Parsippany, NJ -- Representative Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) released the following statement commemorating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:
“In two days’ time, Kamala Harris will be sworn in as Vice President of the United States. And Reverend Raphael Warnock, who holds the same pulpit as Dr. King at Ebenezer Baptist Church, will be sworn in as the first Black Senator from Georgia. This new era of leadership is possible because of the work of generations of Americans who believed in Dr. King’s dream and the civil rights activists who risked everything in their fight for equality.
“While we celebrate and rejoice in these milestones, we must never forget that we are still very much in the process of building a more perfect Union. Racism permeates everyday life in the United States. School segregation is at the same levels as the 1960s. Police brutality continues to disproportionately affect communities of color. Black Americans are twice as likely to die from COVID-19. And for the last four years, President Trump has used bigotry and intolerance to divide us and foster a culture of fear. Our challenges are great, but I know that our resolve matches the moment.
“Voting, Dr. King once said, was America’s ‘sacred right.’ And to deny such a right was ‘a tragic betrayal of the highest mandates of our democratic tradition.’ Ever since the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act in Shelby v. Holder, however, one roadblock after another has been erected to restrict access to the ballot box. Officials have purged voter rolls, set strict ID requirements, and closed polling locations, among other measures to suppress the vote. We can honor Dr. King’s legacy and America’s democratic tradition by passing the Voting Rights Advancement Act to help secure the right to vote for every American.
“There is much work to be done to ensure that all Americans have access to equal opportunity. I look forward to doing my part in the 117th Congress, alongside the Biden-Harris administration, to move our country forward, ever closer to Dr. King’s beloved community.”