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Faith Leaders Voting Rights Rally in Georgia

Source: Anoa Changa / Anoa Changa

Georgia faith leaders have not backed down in the fight for voting rights. Gathering Tuesday steps from the state capitol, faith leaders and legislators called for action. 

Joined by members of the Georgia Legislative Black caucus, faith leaders led those gathered Tuesday in prayer and a call to action on both the For the People Act and the John Lewis Advancement Act in Liberty Plaza, across the street from the state capitol on Tuesday.

Among them, Rev. Dr. Bernice King, daughter of Coretta Scott King and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., spoke about the fight’s urgency in 2021. 

“My father reminds us that power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice,” King said. “And justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love.”

King challenged the Senate to find a “win-win pathway” to passing proposed democracy reforms and undoing new voter suppression laws.

“Nothing is more fundamental in this nation than the right to vote,” King proclaimed. “Nothing connects us more in this nation, both individuals and corporations, than the right to vote. It’s what makes us Americans. It’s what facilitates the advancement of justice and freedom and equality.”

Faith Leaders Voting Rights Rally in Georgia

Source: Anoa Changa / Anoa Changa

Rev. Timothy McDonald III of the First Iconium Baptist Church had a similar message. Directing his fire at elected officials focused on restricting voting rights, McDonald called out the “lies” motivating the current wave of voter suppression legislation. 

“We come here today to send the message loud and clear; we ain’t going back,” said McDonald. “No matter how many pieces of legislation you might unjustly pass, we not going back. We been there and done that,” continued McDonald. 

McDonald also aimed at corporations who sit on the sidelines as rights are being set aside. “If we want to change America, we have to change corporations and businesses and how they use their money and how they use their money,” exclaimed McDonald, alluding to the contributions and expenditures made by corporations in the political process. 

King also called on business leaders to stand firm in a commitment to voting rights. “I call upon these corporate leaders to support democracy and not give place to demagoguery,” she said. “I hear my father calling out to you. We need leaders not in love with money but in love with justice.”

As much as conservatives in both parties claim to admire the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., they have learned nothing from his life and work. West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin drew fire over the weekend for saying he while he would support the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, he would not support eliminating the filibuster of the For the People Act. 

He also claimed it was necessary to have a bipartisan effort, disregarding the refusal of nearly all Republicans to engage in good faith on the subject. Despite Manchin’s hopes for a bipartisan effort on voting rights, Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski is the only one to commit to supporting the law named for the late civil rights leader.

Faith Leaders Voting Rights Rally in Georgia

Source: Anoa Changa / Anoa Changa

After meeting with leaders of several national civil rights organizations, Manchin refused to budge on his position even as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell came out against the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.

Renamed for Lewis after his passing, the Voting Rights Advancement Act would restore the Voting Rights Act. As explained by The Brennan Center, the Voting Rights Act was passed to prevent racial discrimination in elections. After the Shelby v. Holder case weakened the act, states enacted restrictive measures to erode ballot access. 

Democracy advocates continue to call for the passage of both the Voting Rights Advancement Act and the For the People Act as they are complementary legislative proposals. The former protects against racism and discrimination, specifically in the election process, and the latter helps eliminate undue burdens in election administration. 

In a joint statement, the civil rights leaders called the meeting “constructive” but continued to press the need for decisive action.

“There continues to be an unprecedented partisan wave of state legislative proposals that are aimed at denying the right to vote — particularly for Black and Brown people,” read the statement. “The leaders also conveyed to Senator Manchin that a minority of senators must not be able to abuse the filibuster to impede much-needed progress. Congress must act, so all Americans have meaningful access to the ballot.”

SEE ALSO:

Black Faith Leaders List Demands For Corporate Boycott Over Georgia Voting Law

Black Civil Rights Leaders, Politicians Wage ‘Full-Court Press’ On Joe Manchin To Protect Voting Rights

‘We Ain’t Going Back’: Georgia Faith Leaders Demand Action On Voting Rights  was originally published on newsone.com