Saturday, March 7, 2015

GOP Leaders To Skip 50th Anniversary Of The March On Selma (*UPDATED)

Not if you're a Republican!
Today marks the 50th anniversary of the legendary "Bloody Sunday" protest march on Selma.

There were, in fact, three Selma to Montgomery marches (March 7th, 9th & 21) in 1965. All were part of the Selma Voting Rights Movement and led to the passage that year of the Voting Rights Act. In all three marches activists walked the 54-mile highway from Selma to the Alabama state capital of Montgomery. The undertaking was an effort to express the desire of black American citizens right to exercise their constitutional right to vote in defiance of segregationist repression.

During these marches the activists were met with outrageously violent resistance by white officials. This even after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 officially ended segregation

The first and most infamous of the Selma marches took place on March 7, 1965 gained the nickname "Bloody Sunday" after its 600 marchers were attacked at the Edmund Pettus Bridge. It was at this bridge, after leaving Selma, where the marchers were set upon by state troopers and the county posse who attacked them mercilessly with billy clubs and tear gas.

To commemorate the bravery and sacrifice of those who gave their lives to take part in these historic marches hundreds of U.S. lawmakers will be converging on tiny Selma, Alabama to commemorate the 50th anniversary of this momentous civil rights event.

However...

In what can only be described as shocking they will not be joined by one single solitary member of the House Republican leadership! To add insult to injury even Senate Majority Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will "miss" the event.

So let's break down the numbers here. Of the 54 Republican Senators and the 242 Republican congressmen it has been reported that only 22 House and 0 Senate member are registered to attend the pilgrimage. 

Congressional Black Caucus Chairman G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina said of this news...

It is very disappointing that not a single Republican leader sees the value in participating in this 50th commemoration of the signing of the Voting Rights Act. I had hoped that some of the leadership would attend, but apparently none of them will. The Republicans always talk about trying to change their brand and be more appealing to minority folks and be in touch with the interests of African-Americans. This is very disappointing.”

Former CBC Chair Marsha Fudge (D-Ohio) agreed saying...

Not only do they have an opportunity to participate in something that is historic in this country, but certainly they’ve lost an opportunity to show the American people that they care. Their loss.”

 Read into what I can only consider an egregious insult what you will.

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*UPDATE - Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy agreed to attend the event late last night.

Whew... That was close!

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