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Biden meets with King family, civil rights leaders on anniversary of March on Washington

President Biden on Monday met with relatives of Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders at the White House on the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington, underscoring the need for continued work on racial equality with the backdrop of a deadly, racially motivated shooting in Florida.

Biden and Vice President Harris met with Martin Luther King III, Arndrea Waters King, Yolanda King and Bernice King, as well as the Rev. Al Sharpton, former Ambassador to the United Nations Andrew Young and other civil rights leaders.

“Kamala and I wanted to convene this incredible group of civil rights leaders for a simple reason,” Biden said at the top of the meeting. “To thank them, and to tell them what they tell us: We know we’ve got a lot more work to do. And also remind them that what they do matters more than I think they even appreciate.”

Harris invoked the late Coretta Scott King, echoing her belief that the push for civil rights must be kept alive by each new generation and noting multiple generations of the King family were in attendance.

The King family, Harris said, epitomized that “it is incumbent on each of us at this moment in time in our country to stand for the sake of unity and foundational principles, that out of many we are one.”

Monday marked 60 years since the March on Washington, when roughly 250,000 people gathered on the National Mall to push for civil rights and equality and King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech.

The 1963 march helped lead to a host of new laws, including the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The landmark legislation banned segregation in public places and prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. 

Monday’s anniversary and the White House meeting after three people were killed in what police called a “racially motivated” shooting at a Dollar General store in Jacksonville on Saturday afternoon.

Biden condemned the shooting at the start of his remarks with civil rights leaders, and he pushed back against efforts in some states to ban books and shape what is taught about the nation’s history.

“Silence is complicity, and we’re not going to remain silent,” Biden said. “So we have to act against this hate-fueled violence.”

Source: The Hill

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