Voting Rights Act of 1965 – 48th Anniversary

08/07/2013


The Voting Rights Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C.§§19731973aa-6) is a landmark piece of national legislation in the United States that outlawed discriminatory voting practices that had been responsible for the widespread disenfranchisement of African Americans in the U.S.

Echoing the language of the 15th Amendment, the Act prohibits states from imposing any “voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure … to deny or abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color.”Specifically Congress intended the Act to outlaw the practice of requiring otherwise qualified voters to pass literacy tests in order to register to vote, a principal means by which Southern states had prevented African-Americans from exercising the franchise. The Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson, a Democrat, who had earlier signed the landmark; Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law.

Source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voting_Rights_Act

History of Federal Voting Rights Laws

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“The 1965 Voting Rights Act, one of the most historic and groundbreaking pieces of legislation in our nation’s history. For those who marched bravely; who worked tirelessly; who shed their blood and gave their lives in the pursuit of freedom for every American, the Act served as the culmination of decades of work to fulfill America’s promise. And for the members of the Moses Generation – including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks, who stood alongside President Johnson when he signed the bill into law – it was an affirmation that although the arc of the moral universe may be long, it bends toward justice.

The Voting Rights Act guaranteed African Americans the right to vote at a time when thousands were being disenfranchised across the country. It extended the protection of our Constitution to every citizen regardless of race or religion; color or creed. And in the 45 years since it was passed, the Act has been reaffirmed four times – each one a reminder that we must remain vigilant in guaranteeing access to the ballot box.

As we pause to reflect on the anniversary of that historic moment, I encourage every American to honor the legacy of the brave men and women who came before us – from the foot soldiers to the Freedom Riders – by exercising the rights they fought so hard to guarantee. And together let us recommit ourselves, in ways large and small, to continuing their journey to promote equality and perfect our union.”‘

President Barack Obama – August 06, 2010

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Where Tuesday’s Voting Rights Act ruling matters, in one map

June 25, 2013 at 11:37 By Dylan Matthews – washingtonpost

Tuesday, the Supreme Court ruled that Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, which outlines how the government is to determine which states, counties, towns, and other jurisdictions have to have their voting laws “precleared” by the Justice Department, is unconstitutional. But which jurisdictions currently face preclearance, and, barring Congressional action, are now freed from that requirement?

6:25:13 Supreme Court ruled that Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional

For more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/06/25/where-tuesdays-voting-rights-act-ruling-matters-in-one-map/

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Holder to black leaders: ‘Sacred’ right to vote under attack

5/30/12 11:28 AM EDT By JOSEPH WILLIAMS – POLITICO

Attorney General Eric Holder told a council of African American church leaders Wednesday that the “sacred” right to vote is under assault nationwide, with federal lawsuits and at least a dozen state laws that could weaken — or block — minority access to the ballot box this fall.

Forty-seven years after President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act, “overt and subtle forms of discrimination still exists,” Holder said in a speech before the Council of Black Churches. The twin factors of lingering bias and systematic assaults from the right, he said, means that “for the first time in our [lifetimes], we are failing to live up to one of our most noble ideals” – the right to equal access to the vote.

The brief speech was a call to arms for the black church, which since the days of the civil rights movement has been active in fighting for equal voting right for minorities. Holder, who was warmly received by the audience, told them his office is “aggressively” taking on the task of protecting that right, including challenging several state lawsuits that would overturn key provisions of the Voting Rights Act involving redistricting in Southern states and strict new voter I’d laws that could keep minorities, the elderly and young people of all races from casting ballots in the 2012 election – which analysts expect will be decided by a narrow margin.

Ensuring that everyone who is qualified can vote “is one of our highest priorities,” Holder told the council, adding that during his watch the Justice Department has taken on more than 100 cases involving voting within the past year, “a record number.” Since President Bush re-authorized the Section 5 provision of the Voting Rights Act, which requires some Southern states to get federal approval before making broad changes to laws involving voting, “it has consistently come under attack by those who say it is no longer needed.”

Holder also rejected conservatives’ contention that making it easier to vote invites fraud, a key argument in calling for tougher voter I’d laws. Recalling that protesters and faith leaders faced violence and death to gain that right during the 1960s civil rights movement, Holder called on black churches to mobilize as an ally of the Justice Department, informing the larger community and pushing back against restrictive proposals.

