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tv   President Biden Vice Pres. Harris on Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial  CSPAN  October 22, 2021 3:05pm-4:01pm EDT

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>> midco supports c-span along with these other television providers giving you a front row seat to democracy . president biden and vice president harris spoke at the martin luther king jr. memorial on the 10th anniversary of its dedication . they talked about racial and economic equality and voting rights. we hear from house speaker nancy pelosi. this is an hour. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, please take your seats. representing the memorial foundation's first class of social justice fellows and speaking to doctor king's tenants of hope and love, please welcome taylor fallon
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of houston texas to the stage. >> good afternoon. i have a first year law student athoward university school of law . [applause] i first want to thank mister terry johnson and mister brian atkins for their dedication, hard work and commitment to the memorial foundation. i am proud to represent the 50 fellows of inauguralsocial accepted fellowship program . it is an honor to be here to commemorate doctor king on the issues with on which i care deeply. doctor doctor king was and continues to be the embodiment of love. love as doctor king most famously said is the only force capable of transforming
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an enemy into a friend. as many of us have seen time and time again love really is not the easiest virtue. especially in a time when discrimination, racism and division surrounds us . yet when faced with a burden of hatred, violence and evil, doctor king still chose to se lead with love. when i was in the sixth grade and facing the typical challenges of a 12-year-old middle school or my dad introduced me to quote by mister king. the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience but where he stands in times of conflict . although the battle may change over time, king's work has provided me me with meaning and purpose throughout my life. that quote encouraged me to push past the self-doubt that comes along with college and commission and embracing all
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our ups and downs. king's work challenged me to see the best in everyone i encounter and to see the good in humanity despite 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 areall human and could use a little love . as a first year law students we are taught the intricacies of the law. at howard in particular we examine the question how the law is written and how laws impact black people and people of color. that said sometimes it is hard to see how love is anywhere in the law especially when it's viewed as progress that people like doctor king have worked hard to gain. but what i am reminded of his to never lose hope. because as doctor king said
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the mountain of despair a stone of hope. thank you. >> thank you, that was so wonderful. thank you so much and we appreciate her being in the inaugural class of our social justicefellows program, thank you so much . and while she's of houston. who would have thought. democracy, justice. oh and love. those are the four tenants sthat are essential to doctor king's vision. these tenants 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 doctor king's four
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tenants every day as one of the most powerful and influential politicians in our country. house speaker nancy pelosi. representing the 12 ã congressional ssdistrict for california, for 33 years. in 2007 she made history as our 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 loc. >> i can see you all. hello everyone. mister president, madam vice president. all the friends of democracy, justice, love and who are here today and thank you president harry johnson for your kind introduction to you
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and chairman heidegger thank you for bringing us ttogether for this beautiful event in your organization towards worship of these tributes to hdoctor king. let's hear it for terry johnson and guy decker. it's always a thrill. i'm sure i can speak for everyone here. it's always a thrill to return mlk memorial and to do so today. today as we celebrate 10 years since the dedication where joined by president barack obama and our former colleagues the beloved congressman john lewis. on that day john lewis said this. he referred to the monuments as a monument to peace, to love and to nonviolence resistance on the front yard of america. to symbolize the cornerstone
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of our two democracies. doctor king's presence on the front yard of america with president washington, president lincoln, president jefferson, his presence while not a president has wrought mustard to this line and had run justice to the front lawn and brought many more children to thefront lawn of america . today it is a privilege i know for all of us to return the mall where so many were here for the dedication, so many who played a role in the ideas and then both fulfillment of that idea of this monument and 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 members of the congressionalblack caucus .
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thank you for your leadership and i also want to thank luther king the third, former mayor muriel and-year-old browser for their participation. and isn't it a thrill and an honor to be here, a privilege to be here with president biden today. thank you president by. and how proud we that we are here with the first woman at the first african-american vice president of the united states . [applause] thank you mister 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
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to go get married. so i don't know how many years ago it was but it's been so many years that i've been married but it was such an incredible to see so many people converging on washington dc among others as john lewis and for people to hear doctor king not far from here the liver his immortal call to action. now he said it's time to make real thepromises of democracy . now is time to make justice a reality for all americans children. i'll speak about that democracy. we must make real the promises of democracy for families lacking affordable healthcare,childcare , liking good paying jobs with dignity and justice. we must make real the promise of democracy americans denied
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their right to vote and have equal justice under this 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 to deserve a safe secure healthy future and to face environmental injustice. in his book k strength to love after king said engod never intended for wonderful people to live in superfluous 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. [applause] doctor king also preached that change does not roll outof the wheels of inevitability . it comes through continuous struggle.
