Monday, January 17, 2022

Rep. Bowman Statement on Martin Luther King Jr. Day


“The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. taught us so much about trauma and healing, adversity and triumph, and most importantly about the impact of service through his work to galvanize communities across this country to enact action, change, and progress,” said Congressman Jamaal Bowman (NY-16). “Right now, as our nation faces vicious attacks on the right to vote, we’re especially reminded of the lessons he left us. In his letter from Birmingham jail, he responds to those who called his non-violent direct actions ‘untimely’ and ‘unwise,’ saying that, ‘We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.’ In our mission to protect our right to vote, we cannot take ‘no’ or ‘wait’ as an answer.”


“We know from our history that when people and institutions tell us ‘wait,’ it oftentimes means never,” added Congressman Jamaal Bowman (NY-16). “With over 262 voter suppression bills introduced in 41 states already, we can’t afford to waste any more time. It is clear that with every passing day, the attacks on our fundamental right to vote are worsening. For the last two years, we have been sounding the alarm in the People’s House and have sent the Senate legislation that is vital to protecting our democracy as we know it. Still — no action has been taken. Martin Luther King Jr. would tell us on this day of service, that getting justice is not easy or convenient, and that now is the moment to reject excuses and inaction. With every step that he took in the direction of progress, there is no question that the ground shook beneath his shoes. Let us, through our convictions and actions, shake the ground too. It is time to end the filibuster and protect our right to vote.”

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