are cut at least in half. No working family. If we, if we get you all help me get done. No working family in America Will pay more than 7% of their income on childcare for any child under five. I want to give raises millions of care workers at home workers so they can increase their capacity, increase their knowledge, increase their opportunities. Health workers and childcare workers are disproportionately women, women of color and immigrants and workers like the ones dr King stood for when he marched and gave his life. Look folks just imagine instead of consigning millions of our Children under resourced schools, we gave every single child in America access to an education at age three and age four quality preschool. We can afford to do this, We can't afford not to do it. And we do know no matter what the background of circumstance the child comes from when given that opportunity, They have a better than 58% chance of making it all the way through 12 years without getting themselves in trouble and maybe go on beyond that. This will change lives forever soul. Historic investments in higher education significantly impede increasing pell grants, help millions of black students and lower income families attend community colleges and four year schools. I tell you, let me be clear in the shadow of the Morehouse men. I hear a lot about that guys and with the Howard Ally I keep making the case of the excuse that point of personal privilege. Recently incentive. The best hBCU in the country. His Delaware state, that's where I got started. Come on. But here's what we've done. In addition putting the President Delaware state, he used to work for a doctor. You're in charge of all of this. We're committed to nearly $5 billion dollars this year in historic investments with more historically black colleges, universities to make every single student. Give him a shot. Mhm. The good paying jobs and you all know what I mean. But for anybody watching this, one of the problems is black students in colleges has to have every single capability. Any other student does. But guess what? Because they don't have great endowments. They can't compete for those government contracts are out there at the big schools were able to go out and get cyber security for example, Starting salary 125,000 bucks. But you don't get to get that contract unless you have laboratories unless you have the facilities you can in fact train on. We also know this is about the promise of America economic injustice also means delivering environmental justice to communities on fence line communities, dividing homes and toxic areas. My state is one of the highest cancer rates in history in America because I lived in a fence line community called Claymont Delaware. We used to get up in the morning, not a joke and I get driven to a little school. I went up the street, turn on the windshield wiper in the fall and the fall of the first frost and literally be an oil slick in the window. Not a joke, an oil slick in the window. That's why awful lot of us, including me have bronchial asthma. It means reducing pollution so our Children can develop and avoid these consequences. Every one of you have an alley in your state, we call it cancer alley in our state. Going down route 13 look means building up our resilience to the climate crisis for the next extreme weather events and these have been a biblical proportions. Biblical proportions, 178 mi. Top winds hurricane down in Louisiana. More people dying in queens In their basements because 20" of rain, they flooded and couldn't get out of the basis they drown super storms, droughts, wildfire hurricane. This is the promise for America, urban and rural and all across America, not just for anyone area and as we fight for economic, just to fulfill the promise of America for all americans work continues on delivering equal justice under the law. Look, I know the frustration. We all feel that more than one year after George Floyd's murder and the conviction of his murderer about six months ago, meaningful police reform in Georgia's name is still not passed Congress remember many times maybe with a little daughter. And she said to me, my daddy's changing history is going to change history. We haven't fulfilled that yet. I understand you gotta keep fighting. Let me be clear though, I'm going to continue to fight for real police reform legislation and the fight's not anywhere near over despite Republican obstruction. My administration is acting. We've already announced changes in the federal law enforcement policies, a ban on chokeholds, restriction on no knock warrants, requirements of federal agents were and activate body cameras, ending Department of Justice use of private prisons. Rescinding the previous administration's guidance to US attorneys to require the harshest of penalties. The Justice Department has opened a pattern and practice investigation of systematic police misconduct and police department in phoenix Louisville in Minneapolis. Just because we can't get it done in the states. We are not standing back. We have much more to do. And this needs importance. That's my administration also wants to advance some meaningful police reform that includes additional executive actions to live up to America's promise of equal justice under the law or or continues to create a safer and stronger communities in critical ways with my american rescue plan and thank you and the Congress for supporting it. Everybody kinda forgets. That was $1.9 billion trillion. We got a hell of a heck of a lot done with that that it did so well. People don't even know where it came from. Oh, I'm serious. Think about it. Like what do you do for me lately? But we had $1.9 billion. We took