Do President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris understand the magnitude of their scheduled visit to Atlanta Tuesday? Maybe not says King Center CEO Dr. Bernice King.
Pres. Biden and VP Harris will be in Atlanta to talk about voting rights legislation that continues to be held up in the U.S. Senate. According to King "you can not come to a city like this and pay homage to the one (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.) who sacrificed his very life and not make this (voting rights) a priority and champion it even moreso than has been done in the past."
Along with a speech at the Atlanta University Center, the President and Vice President are also expected to visit the King Center.
King says she will continually remind Biden and Harris of their power. "It's no irony that both of them came out of the Senate. This should be something they should be easily able to utilize their platform to change minds and hearts."
The daughter of the late civil rights leader says voting rights "is not a black issue" but rather "about the heart and soul of who we are as a democracy." Yet, she cautions that this is an election year and "you can't dangle a carrot saying 'we need you'" when the opposite is reality. King adding that she understands the sentiment of those who say they "are not going to continue to be used" and decide instead to "sit this one out."
Republicans in the U.S. Senate continue to use the 60-vote filibuster rule to block voting rights legislation. If they continue to stall Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) says he will force a vote to change the Senate rules by January 17th, which is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.