January 15, 2021
By Richard Dubois, Executive Director
Washington, D.C.- In his iconic speech at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. urgently appealed to his fellow Americans to make real the promise of democracy. The decades-long campaign by activists for racial justice culminated with passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, outlawing segregation and employment discrimination, swiftly followed by the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which allowed for the inclusion of Black citizens and other Americans in the democratic process.
More than 50 years have passed since Dr. King’s assassination but as the horrific events last week show, the fight against deeply ingrained racism is far from over. We were all reminded of our nation’s bloody history of racist voter suppression, violence, and anti-Semitism as white supremacists laid siege to the U.S. Capitol.
NCLC condemns the mob attack on our democracy. This violent insurrection will not thwart the transition of power, nor diminish our resolve to fight for economic and racial justice. At the same time, we are heartened by signs of progress. Participation in the last election was historic, especially among Black voters in states like Georgia with a long and ugly history of voter suppression. We hope this marks the start of a new era of true democracy and equality.
NCLC looks forward to working with the new administration and Congress to protect consumers against abusive and predatory financial products, and to restore important protections gutted by the Trump administration. We will defend and protect key civil rights statutes, such as the Fair Housing Act, passed just seven days after Dr. King’s assassination in tribute to his fight for housing justice. We reaffirm our commitment to advancing racial equity and justice, and ensuring that all consumers have the full benefit of the freedom and rights that Dr. King and other civil rights activists fought so hard to secure.