care. Well, we made historic investments in community policing violence intervention programs And were shown to reduce some of these programs reduce violence by 60%. We're expanding summer programs and job opportunities and service and support to keep young people safe and out of trouble Helping formerly incarcerated people successfully render their communities in the past. You get $25 in the book and and and a bus ticket. You go back right into the bridge, you just were there before. You should have access to pell grants, you should have access to the park, very housing. You should have access to all the things you paid your price and we shouldn't put you back in the spot where you have no options. We're also working to stem the flow of firearms from rogue gun dealers to curb the academic, the epidemic of gun violence. I know I get criticized me and the guy who passed the assault weapons ban, I'm proud of having passed the assault weapons ban. But here's the deal. We heard dr king paraphrase micah, he said, give us the ballot and we will place judges on the benches of the south who will do justly and love mercy. Well, just nine months we've appointed more black women to the federal circuit courts and more former public defenders of the bench than any administration in all of american history. Because of you. We're going to change it. We did in a record time and we're just getting started because all of you in the audience here, you've been the engine behind all of this. But we also know this to make real the full promise America, we have to protect that fundamental right, the right to vote. The sacred right to vote. You know, it's democracies, threshold liberty with it. Anything is possible without it. Nothing is today. The right to vote in the rule of law are under unrelenting assault from Republican governors, attorneys general, secretary of state, state legislators. And they're following my predecessor, the last president into a deep, deep black hole in the abyss. No, I really mean to think about it. That's what got me involved in civil rights as a kid. When I was 26 years old, he came in. I'd never play. I love reading about how biden who he's going to run for president. I didn't know I was even going to be able to run for the county council. I didn't even want to. But look, this struggle is no longer just over who gets to vote. We're making it easier for eligible people to vote. It's about who gets to count the votes. Whether it should count at all Jim Crow in the 21st century is now a sinister combination voter suppression and elective election subversion. My fellow americans. I thought at one that I have been able to do something good. As chairman of judiciary committee. I was able to get every member of the committee, including some of the most conservative members that ever served clearly who had racist backgrounds The vote to extend the Voting Rights Act for 25 years. I thought, whoa, the proudest things ever did as a senator. But guess what this means that some state legislatures want to make it harder for you to vote. And if you do vote, they want to be able to tell you whether or not your vote counts. That's not happening. They want the ability to reject the final vote and ignore the will of the people if their preferred candidate, black or white or asian or latino doesn't matter if that their candidate doesn't win and they're targeting not just voters of color, as I said, but every voter who doesn't vote the way they want, I have to admit to you Have been as a senator in my whole 36 year career involved in. I've worked with a lot of folks out here and civil rights issues. I thought, man, you can't turn this back that you could defeat hate, but we could actually defeat it. But the most un american thing that any of us can imagine most undemocratic and the most unpatriotic and yet sadly not unprecedented time and again, we've witnessed threats to the right to vote in free and fair elections Come to fruition. Each time we fought back, we've got to continue to fight back today. I want to thank martin Luther King the third For leading marches on voting rights during the anniversary of the March on Washington in August 28. Vice president. I and our colleagues here have spent our careers doing this work. It's central to our administration. On the anniversary of bloody sunday. I directed East and every federal agency promote access to voting. Each agency heeding that call, for example, the Department of Veterans Affairs. I asked them to make it easier for veterans and their families to register and the vote atv A facilities so be open. In addition the U. S. Department of Justice has doubled the voting rights enforcement staff. We got a long way to go low. It's using authorities to challenge the onslaught of state laws undermining voting rights whether in old or new ways To something like 20% of the for half the Republicans are registered Republicans. I am not your president. Donald trump is still your president. As we Catholics say. Oh my God. Hello, the focus is going to remain on discrimination and racial discrimination, discriminatory laws, Georgia's various new anti voting laws. Let's be clear about Georgia dr king's home state in the home state of someone who has literally stood in his shoes as I think some of you guys knew this was the next line was coming. That's why you had the Jets come out, stood in his shoes as a Morehouse man. That's what I keep getting from Cedric anyway. And as a preacher in the pulpit of Lebanese United States, Senator Raphael Warnock, the first black senator in Georgia's history. Senator Warnock won his election in the battle of ideas. He earned the trust and confidence of a broad coalition of voters in Jordan in response, republicans of Georgia. What was it not to try winning on the merits and ideas by changing the rules to make it harder for people vote, deny the franchise, the vice president of leading our administration's efforts and we've supported democrats pressing to enact critical voting rights both since day one of this administration, making sure we have unanimous support. But each and every time Senate republicans blocked by refusing even to talk about it, they're afraid to even just debate the bills in the U. S. Senate as they did again yesterday. Even on a bill that includes provisions that they have traditionally supported. It's unfair, it's unconscionable. It's un american. This battle is far from over the door has not been closed, john lewis voting right that will soon come up for a vote named after our dear friend, we still missed dearly, but whose voice we hear every day in our hearts and our conscience, it's a law that helped lead the reauthorization, As I said for 25 years that I served of the Senate Judiciary Committee expanding the Voting Rights Act. Traditionally received bipartisan support. We have to keep up the fight and get it done. And I know the moment we're in, you know, the mama around, I know the stakes, you know, the stakes, this is far from over. And finally we're confronting the stains of what remains the deep stain on the soul of the nation. Hate and white supremacy. You know, there's a tough through line of subjugation and enslaved people from our earliest days to the reins of radicalized terror, the KKK, the doctor King being assassinated. And through that though that line continues to be torches emerging from dark shadows in Charlottesville carrying out nazi banners and chanting anti Semitic use pile and cooper clan flags In the violent, deadly insurrection on the capital. nine months ago, it was about white supremacy in my the rise of hate crimes against asian americans during the pandemic and the rise of anti Semitism here in american around the world. But through line is that hate never goes away. It never I thought and all the years I've been a bomb. I thought once we got through it, it would go away. But it doesn't it only hides it only hides until some seeming legitimate person Brees, some oxygen under the rocks where they're hiding and gives us some breath. I've said it before and all my colleagues here know it according to United States intelligence community, Domestic terrorism from White Supremacists is the most lethal terrorist threat in the homeland. To that end, our administration is carrying out the first ever comprehensive effort to tackle the threat passed by domestic posed by domestic terrorists including white supremacy. We're doing so by taking action to reduce online radicalism and recruitment to violence. We're also disrupting networks that inspire violence and domestic terrorists by providing resources to communities to build resilience. We cannot and must not give hate any safe harbor any safe. Horrible. My fellow americans standing here reminded of the goal of the southern christian leadership Conference which Doctor King lead. And I quote, he said his goal was quote redeem the soul of America. That's what's at stake here. The soul of America. We know it's not the work of a single day or single administration, even a single generation. But here we stand DR King to show out of struggle, there is progress, despair, There's hope from the promise of equality and opportunity of jobs, justice and freedom. We see black excellence, american excellence black history as american history and a defining source of the might of this nation. That's why we're here today to renew our own courage in the shadow and the light on the shoulders of DR King. Credit scott King and all those known and unknown gave their whole souls to this work. The courage to confront wrong and to try to do right. The courage to heal the broken places, the nation, the courage to see America hole to acknowledge where we fall short, to devote ourselves at the perfection of the union that we love. And we must protect for if we can summon the courage to do these things, we'll have done our duty. Honoring our commitments brought the dream of DR King was just a little bit closer to reality. It's the highest of callings. It's the most sacred of charges. That's what, with the help of God we can do now. So let's go forth from this sacred place, Tuchman and turmoil with hope and promise. The nation always seeking always thriving, Always keeping the faith because folks, you know, I know my colleagues in the Senate used to always kid me for quoting irish poets on the floor. They thought I did it because I was irish. It's not the reason they're just the best poets in the world. There's a line from them and I believe this to be true. There's a line from a poem, a cure at Troy and says, and once in a lifetime that tidal wave of justice rises up and hope and history rhyme. It's not the whole quote. I won't bore you at all. But hope and history rhyme. I believe the american people, vast majority are with us. I think they see much more clearly what you've all been fighting for your whole life now. It's in stark relief. The bad news. We had a president who appealed to the prejudice. The good news is that he took that he ripped the band aid off. Made it absolutely clear what's at stake. I think the american people will follow us. Guess what, where they will or not. We have no choice. We have to continue to fight. God bless you all and may God protect our troops. Mm. Mhm. Yeah. Yeah. Mhm. Uh huh. Mm. Mhm. Yeah. Mhm mm. Mhm. Yeah. Thank you. Mhm. Yeah. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome back Minister Windley.