MLK family calls for ‘no celebration’ on their father’s annual holiday
There may not be a Martin Luther King Jr. celebration this year if the King family and millions of Black Americans don’t get their equal voting rights. The family of the revered civil rights leader is calling for “no celebration” of MLK Day without the passage of voting rights legislation and putting pressure on President Joe Biden and lawmakers to act on federal voting rights bills that have stalled in Congress.
In November, Senate Republicans blocked the beginning of debate on a voting rights act named after late civil rights icon and Congressman John Lewis. The bill gained the support of Republican Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia, but didn’t reach the 60 votes it needed to overcome a Republican filibuster. Both bills were recently passed by the House of Representatives but both have stalled in the Senate.
Martin Luther King III, his wife Arndrea Waters King and their daughter Yolanda Renee King are uniting activists and demanding President Biden and Congress to unify and use the same measures they used to pass the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill on the federal voting rights bill.
Martin Luther King III said in a statement that they “will not accept empty promises in pursuit of my father’s dream for a more equal and just America.”
“President Biden and Congress used their political muscle to deliver a vital infrastructure deal, and now we are calling on them to do the same to restore the very voting rights protections my father and countless other civil rights leaders bled to secure,” Martin Luther King III said.
The King family and other protestors will rally on MLK’s birthday celebration on Jan. 15, 2022, in Phoenix “to restore and expand voting rights to honor Dr. King’s legacy.”
The Kings chose to mobilize in Arizona because of its “draconian” voting rights law, provisions of which the U.S. Supreme Court upheld this year and in doing so limited the ability of minority voters to challenge state laws under the Voting Rights Act.