“We have to honor the generations that took extraordinary risks” to guarantee equal access to the polls, Holder said. The nation has made tremendous progress, he added, but “this fight must go on.”


FLOTUS @ Natl Council of La Raza & VPOTUS India/Singapore Trip

07/20/2013

2013 NCLR Banner

NCLR is proud to exhibit its growth and success at the NCLR Annual Conference, representing the largest and most important gathering of the nation’s most influential individuals, organizations, institutions, and companies working with the Hispanic community. The NCLR Annual Conference has grown with its gente, providing a forum for people in the business of social change to learn about ongoing and emerging issues in the Hispanic community, connect with key community leaders, and generate partnerships with Hispanic community-based organizations.

For more: http://www.nclr.org/index.php/events/nclr_annual
_conference-1/about_the_conference/

FLOTUS LaRaza 2013

Tuesday, July 23 @ 12:30 PM ET
First Lady Michelle Obama delivers the key note address to the 2013 National Council of La Raza
Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA

NCLR Live Stream: http://www.livestream.com/nclrannualconference

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India flagSingapore flag

Vice President Biden’s Trip to India and Singapore

19 July 2013 http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov

Washington — Vice President Biden will visit India and Singapore the week of July 22 to highlight the U.S. rebalancing of its foreign policy toward Asia and the Pacific and to encourage greater economic cooperation, including expanding the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

A senior Obama administration official who spoke to reporters on background in a July 19 teleconference said the vice president will arrive in New Delhi July 22 and meet with Indian officials, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He will also travel to Mumbai during his India visit. His discussions will cover bilateral economic cooperation, energy and climate issues, and cooperation on regional and defense issues, including maritime security, counterterrorism and Asia’s multilateral institutions.

Biden told an audience in Washington July 18 that with regard to Asia and the Pacific, the Obama administration is focused on “the risks of disruptions of commerce, proliferation, human disasters, conflict between nations and the persistent threat posed by North Korea.”

In response, the administration’s approach has been to strengthen its alliances in the regions, deepen security partnerships and invest “like never before” in Asian regional institutions to help them manage disputes peacefully, he said.

Empowered and growing Asian and Pacific region middle classes can help lift the global economy, he said, and progress can be made “if nations reject the temptations of zero-sum thinking and rise peacefully together, if progress toward greater rights and freedoms proves that no country has to make a choice between democracy and development, which is a false choice.”

The senior administration official said Biden plans to make a speech in Mumbai July 25 on ways to improve trade, and how there is a “strategic convergence” between the United States and India on maritime security and navigation, fair trade rules and shared democratic values.

In his remarks, Biden said India is increasingly looking east as a force for security and growth and “to us that’s welcome news.”

“We welcome India’s engagement in the region, and we welcome its efforts to develop new trade and transportation links by land and by sea in the area,” he said.

Before departing for Singapore, the vice president will also give a speech in Mumbai on women’s empowerment and the importance of their increased participation in science and math, the administration official said.

On July 26, Biden will meet with Singaporean leaders including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and President Tony Tan Keng Yam for consultations on maritime security and the South China Sea, as well as Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, before returning to the United States July 27.

Biden said Singapore, a country of 5 million people, has become the 17th largest economy in the world and is an important U.S. partner on issues ranging from counterproliferation to counterpiracy.

In promoting the Trans-Pacific Partnership in Singapore and elsewhere, “we want to help lead in creating the 21st century rules of the road that will benefit not only the United States and the region, but the world as a whole. The lifeblood of the region, to state the obvious, is economic development,” Biden said.

“To spark new growth, there has to be fewer barriers at and behind our borders; protections for intellectual property to reward innovation; new commitments to make sure everyone plays by the same rules because that’s what attracts investment and jobs; as well as greater economic integration,” Biden said.

The vice president said the Trans-Pacific Partnership is ambitious, but “doable,” and “we’re working hard to get this done this year.”

The vice president’s wife, Jill Biden, will accompany him on the trip, will participate in a health and nutrition event in India, and will take part in events concerning girls’ education and gender-based violence. In Singapore, she will also participate in an early education event and a barbecue for U.S. service members, the official said.

