2018-01-18 03:36:36 UTC
For the first time in 17 years, civil rights leaders gathered at
the South Carolina Statehouse to pay homage to the Rev. Martin
Luther King Jr. without the Confederate flag casting a long
shadow over them.
The flag was taken down over the summer after police said a
young white man shot nine black church members to death during a
Bible study in Charleston. Following the massacre at the Emanuel
African Methodist Episcopal Church, Gov. Nikki Haley reversed
course and made it a priority for lawmakers to pass legislation
to remove the flag.
Bishop James Walker, who presides over the 7th Episcopal
District in Connecticut, praised the National Association for
the Advancement of Colored People for its fight against the flag.
"You forced important power in high places to recognize that the
scared memory of the Emanuel Nine would be parched by a symbol
of injustice flying over the Capitol," he said at a prayer
At the Statehouse, about 1,000 people assembled under chilly,
sunny skies to mark the 30th anniversary of the federal holiday
honoring the slain civil rights leader, who was killed in 1968.
It was one of many events across the country. In Michigan,
people delivered bottled water to residents of Flint amid the
city's drinking water crisis. In Atlanta, an overflow crowd
listened as to the nation's housing secretary talk about the
50th anniversary of King's visit to Chicago to launch a campaign
for fair housing.
In South Carolina, the state NAACP said there is still more work
to do to honor King and the theme of this year's rally is
"education equity," with speakers calling for South Carolina to
spend more money to help students in poorer, more rural school
districts, which frequently have a majority of black students.
The event included appearances by all three main Democratic
presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and
Martin O'Malley and heavier police presence.
How appropriate. A black liar honored by a Clinton liar and a
bunch of democrat asshats.