Symbolic Selma Marches Peaceful In Comparison

Mar 8, 2015 - 0 Comments

Symbolic Selma marches are being staged this weekend, but these calm commemorations differ sharply with the original events:

On March 7, 1965, peaceful demonstrators protesting the South’s institutionalized oppression of its black Americans were exiting Selma Alabama on foot, when they were viciously attacked by state troopers and a posse of “deputized” white male supremacists.

The infamous occasion has since been marked as Bloody Sunday, and the televised coverage of it quickly paved the way for federal legislation granting the right of all African Americans to register and vote anywhere in the land.

Selma marchers police attack

President Johnson's speech in front of Congress urging the bill’s passage only one week after the Selma marches were shamefully disrupted was a watershed moment for the then-budding civil rights movement.

“Even if we pass this bill, the battle will not be over,” Johnson said. “What happened in Selma is part of a far larger movement … it is the effort of American Negroes to secure for themselves the full blessings of American life. Their cause must be our cause, too … because it is all of us who must overcome the crippling legacy of bigotry and injustice. And we shall overcome.”

Sadly, that prize still remains somewhat elusive 50 years later, as cities like New York, Ferguson and Madison continue to grapple with deeply biased police departments, and their oft times deadly racial profiling.



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