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from the earliest days of our democracy freedom loving people have struggled to create change for our nation and indeed the story of america is the story of ever-expanding freedoms. strengthened by the vision and inspiration and leadership of president joe like that's an applause line. okay and with the 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 doctor king, let us strive to make real his dream and make real the promise of democracy
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for justice, hope and love thank you all very much . [applause] >> and now it is my honor to introduce the vice president of the united states but i'm goingto ask all men of our fine outlook to please stand at this time and let the vice president know you are in the house . alright guys, that's enough. yes, he was. doctor king was indeed an out for and it was the alpha five paternity that came up with the idea to build this memorial in honor of doctor king so you can never take
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that away from the menof how the high alpha but it was an out for paella ideal .i digress, i am sorry. mister president, forgive me, madam vice president, forgive me. i'm honored to introduce our next year, vice president of the united states, kamala harris. she's dedicated her life to public service having previously been elected district attorney of san francisco, attorney general of that state and theunited states senator and now vice president . she is the first woman, the first black american and the first s. asian americans to be elected vice president and one cases in any office she held. the through line for vice president harris started at an early age when her parents would bring her to civil rights demonstrations. she has said those demonstrations introduced her to her role model, ranging from supreme court justice thurgood marshall, another
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man of out file for two civil rights leader maker motley and their work motivated her to become a prosecutor. in her time as an undergraduate student at washington dc at howard university rdthrough today, she has been a leader in this country for human rights and we are so honored to haveyour here today . please welcome the vice president of theunited states , kamala harris. >> please. >> i'm so honored to behere. thank you everyone . you know. thank you for your leadership and your vision, for your warmth and for your love on the day we celebrate doctor
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king and this monument to him. lots of places all around right now . speaker nancy pelosi, thank you for what you are doing. i have known the speaker for a very long time having just started my elected career in san francisco and she has alwaysbeen who she is today . a fighter for working people and all voice must be seen and known and to whom all deserve dignity that god intended. thank you. chairwoman joyce beatty and i will call you stole my colleague for the congressional black caucus. thank you all for your leadership and to the king family, martin luther king the third and bernice king. their commitment to carrying on multi generational legacies. and to everyone here today,
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thank you. there are somany leaders . and as we all know this monument has in many ways been distinguished from almost every other monument in fact umevery other monument along this beautiful basin because this monument for most of us here is dedicated to a man who lives among us. many of us were alive when doctor king lived. this monument whatever your age is dedicated to a man was voice we can still here. whose words still an not only across this city throughout our country andour world . doctor reverend martin luther king jr. was a prophet . he was a prophet and that he saw the presence exactly as
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it was with clear eyes and he saw the future. as it could be. and he pushed our nation towards that future. and it's important to remember doctor king pushed even as on a daily basis his character was beingmaligned . he pushed even as his family on a daily basis was being threatened. he pushed even as his very life was in jeopardy. and towards 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
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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 e the anniversary of this beautiful memorial, let us be guided by those same connections he made as they exist today. racial injustice today is an extremely linked to economic injustice. to the impact of the climate crisis. to the impact of of threats to our democracy. and i believe that knowing and seeing that the path
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forward is clear. we must put people to work in good union jobs. [applause] and invest in the care, the childcare, the home care that people need to be able to go to work . we must reform our criminal justice wosystem and our immigration system. we must defend and strengthen the right unlocks all other rights, the right to vote. and as we all know in 2013 the voting rights act that doctor king and so many others fought for was gutted by the supreme court decision in shelby versus holder. 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
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should not have to keep fighting so hard to secure our fundamental rights. but we must. and fight we will. so right now in front of the united states congress that would help to restore the voting rights act and strengthen the right tovote for all americans . the freedom to vote at and the john lewis voting rights advancements act. these two bills are among the broadest efforts to protect and strengthen the right to vote ngthat doctor king died for. but yesterday, as senate democrats voted to advance the freedom to vote at senate republicans voted against even debating it. even debating it as though
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it's not adebatable point . they refused to even come to the table to talk about it. well, today i am reminded of the words all heard including from my young leaders. the words of doctor king partner in that struggle, coretta scott king. and he said and i will paraphrase infreedom is never really one. you earned it and you win it in every generation. with their sweat, with their tears and with their blood. the leaders of the civil rights movement and coalition they don't want the voting rights act. these are young men and women . after all we rememberdoctor king was 35 years old when he
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died . and yet they knew their power. they knew that there is real power when your cause is just . and they use 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 toplay 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 efforts to obstruct justice . [applause] and to call for
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justice everywhere. remember, and doctor king knew this. america is not defined by her perfection. america is defined by our commitment to perfecting it. and in our nation that will forever be the wordforward . as doctor king did we must keep believing a better future is possible. and as doctor 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 of this memorial has had . the 10 year, think about it.
