For Immediate Release: January 11, 2022
COLOR OF CHANGE: PRESIDENT BIDEN MUST PUT ACTION BEHIND HIS WORDS, REFORM THE SENATE FILIBUSTER TO PASS CRITICAL LEGISLATION AND ADVANCE RACIAL JUSTICE
Scott Roberts, senior director of criminal justice and democracy campaigns at Color Of Change, issued the following statement following President Biden’s Speech on voting rights in Atlanta, Georgia:
“President Biden’s call to move voter protection legislation through Senate rules changes has been long overdue. However, without putting action behind his words and taking direct steps to fully reform the Senate filibuster, President Biden’s speech today is no more than lip service to the Black voters who catapulted him to victory.
Since the 2020 election, legislatures across the country have introduced hundreds of bills to restrict voting access –– particularly in Black communities long targeted by voter suppression. These attacks on voting rights are no anomaly, they are part of a coordinated, sustained effort to dismantle the political power of Black voters. As leader of the Democratic Party, President Biden must immediately use all tools at his disposal to advance Senate rules changes and pass voter protection legislation.
We also call on the President to go beyond today’s statement and support permanently reforming the filibuster. Unless critical changes are made, the filibuster, which has been used as a tool to uphold white supremacy and prevent civil rights protections, will continue to roadblock key legislation that advances racial justice.
In recent years, this Jim Crow Era tool has been used to stall legislation like the DREAM Act, the Affordable Care Act, and several proposals for sensible gun reform that overwhelmingly benefit communities of color. Now, as voting rights are again under attack nationwide, the filibuster continues to threaten progress towards racial justice and legislation that protects our fundamental rights.
“Our message to President Biden and the Senate is clear, we are not going away. We’re going to continue pressuring Democrats to act on their promises and remove the barriers intended to thwart Black voters. That includes reforming the Jim Crow filibuster and passing the For The People Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.”