During a trip to Alabama on Sunday to mark the 58th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,” when state troopers beat up peaceful demonstrators rallying against discrimination, President Joe Biden will argue for expanded voting rights.
Biden’s visit to Selma is his most recent event designed to highlight his dedication to African voters, who supported him in his presidential campaign and will likely be a crucial part of his reelection effort in 2024.
Biden’s attempts to pass voting rights legislation in Congress have also hit a roadblock.
The President is scheduled to deliver a speech at the Edmund Pettus Bridge, where state troopers had violently attacked the 1965 voting rights marchers, including John Lewis – a Black civil rights activist who later became a US congressman.
The shocking brutality captured in the media outraged the nation and played a significant role in the enactment of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
“President Biden will talk about the importance of commemorating Bloody Sunday so that history cannot be erased,” White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Friday. “He will highlight how the continued fight for voting rights is … integral to delivering economic justice and civil rights for Black Americans.”
Vice President Kamala Harris traveled to Selma for the commemoration of the march last year and President Biden will do the same.
Former Democratic President Barak Obama and his wife Michelle, as well as Republican former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura, crossed the bridge during the 50th anniversary of the march in 2015.