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for a decade visitors from all over the world have come to this very place. the words that are attached in these walls now etched in their hearts and on their smart phones. the history that is called 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 atthank 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.
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a leader who i know because i see it every day draws so much inspiration and reminds so many of the work and words ofdoctor king . our president of the united states, joe biden. [applause] >> thank you. thank you all so very much. mister president, thank you for your stewardship. you know, here in the heart of the capital, the united states of america the tensions and then heat of the nation are vividly on display. doctor king stands brave looking up to the promise
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land across the title basin stands another giant, thomas jefferson was words declared the very idea of america that we all are created equal and endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights and all deserve to be treated equally. to state the obvious, nobody knows it better than this one. we've never livedup to that idea . but we've never walked away from it fully . we've never walked away. and in his sermon, to the march in washington doctor king called on all americans to live up to the fullmeaning and promise of our declaration of independence . it if so we stand here in perpetuity. in timely and timeless conversation to inspire us and challenge us reminds us
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how far we've come and how far how much longer the journey is. it's a conversation fthat shapes our days. that we must carry forward. madam vice president, madam speaker , rwchair of the black caucus, congressional black caucus members. and moral foundation, leaders of faith, community distinguished guests. itfrom here we see the ongoing push and pull between progress and struggle over the self evidence truth of our democracy. and in our nation, we now face an inflection point in the battle literally for the soul of america. and it's up to us together to choose who we want to be and what we want to be. i know the progress does not
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come fast enough. it never has. the process of governing is frustrating and sometimes dispiriting. but i also know what's possible. if we keep the pressure up we never give up, we keep the faith. we are at an inflection point and i know i over used that phrase but it is an inflection point in american history and delivering on economic justice . towards the dignity of work as doctor 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. and in our time it's not recognizing for much too long we've allowed fa narrow and cramped view of the promise of america. a view that americans are a zero-sum game particularly in the recent past.
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if you succeed, i fail. you get ahead, i fall behind. and maybe worst of all if mai can hold you down i lift myself. instead of what should be. and it's self-evident. if you do well we all do well . that's keeping the promise of america. i've never seen a time where the wealthy didn't do very well. it's a core of our administrations economic vision and at the fundamental paradigm shift of this nation . for the first time in a couple generations, were going to be investing in working families. putting back them first and helping them get ahead rather than the wealthy and the biggest most powerfulpeople out there . we're investing in black families, with checks and tax cuts that reduce black poverty by 34 percent.
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black child poverty by more than 50percent . this year, we are regressing the leadership of some of the people i'm looking at right now combating housing discrimination and creating a generation of wealth . how did every other person make it in the middle class from a working-class? just like my dad did. build equity in the house. brent is a small breasts. it was enough to build a little equity. will 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 with what uplift the entire country?
