The “dream” of racial equality in the United
States has been elusive for 60 years

21
Joe Biden
President Biden gave a sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church on Martin Luther King Day, at the request of its pastor, Democratic US Senator Raphael Warnock. (Source: AFP)

Jakarta, IO – Martin Luther King Jr., the pioneer of the black civil rights movement in the United States, was born on January 15th 1929. In honor of the founder of the American civil rights movement, US President Biden spoke in Atlanta, Georgia, on the same day. The United States is at a “moment of choice,” according to Biden, who said that he “would not back down” on matters like safeguarding voting rights. Martin Luther King Jr.’s goal that “all men are created equal” is still elusive, as seen by the bitter reality that the two parties’ battles over matters like voting rights are becoming more and more severe. 

Even though Martin Luther King Jr. and others worked to have the Voting Rights Act approved in the US in 1965, several states still retain different “legal” limitations on voting, which are more likely to affect people of color. For instance, African Americans turned out on average 26% less frequently than white voters in Georgia, Louisiana, and North Carolina during the 2022 midterm elections. These three states have more stringent laws against voting suppression. 

The Biden administration and the Democratic Party have worked to advance a unified election reform measure at the federal level ever since taking office in 2021. The bill’s provisions include the creation of new automated voter registration processes, the abolition of new Republican state-level limitations, and the creation of national criteria for voting eligibility. However, once the measure was enacted by the House of Representatives in early 2021, it didn’t cause any issues since it was tough to win over Republican senators in the Senate and Democratic infighting. 

It is much less probable that the House of Representatives, which is now controlled by Republicans, would approve pertinent legislation once the new U.S. Congress convenes on January 3 of this year. According to the “New York Times,” Biden “can barely accomplish anything at this time (on the subject of voting rights)” if Capitol Hill is not modified. Clearly, a divided Congress and two opposing political parties who are unwilling to reach an agreement can only result in the voice of the people eventually being lost in the wind.