“The purpose of the law is simple … those who are equal before God shall now also be equal in the polling booths, in the classrooms, in the factories, and in hotels, restaurants, movie theaters, and other places that provide service to the public.”
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“Effective immediately, I am banning Mr. Sterling for life from any association with the Clippers organization or the NBA … I will urge the Board of Governors to exercise its authority to force a sale of the team and will do everything in my power to ensure that that happens.” – NBA Commissioner Adam Silver
“Race matters … because of the long history of racial minorities being denied access to the political process … because of persistent racial inequality in society – inequality that cannot be ignored and that has produced stark socioeconomic disparities.” – Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Supreme Court of the United States
“Affluent Americans would do quite well. But for tens of millions of others, the Ryan plan is a path to more adversity.” – Robert Greenstein, president of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
“You can’t allow 15,000 school boards to home bake their own little standards subject to their own political pressures and think we are going to have international competitiveness. We have to at least have some bare minimum core standards if our young people are going to compete.” – Rep. Bobby Scott, Congressional Black Caucus
“Jordan had no guns. He had no drugs. There was no alcohol. They were coming from the mall. They were being kids.” – Lucia McBath, mother of Jordan Davis
“There is no more powerful force than a people steeped in their history. And there is no higher cause than honoring our struggle and ancestors by remembering.” – Lonnie Bunch, founding director, National Museum of African American History and Culture
“Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is manmade and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. You can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.” – Nelson Mandela (Madiba)
“For the first time in history, Republicans have routinely used the filibuster to prevent President Obama from appointing his executive team or confirming judges … The change we propose today would ensure executive and judicial nominees get an up or down vote on confirmation – yes or no.” – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
“Bullying is a form of aggressive behavior in which someone intentionally and repeatedly causes another person injury or discomfort. Bullying can take the form of physical contact, words or more subtle actions.” – American Psychological Association
“HBCUs have always been in a situation where a lot of them have had to struggle. A lot of that has to do with inequitable funding.” – Marybeth Gasman, University of Pennsylvania
“Extremes to the right and to the left of any political dispute are always wrong.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower
“In the event that a debt limit impasse were to lead to a default, it could have a catastrophic effect on not just financial markets but also on job creation, consumer spending and economic growth – with many private-sector analysts believing that it would lead to events of the magnitude of late 2008 or worse, and the result then was a recession more severe than any seen since the Great Depression.” – U.S. Treasury
“At a moment when President Obama and Republican leaders remain deeply divided, this week saw them come to a bipartisan agreement on one thing: It is time for Washington’s NFL team to stop using a racial slur and to finally change its name.” – Oneida Indian Nation radio ad
“Nearly 6 in 10 uninsured Americans will be able to get coverage for $100 or less.” – President Barack Obama
“The NFL is entering the golden age of Black quarterbacks.” – Jason McIntyre, writing in The Big Lead
“Everything you are and everything you have is because of that butler.” – Gloria Gaines, wife of Cecil Gaines as played by Oprah Winfrey in The Butler.
“The Federal Reserve chairman is not only one of the most important economic policymakers in America, he or she is one of the most important policymakers in the world.” – President Barack Obama
“Almost 50 years ago, I gave a little blood on that bridge in Selma, Ala., for the right to vote. I am not going to stand by and let the Supreme Court take the right to vote away from us.” – Rep. John Lewis, 50th anniversary of the March on Washington
“The Court’s disregard for the realities of the workplace means that many victims of workplace harassment will have no effective remedy.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg, associate justice, United States Supreme Court
“Based on the evidence of intentional racial discrimination … as well as the history of pervasive voting-related discrimination against racial minorities … we believe that the state of Texas should be required to go through a preclearance process whenever it changes its voting laws and practices,” stated Attorney General Eric Holder at the 2013 National Urban League Conference
“Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.” – President Barack Obama
“Even though I am broken-hearted, my faith is unshattered.” – Tracy Martin, father of Trayvon Martin
As of 2004, more Black men were denied the right to vote because of a criminal record than in 1870, when the 15th Amendment was ratified, giving Blacks the right to vote.
“The enduring hope is that race should not matter; the reality is that too often it does.” – Anthony Kennedy, associate justice of the Supreme Court
Last July, the National Urban League released a report titled “The Hidden Swing Voters.” Our report predicted that the African American vote would tip the scales in the 2012 election of Barack Obama, especially in several key swing states – just as it had been a decisive factor in 2008. Last week, a Census Bureau report confirmed our analysis. Not only did the 2012 Black vote make the difference in several key swing states, including Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the biggest prize of all, Ohio, but Black voter turnout surpassed the White vote for the first time in history.
University commencement season is a time of high hopes and great celebration. I was again reminded of that when I delivered the commencement address at Huston-Tillotson University in Austin, Texas. This coming weekend, I will also speak during graduation ceremonies at Tuskegee University and Alcorn State.
Acts of terror like the ones committed in Boston are reprehensible and without moral or logical explanation. They rock us to our core. They also unite us in common purpose. Victims and their families seem to become our own. We want to ease their pain. We want to do something to ensure that this doesn’t happen again. Our togetherness as a nation is often most evident when something happens with the intent of breaking us.
“It is better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one than to have an opportunity and not be prepared.” – Whitney M. Young Jr., late National Urban League and Civil Rights leader
(NNPA) - “Our nation is moving towards two societies, one black, one white – separate and unequal.” – 1967 Kerner Commission In 1963, more than a quarter-million people gathered in Washington, D.C., for the historic Great March for Jobs and Freedom. This was a watershed moment in American history, giving unprecedented voice to the hardships facing Blacks as they sought a fair shot at an elusive dream. In 2013, America witnessed the second inauguration of our first Black president. Much has changed in 50 years.
(NNPA) “No voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice or procedure shall be imposed or applied by any state or political subdivision to deny or abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color.” – Voting Rights Act of 1965
“So please ask yourself: What would I do if I weren’t afraid? And then go do it.” ‒ Sheryl Sandberg
"I risked my life defending that right. If we are ever to actualize the true meaning of equality, effective measures such as the Voting Rights Act are still a necessary requirement of democracy." Georgia U.S. Rep. John Lewis