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all the countries? everyone. and that the economy recovers, we are determined to focus on rebuilding it over the longrun . no one should have to hold their breath as they cross a rundown bridge to determine whether it's safe enough or dangerous intersection in their hometown . a nation, every american, every child should be able to turn on the faucet to drink water that is not contaminated by lead or anything else . as a nation, everyone should have access to affordable high-speed internet . gone are the days when you have to to a mcdonald's and sit in the parking lot with your child to do their homework when there's virtual learning going on. doctor king said of all the forms of inequity and justice in healthcare isthe most shocking and most inhumane .
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this is a once in a century pandemic hit this country hard. and especially the african-american community. and it's likeyou've all lost someone to the virus or know someone who's lost a loved one . onein 600 black americans have died . and it's been reported that blacks are twice as likely as whitechildren to have lost a parent or caregiver . to have to experience trauma and loss. many of my colleagues in congress are working on more fervently and that his mental health care. helping people through the difficult period we have. it's beendevastating . but we can find purpose in pain. we can find purpose in this pain. equity is the center of my administrations response. the vaccination rates among black adults is now essentially on par with white adults.
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and in the midst of this pandemic where building affordable care act that would extend coverage to lower healthcare costs for millions of black families . also working along prescription drug costs by getting medicare the power to negotiate lower prices. and how do you know the plan will work o? because the drug companies are spending millions of bucks to try to stop it. that's how you know. together, making healthcare a right not a privilege in this nation. and for the millions of you who feel financially squeeze raising a child while caring for an aging parents the so-called families generation , we want to make a pair affordable and accessible so loved ones can live with greater independence and dignity and we also want to make sure childcare costs for most families are at least in half. no working families should get what you are are helping me get done.
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no working families in america should pay more than seven percent of their income onchildcare or any child under five . [applause] >> we want to give rates to millions of care workers know ll they can increase their capacity, increase their knowledgeand increase their opportunity . health workers and childcare workers aredisproportionately women . women of color and immigrants and workers like the ones doctor king stood for when he marched and gave his life. look, just imagine instead of consigning millions of our children to under resourced school, we gave every single child in america access to an education and at age 3 and 84, quality preschool. we can afford to do this. can't afford not to do it. and we do know no matter what the background orcircumstance a child comes from , when given the opportunity, to
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have a better than 50 percent chance of making it all the way through 12 years without getting themselves in trouble and beyond. this will changelives forever . so will historic investments in higher education. it's immediately increasing programs to help millions of black students and lower income families to attend humidity colleges in four-year schools. i tell you, let me be clear. in the shadow of the morehouse men, i hear a lot about thatguys . i keep making the case to the point of personal privilege in the senate. the best hbc you in the country is delaware state. that's where i got started. come on. but here's what we've done.
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and this including the president of delaware state who used to work for me. he's in charge of all this. we're committed to $5 billion this year in historic investments with more historically black colleges and universities to meetevery single student , givethem a shot . a good paying job, you all know what i mean. anybody watching this one of the problems is black students in college every single capability anyother student does but guess what ? they can't compete for those government contracts that are out there. that the schools are able to go out and get. cyber security for example starting salary is $125,000 you don't get to get that contract unless you laboratories, unless you have the facilities you can train on. we also know economic injustice also needs environmental justice, community on since lines
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communities, dividing homes. my state is one of the highest cancer rates in the history of america. because i lived in a community called clermont delaware. we used to get up in the morning not a joke and get drawn into a school off the street. turn on the windshield wiper in the fall of the firstfrost and there will literally be an oil slick onthe window . an oil slick on the window . that's what an awful lot of us havebronchial asthma . it means reducing pollution so our children can develop and avoid these consequences. every one of you have an cancer alley in your state. it means building up our resilience to the climate crisis. and these are indelible proportions. biblical proportions 178 miles in a hurricane down in louisiana.