Vice President Biden’s India Schedule – July 22 – 25, 2013

US-India Trade

Vice President Biden’s Singapore Schedule - July 26 – 27, 2013

US-Singapore Trade
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WH Speakers @ 104th NAACP National Convention

07/15/2013

NAACP 104th Annual Convention

104th NAACP National Convention
 “We Shall Not be Moved: Our Legislative Agenda on Capitol Hill – The Struggle Continues”
Doubletree, Orlando, FL

July 13th – 17th, 2013

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Plenary Session: “From Chaos to Community: Ending violence and Saving our Children

3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET

Attorney General Eric Holder - 4:30 PM ET

Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan

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Attorney General Eric Holder at the NAACP

Published on Jul 16, 2013

Attorney General Eric Holder addresses the 104th Annual NAACP Convention in Orlando, Florida on 07/16/13 and discusses the Trayvon Martin verdict.

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Needed: Taxation With Representation

07/14/2013

District of Columbia

July 16, 1790 – The District of Columbia is established as the capital of the United States after signature of the Residence Act.

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Voting rights debate

The District is not a U.S. state and therefore has no voting representation in the Congress. D.C. residents elect a non-voting delegate to the House of Representatives, currently Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C. At-Large), who may sit on committees, participate in debate, and introduce legislation, but cannot vote on the House floor. The District has no representation in the United States Senate. Unlike residents of U.S. territories such as Puerto Rico or Guam, which also have non-voting delegates, D.C. residents are subject to all U.S. federal taxes. In the financial year 2011, D.C. residents and businesses paid $19.6 billion in federal taxes; more than the taxes collected from 19 states and the highest federal taxes per capita.

A 2005 poll found that 78% of Americans did not know that residents of the District of Columbia have less representation in Congress than residents of the 50 states. Efforts to raise awareness about the issue have included campaigns by grassroots organizations and featuring the city’s unofficial motto, “Taxation Without Representation“, on D.C. vehicle license plates.There is evidence of nationwide approval for DC voting rights; various polls indicate that 61 to 82% of Americans believe that D.C. should have voting representation in Congress. Despite public support, attempts to grant the District voting representation, including the D.C. statehood movement and the proposed District of Columbia Voting Rights Amendment, have been unsuccessful.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_dc#Voting_rights_debate

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PBO license plate

OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE RESPONSE TO Place the DC “Taxation Without Representation” License Plate on the Presidential Limousine.

No Taxation Without Representation!

By David Agnew – whitehouse

That slogan rings just as true today as it did back in 1773.

After living in the District for four years, President Obama has seen firsthand how unfair it is for D.C. residents to spend their lives working hard, raising children, and paying taxes without a vote in Congress.

We hope you noticed that during his Inauguration President Obama’s Motorcade was sporting the D.C. “Taxation without Representation” license plates. Well, we’ve got some good news for you.

Those tags are staying on.

President Obama supports a vote in Congress for the people of Washington, D.C. — as well as Home Rule and budget autonomy.

President Obama will continue to show his support for efforts in Congress to bring full representation for the people of the District of Columbia — including displaying its license plates.

So thanks for your petition, and taking part in the We the People platform.

David Agnew is Deputy Assistant to the President and the Director of Intergovernmental Affairs

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GOP Mantra: Save The Egg BUT Abandon The Living

07/11/2013

Scrooge aka GOP Congress

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Farm Bill passes in House, without food stamp funding

July 11 at 3:40 pm By Ed O’Keefe – washingtonpost

House Republicans successfully passed a Farm Bill Thursday by splitting apart funding for food stamps from federal agricultural policy, a move that infuriated the White House and congressional Democrats who spent most of the day trying to delay a final vote.

Lawmakers voted 216 to 208 make changes to federal agricultural policy and conservation programs and end direct subsidy payments to farmers. But the measure says nothing about funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps, which historically constitutes about 80 percent of the funding in a Farm Bill.

No House Democrat voted for the measure. Twelve Republicans also opposed it. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) voted in favor of it, even though speakers traditionally don’t vote.

The vote made clear that Republicans intend to make significant reductions in food stamp money and handed Republican leaders a much-needed victory three weeks after conservative lawmakers and rural state Democrats revolted and blocked the original version of the bill that included food stamp money.

For more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/07/11/house-republicans-drop-food-stamps-from-new-farm-bill/

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Obama threatens veto on farm bill

7/11/13 6:48 AM EDT By TAL KOPAN – POLITICO44

The White House late Wednesday night responded to a new farm bill posted by House Republicans, threatening to veto it in part over it not including food stamps.

