Biden to spotlight voting rights, Black voters in ‘Bloody Sunday’ Selma visit

Biden to spotlight voting rights, Black voters in ‘Bloody Sunday’ Selma visit
Biden to spotlight voting rights, Black voters in ‘Bloody Sunday’ Selma visit

By Jeff Mason

WILMINGTON, Delaware (Reuters) – President Joe Biden will press his case for stronger voting rights throughout a visit to Alabama on Sunday to commemorate the 58th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,” when state troopers beat peaceable protesters who have been marching in opposition to discrimination.

Biden’s journey to Selma is his newest occasion aimed toward underscoring his dedication to Black voters, who helped propel him to the White Home and stay a key constituency going into his anticipated 2024 re-election bid.

It additionally is going on with Biden’s efforts to cross voting rights laws stalled in Congress.

The president will communicate on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, the place state troopers clubbed and used tear fuel in opposition to the 1965 voting rights marchers, together with John Lewis, a Black civil rights activist who went on to turn into a U.S. congressman.

Protection of the brutality shocked the nation and helped spark the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

“President Biden will speak concerning the significance of commemorating Bloody Sunday in order that historical past can’t be erased,” White Home spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre informed reporters on Friday. “He’ll spotlight how the continued battle for voting rights is … integral to delivering financial justice and civil rights for Black People.”

Biden has sought to construct help for the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Development Act, payments that might make Election Day a vacation, register new voters and strengthen U.S. Justice Division oversight of native election jurisdictions with a historical past of discrimination.

Republicans, who management the U.S. Home of Representatives, oppose the measures.

The president, who has stated he intends to run for re-election, has sought to buttress his help from African American voters. Final month the Democratic Nationwide Committee permitted a shakeup of the occasion’s 2024 major calendar, making South Carolina – a state with a excessive proportion of Black voters – first in line for holding its presidential nominating contest, displacing Iowa.

In January, Biden spoke on the Atlanta church of slain civil rights chief Martin Luther King Jr.

Biden’s visit to Selma follows Vice President Kamala Harris’s journey there final 12 months for the anniversary of the march. Then-President Barack Obama spoke on the fiftieth anniversary of the march in 2015 and walked throughout the bridge together with his spouse, Michelle, and Republican former President George W. Bush and his spouse, Laura.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Enhancing by Paul Simao)

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