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more people dying in planes and their basements because their flooded and couldn'tget out of their basements, they drowned . super storms, droughts, wildfire, hurricanes. this is the promise for america urban and rural and all across america not just for anyone. and having to fight for economic justice for all americans, the work continues on delivering equal justice under the law. look, i know the frustration we all feel. more than one year after george floyd's murder and the conviction of his murderer, about six months ago meeting for police report and george's name is still not asked congress. i remember many times meeting his little daughter as she said to meet my daddy's aging history. he's going to change history. we haven't fulfilled that yet. i understand we've got to keep fighting but let me be clear.we're going to
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continue to fight for real police report and the fight is not anywhere near over. despite republican obstruction my administrations has already announced changes to the federal law enforcement policies. a ban on chokehold, a restriction on no knock warrants, requirements for wearing and activating body cameras. the department of justice use of private prisons, rescinding the previous administration's guidance to require the harshest penalties athe justice department has opened a pattern of investigation of systematically police department conduct in minneapolis just because we can't get it done in the states we are not standing back. but we have much more to do. and this needs important steps my nutrition also wants to advance the meaningful police reportthat includes additional executive action to live up to america's promise of equal justice . the work continues to create a safer stronger community in critical ways.
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with my american rescue plan and thank you for supporting it, everybody forgets that was $1.9 billion. $1 trillion. we got a lot done in that. it did so wellpeople don't even know where it came from . i'm serious. think about it. like what did you do for me lately? we added $1.9 billion. we made as a historic investments to community policing and violence intervention . we're showing to reduce some of these programs to reduce 60 percent. we're expanding summer programs and job opportunities and service support to keep young people out of trouble. we're helping formerly incarcerated people successfully get 25 bucks and a bus ticket. you go back right into the community there were there before. you should have access to the telegraph, you should have access housing, you should have access to all the things you made your price. we shouldn't you back inthe spot . where you have no option.
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were also working to install firearms from rogue gun dealers to further the epidemic of gunviolence . why do i criticize pifor the guy passing the assault weapons plant bad? here's the deal. you heard doctor king paraphrase he said yes about and we will place judges on the benches of the south. we will do justly and tolove mercy . in just nine months, we've appointed more black women to the federal circuit courts and more former public defenders and any administration in all of american history because of you. going tochange it . we did in record time we're just getting started because of all of you in the audience . you been behind all this. but wealso know this . to make real the full promise to protect the fundamental
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right, the right to vote, the sacred right to vote. you know, this democracies that is the threshold of liberty. without it nothing is possible. and today the right to vote and rule of laware under unrelenting assault from republican governors , attorney generals, secretaries of state . statelegislators . they're following my predecessor last president into the black hole and this. i really need it, think about it. it's what got me involved in civil rights as akid i was 26 years old . i'm a reading about how anyone can run for president. i didn't know i was going tobe able to run for county counsel . but look , his this struggle is no longer just over who gets to vote. or making it easierfor eligible people to vote. it's about who gets to count the votes . whether they should count at
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all. jim crow in the 21st century is now a sinister combination n of voter suppression and elective election submersion. my fellow americans, i thought at one point that i had been able to do something good as chairman of the judiciary. i was able to get every member of the committee including some of the conservative members clearly glad racist backgrounds to vote toextend the voting rights act for 25 years . i thought whoa, one of the proudest things iever did as a senator . but guess what, this means that some state legislatures want to make itharder for you to vote . and if you do both, they want to be able to tell you whether or not your wvote counts . that's not how it happened before. they want to the ability to reject the final vote and ignore the will of the people
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because their preferred candidate black white or asian or latino doesn't matter. it's that their candidate doesn't win. it's every voter who doesn't the way they want. i have to admit, i've been as a senator michael secure career involved in and i worked with a lot of folks out here in civil rights issues and i thought man, we can't turn this back.we can and leslie can defeathayes . the most un-american thing any of us can imagine, the most undemocratic and most unpatriotic and yet sadly not unprecedented time and again we witness threats to the right to vote for a free and fair election 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 and as he marches on voting rights
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during the anniversary of the march on washington inaugust 28 . vice president and my colleagues have sent our careers doing this work it's central to our administration . on the anniversary of loving what a sunday i'm each and every federal agent remove access to voting from each agency heeding the call. the department of veterans affairs has benefited it easier for veterans and their families to register to vote. va facilities and in addition the department of justice as a rights enforcement staff. we got a long way to go though. it's using authority to challenge the onslaught of state laws under mining voter rights whether an old or new ways . something like 20 percent of them for half the republicans are republican, i am not your president . donald trump is still your president.
