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John Lewis

MLK JRThanks to the Baptist preacher whose life we celebrate on today’s national holiday, America overcame racist Jim Crow laws that prevented millions of Blacks from voting, otherwise exercising their civil rights under the Constitution and from pursuing happiness via economic Liberty.

Nearly fifty-one years ago President Lyndon Baines Johnson repeated the title of the anthem of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s movement, “We Shall Overcome”, before a joint session of Congress when he proposed the 1964 Civil Rights Act.Almost fifty years ago this year that anthem would be sung again at Selma, Alabama when King, Atlanta’s John Lewis and other non-violent marchers for the right to vote would be attacked by police on “Bloody Sunday.” The 1965 Voting Rights Act was passed later that year, thus overcoming yet another obstacle to equal treatment under the laws.

Moreover, much of Dr. King’s dream of integration beyond the realm of legalities has also been realized.

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Civil rights hero and long-time Democrat elected to represent the City of Atlanta in the U.S. House, Rep. John Lewis says he is “still” Marching on Washington, 50 years later. On Wednesday’s 50th anniversary, the first African-American President of the United States will commemorate the historic event with remarks from the same spot at the Lincoln Memorial where black baptist Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech.

1963_March_on_Washington

But the District of Columbia and nation President Obama will look out upon on August 18, 2013 bears no resemblance to the “Southern” city of Washington and country MLK addressed five decades ago.

In South Carolina, the great-grandchildren of the authors of secession and Fort Sumter (including their Democrat Governor Ernest Hollings) had only recently raised the Confederate battle flag atop its State House to protest school desegregation orders issued by federal courts. But after King’s speech inspired Democrat President Lyndon Johnson to give up his previous opposition and join Republicans in Congress to pass the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, de jure racial discrimination by government against blacks eventually came to an end. Continue reading

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