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National Black Justice Coalition on the Senate’s Failure to Pass Voting Rights Legislation

CONTACT: Brett Abrams |

Statement from David Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, a leading Black LGBTQ+ organization: 

“Late last night 50 Republican and 2 U.S. Senate Democrats decided to maintain the filibuster, a tool not enshrined in our constitution and fashioned to preserve racism, to prevent the chamber from completing the task the U.S. Supreme Court required Congress to do eight years ago – modernize the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to prevent voter discrimination and intimidation. Already, state legislatures across the country have introduced and codified legislation that adds additional hurdles and barriers to voting, which have the desired effect of making it more difficult, if possible at all, for diverse and often democratic voters.

“With the voting rights act of 1965 still gutted – voters in communities and states with a history of voter intimidation, suppression, and discrimination will continue to be unprotected by the federal government.

“The failure of the U.S. Senate to get this done makes it even clearer that we need a progressive majority in both Chambers of Congress. We, the people, can make it happen this year by running for and electing progressive candidates to replace those who stand in the way of ensuring a fair, functioning and representative democracy.

“We have reached a tipping point similar to the late 1800s when our government was close to forming a multi-racial, representative, and fair democracy but chose to double down on investments in segregation, Jim Crow, and the Klan instead. We have a chance not to repeat history, but that window will soon close. How we are remembered by history is up to us. What are we going to do, now?”

The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS.