For this Black History Month we must remember, the fight is not yet over

February 18, 2021

By Congresswoman Gwen Moore
(D-WI 4th District)

Congresswoman Gwen Moore

This Black History Month is far different than any in my lifetime. The road so many traveled to get us where we are today was not easy, and last month, we saw just how much farther we have to go and how difficult the road ahead will be.

In the words of my dear friend, John Lewis, “We may not have chosen the time, but the time has chosen us.”

Just weeks ago, my colleagues and I witnessed firsthand the racism and bigotry that still runs throughout our county as a mob of domestic terrorists invaded the Capitol waving Confederate flags, wearing Camp Auschwitz shirts, and even hung a noose outside the building – all to keep a racist in the Office of the President who was openly undermining our democracy.

The resurgence of racism and bigotry in our country incited by elected political leaders must be stopped. These same political leaders have openly disrupted both our voting and civil rights and are yearning for a return to the Jim Crow era. Make no mistake about it, white nationalism has no place in America and will not be tolerated.

It was not until 1965, with the passage of the Voting Rights Act, that many more black men and women were allowed to vote. However, America has made huge strides in spite of other barriers like producing a photo ID to vote, closing polling sites in black areas and other egregious behavior to take away the franchise. Black voters continue to press forward and are largely credited for delivering the election in swing states like Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and GEORGIA!

We will not allow Donald Trump and his insurrectionist cronies to erode the immense progress we have made – the progress that brought us the first woman of color serving as Vice President and the first Black man serving two terms as our President. This same progress that created the opportunity for a single Black mother, from humble beginnings, to represent you and the great state of Wisconsin in Congress.

My mentor, Vel Phillips, once asked, “What did you do today that was good?”

Even on the darkest day in the history of our nation, we saw heroism in Officer Eugene Goodman and the countless officers who put their lives on the line to protect the Capitol from racist, radical insurgents. We must honor their sacrifices, and all those who came before them as we confront the hardships we face today and on the road ahead. It allows us to see how far we have come, but yet how far we have to go to achieve true equality.

My friends, our road to recovery is long – and that journey often typifies the struggle and strife that the Black community has and continues to endure, especially during a global health pandemic. But I have faith that we can do it, and we will do it together.

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