The House Rules Committee held a hearing on the new version of the so-called farm bill, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, beginning at 9 p.m. on Wednesday night and posted the more-than 600 page bill not long thereafter, with a vote expected Thursday.

The White House statement decried the last-minute move in its veto threat late Wednesday, saying “because the 608 page bill was made available only this evening, the administration has had inadequate time to fully review the text of the bill. It is apparent, though, that the bill does not contain sufficient commodity and crop insurance reforms and does not invest in renewable energy, an important source of jobs and economic growth in rural communities across the country.”

The veto threat was widely expected because of the bill’s lack of renewal of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps, an amendment on which was a major sticking point in the failure of the House’s last attempt to pass the bill.

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In the 2012 fiscal year, $74.6 billion in food assistance was distributed. As of September 2012, 47.7 million Americans were receiving on average $134.29 per month in food assistance. In Washington, D.C., and Mississippi, more than one-fifth of residents receive food assistance.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supplemental_Nutrition_Assistance_Program

People don’t go on Social Services for the fun of it; it usually is the last thing that they resort to.

VOTE SMART & VOTE DEMOCRAT

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MO House CD 8 Special Primary Election 2013

06/02/2013

US House = 200 Dem & 233 GOP

Missouri House 8th Congressional District Special Election

June 4th, 2013

A special election in Missouri House 8th Congressional District for a replacement for Jo Ann Emerson

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VOTE SMART & VOTE DEMOCRAT 2013


Illinois House 2nd CD Special Election

04/08/2013

House of Representatives

  201 Democrats

  232 Republicans

as of 4/11/13

Illinois 2nd  Congressional District Special Election

April 9th, 2013
A special election in Illinois 2nd Congressional District for a replacement for Jesse Jackson Jr.

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* * VOTE * * 

WINNER => Democrat Candidate -  Robin Kelly 

 

VOTE SMART & VOTE DEMOCRAT 2013


S. Carolina House 1st CD Special Primary Election 2013

03/17/2013

US House = 200 Dem & 233 GOP

South Carolina House 1st Congressional District Special Election

March 19th, 2013

A special election in South Carolina 1st Congressional District for a replacement for 

James W. “Jim” DeMint

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VOTE SMART & VOTE DEMOCRAT 2013

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*** 2013 S. Carolina 1st District Primaries Results ***

March 20, 2013

District Results

1st District -  99.1%

Democrat Winner ====> Elizabeth Colbert Busch Dem 95.9% of the votes

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2013 Political Participation = Democrat Strength in 2014

03/10/2013

Can Republicans Win the Senate in 2014?

February 20, 2013 By NATE SILVER

(Excerpts)

Democrats, faced with a daunting set of Senate races in 2012, not only survived but thrived, adding two seats to their majority.

The party will face a difficult map again in 2014, however.

fivethirtyeight-0220-sen2014

For more: http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/31/high-risk-primaries-could-cost-republicans-in-2014/

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House 2014: A Narrowing Battlefield?

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December 14, 2012  Political Commentary by Kyle Kondik – rasmussenreports
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(Excerpts)
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Ticket-splitters are getting rarer and rarer, at least based on the dwindling number of congressional districts where different parties won the presidential vote and the House seat. And that potentially reduces the number of targets for both sides as we examine 2014’s House playing field.

It appears that only about one of every 15 House members will come from a district that voted for a different party in its presidential and House elections. That would be the lowest proportion of split seats produced by any presidential election in at least the past 60 years. (We’re comparing the 2012 estimate to those contained in Vital Statistics on American Politics for prior elections.)

kondik_12_14_12 US House 2014

For more: http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/political_commentary/commentary_by_kyle_kondik/house_2014_a_narrowing_battlefield

..Laws_thanks_to_Democrats

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The 2012 Democratic Platform

MOVING AMERICA FORWARD

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REBUILDING MIDDLE CLASS SECURITY

Putting Americans Back to Work
The Middle Class Bargain
Cutting Waste, Reducing the Deficit, Asking All to Pay Their Fair Share
Economy Built to Last

AMERICA WORKS WHEN EVERYONE PLAYS BY THE SAME RULES

Wall Street Reform
21st Century Government: Transparent and Accountable
Lobbying Reform and Campaign Finance Reform

GREATER TOGETHER

Strengthening the American Community
Protecting Rights and Freedoms
Ensuring Safety and Quality of Life

STRONGER IN THE WORLD, SAFER AND MORE SECURE AT HOME

Responsibly Ending the War in Iraq
Disrupting, Dismantling, and Defeating Al-Qaeda
Responsibly Ending the War in Afghanistan
Preventing the Spread and Use of Nuclear Weapons
Countering Emerging Threats
Strengthening Alliances, Expanding Partnerships, and Reinvigorating International Institutions
Promoting Global Prosperity and Development
Maintaining the Strongest Military in the World
Advancing Universal Values
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Political Action

Volunteer 

Democratic Nantional Committee:  http://www.democrats.org/

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committeehttp://www.dccc.org

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committeehttp://www.dscc.org

Democratic Legislative Campaign Committeehttp://dlcc.org

* Volunteer to canvass (door-to-door)
* Phone bank
* Register voters

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Register to Vote

RockTheVote http://www.rockthevote.co/rtv_register.html?ms=indexNoPop

GottaVote http://gottavote.org

GottaRegister http://gottaregister.com/

League of Women Voters :http://electionimpact3.votenet.com/lwv/voterreg2/index.cfm

The Federal Voting Assistance Program – http://www.fvap.gov

The Election Assistance Commission – http://www.eac.gov/default.aspx

The U.S. Justice Department, Civil Rights Division, Voting Section –http://www.justice.gov/crt/voting/

Homeless People’s Voting Rights http://www.nationalhomeless.org/projects/vote/court.html

Democrats Abroad: http://www.democratsabroad.org/

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Electoral fraud can occur at any stage in the democratic process, but most commonly occurs in voter registration. The two main types of electoral fraud are preventing eligible voters from casting their vote freely (or voting at all); and altering the results. Any GOTV volunteer entrusted with assisting a voter registrant is responsible for having the form filled out correctly and having the form mailed out in a timely fashion.

voter-protection-hotline

VOTE SMART. VOTE DEMOCRAT.

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Selma’s Bridge Crossing Jubilee

03/02/2013

Edmund Pettus Bridge, Selma, ALEdmund Pettus Bridge Crossing Jubilee

In 1993, the National Voting Rights Museum & Institute had the first Bridge Crossing Jubliee in conjunction with 21st Century Youth Leadership Movement, Wallace Community College, the first City of Selma, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. This annual event is held the first full weekend of every March to commemorate “Bloody Sunday“, and celebrate the Voting Rights Movement, the March from Selma-to-Montgomery, and the passing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

For more: http://www.bcjubilee.org/#!abou

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Alabama police chief apologizes to Freedom Rider congressman

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3/4/13 By Craig Giammona, NBC News

An Alabama police chief brought Rep. John Lewis to tears Saturday, apologizing to the noted civil rights leader for failing to protect the Freedom Riders during a trip to Montgomery in 1961.

Lewis and fellow civil rights activists were beaten by a mob after arriving at Montgomery’s Greyhound station in May 1961. [The march was tried again but the marchers were again brutualized. The third time was successful with the protection of the US Army].

On Saturday at ceremony at First Baptist Church, the city’s current police chief, Kevin Murphy, apologized to Lewis and offered him his badge in a gesture of reconciliation, telling the longtime Georgia congressman that Montgomery police had “enforced unjust laws” in failing to protect the Freedom Riders more than five decades ago.

Lewis, who was arrested during civil rights protests in cities across the south, said it was the first time a police chief had apologized to him.

“It means a great deal,” Lewis said. “I teared up. I tried to keep from crying.”

Lewis and other members of Congress were taking part in the 13th Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage to Alabama, a three-day event that also included trips to Selma, Tuscaloosa and Birmingham.

Murphy said the decision to apologize was easy.

“For me, freedom and the right to live in peace is a cornerstone of our society and that was something that Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks and Congressman Lewis were trying to achieve” Murphy said. “I think what I did today should have been done a longtime ago. It needed to be done. It needed to be spoken because we have to live with the truth and it is the truth.”

For more: http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/03/03/17167907-alabama-police-chief-apologizes-to-freedom-rider-congressman?lite

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Alabama police chief APOLOGIZES to Freedom Rider congressman | Discuss apology

Published on Mar 3, 2013

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Sunday, March 3, 2013
Vice President Joe Biden and Dr Jill Biden participate in the annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee, Selma, Alabama

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