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as we catholics say oh my god. but look, the focus is going to remain on discrimination and racial discrimination laws. george's various new anti-voting laws.let's be clear about georgia. doctor king's home state and the home state of someone who has literally stood in the shoes to ask i think some of you guys knew this was coming and that's why i had just come out's true as a morehouse man, that's why i keep getting from cedric but anyway. and as a preacher in the voltage of ebenezer. the united states senator raffaella warnock the first black senator in georgia's history . senator warnock went into
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alexington on the battle of ideas and heearned the trust of a broad coalition in response , the republicans of georgia what was it? not to try winning on the merits of an idea. by changing the rules and it harder forpeople to vote, denied a franchise . the vice ntpresident believes our administration efforts which supported democrats present in the next critical voting rights bills since day one of his administration , making sure we have unanimous support but each and every time senate republicans wanted byrefusing even to talk about .they're afraid to even to make the bills in the u.s. senate as they did again yesterday even on a bill that includes visions of a traditionally supported. it's unfair, it's unconscionable and it's un-american . this battle is far from over. the door has not been close to the voting rights act wilson, or of those named after our dear friend whose voice we hear every day in our hearts and our conscience
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. and it's a law that helped relieve the reauthorization as i said for 25 years in the senate judiciary committee expanding the voting rights act and traditionally received bipartisan support. we have to keep up the fight and get it done and i know the moment we are in. you know the moment we are in . i know the stakes. you know the stakes. this is far from over. and finally we are confronting the stains on the soul of the nation. eight and white supremacy. the there's a talk through line of subjugation of enslaved people from our earliest days through the remains of radicalized chairs and the kkk and doctor king being assassinated and although that line continues to be emerging from dark shadows of charlottesville, carrying out not see banners
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chanting anti-somatic vile with ku klux klan flax and the violent deadly insurrection on the capital nine months ago was about white supremacy in my view. the rise of hate crimes against asian americans during the pandemic and the rise in anti-semitism here in america and around the world. the through line is that he never goes away. i thought in all the years i've been involved i thought once we got through it it would go away . but it only hides. it only hides until some seemingly legitimate person briefs some oxygen under the rocks where they are hiding and gives it a breath. i've said it before and all my colleagues here knowing. 49 states intelligence committee, domestic terrorism
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become white supremacists are the most lethal terrorist threat in the homeland. that and our administration is carrying out the first ever comprehensive act of threats posed by domestic terrorism including white supremacy. we are doing so by taking action to reduce online radicalism and recruitment and also disrupting networks that inspire violence and domestic terrorism by providing resources to communities. we cannot and must notgive hate any safe harbor . my fellow americans, standing here reminds me of the role of the southern christian leadership conference which doctor king led and i quote , he said his goal was to redeem the soul of america. that's what at stake here. the soul of america. and we know that it's not the
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work of a single day. or a single administration or even a single generation. because here we stand with doctor king to show progress in the spirit of hope. with a promise of equality and opportunity and 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 light on the shoulders of doctor king and all those known and unknown who gave their whole soul to this work. the courage to confront wrong and try to do right. the courage to heal the broken place of the nation and see america hold. to acknowledge where we fell short.
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to devote ourselves to the protection of the union that we love and must protect. so that we can summon the courage to do these things we will have done our duty, honored our commitment, brought the dream of doctor king just a little bit closer to reality . it's the highest of callings, the most sacred of charges and with the help of god we can do it now so let's goes forth from this sacred place with all we are seeking, mi always keeping the faith. because folks, i know my colleagues in the senate used two kid me for putting irish poets on the floor and they thought i did it because i was irish. that's not the reason. they're just the best poets in the world.
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i believe this to be true. there's a line from poet that says 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 but hope and history rhyme. i believe the american people, the vast majority with us i think they see much more clearly what you've all been fighting foryour whole life now. it's in stark relief . the bad news is we had a president who appealed to the prejudice. the good news is we rip the band-aid off and made it clear what's at stake. and i think the american people will follow us but
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guess what, whether they will or not we have no choice. we have to continue to fight. god bless you all and may god protect our troops . [applause] >>. [music] >>. [music]
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