Last night, the Senate voted 49-43 to silence Elizabeth Warren as she read a letter written by the wife of Martin Luther King Jr, Coretta Scott King. King sent this letter to the Senate in 1986 when the chamber was in debate on whether or not to confirm Jeff Sessions to a lifetime appointment on the federal bench.
Blacks still fall far short of having equal participation in the electoral process. Particularly in the South, efforts continue to be made to deny blacks access to the polls, even where blacks constitute the majority of the voters.
It has been a long, up-hill struggle to keep alive the vital legislation the protects the most fundamental right to vote. A person who has exhibited so much hostility to the enforcement of those laws, and thus to the exercise of those rights by black people should not be elevated to the federal bench.
King argues that during Jeff Sessions’ time as a prosecutor in Alabama, “Mr. Sessions has used the awesome power of his office to chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens.” As Sen. Elizabeth Warren read this portion of the letter, McConnell interrupted the senator, saying she had impugned another senator. “She was warned. She was given and explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.” Senator Warren followed up by stepping outside the senate doors and reading the letter in it’s entirety using Facebook Live to get her message out. “They can shut me up, but they can’t change the truth,” Warren later told CNN’s Don Lemon.
She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.
- Mitch McConnell
Overnight, #ShePersisted and #LetLizSpeak went viral. People from across the country began sharing pictures and stories of other brave women who have been silenced by men but continued fighting the fight against discrimination. We’ve seen this before. The vote to keep Warren quiet was a textbook case of males silencing a women.
“Senator Warren is so articulate and precise with her words that it drives the Republicans blood pressure through the roof. They know the following she has. I think this shows that the women of the Democratic party will not be silenced.” Sen. Dick Durbin told MSNBC. Following Elizabeth Warren being kicked off the senate floor, Tom Udall took the stand and began reading the same letter read by Warren and was followed by Sherrod Brown from Ohio. Neither were silenced.
“I will not be silent about a nominee for Attorney General who has made derogatory and racist comments that have no place in our justice system.” Elizabeth Warren
As if women needed anymore reason to continue on with their fight, it seems as though the Republicans have done nothing but dig themselves in a bigger hole by firing up the Progressive base. This comes just two days after the Women’s March on Washington announced “A Day without Women” strike.