Senator Bill Nelson stated on the Senate floor Wednesday afternoon that American race relations have not advanced since 1963.
The Florida Democrat, speaking in opposition to Sen. Jeff Sessions’ nomination to serve as the next U.S. attorney general, recalled watching Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech on “a grainy black and white TV.”
“He stressed that a central promise made to the citizens in a Democracy is the right to vote and to have that vote counted,” he continued. “We cannot, [MLK] said, be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote, end of quotation.”
“Half a century has passed, and our country has changed with the times,” Nelson added. “But one thing has not changed; the right to vote for all God’s children in America is still under assault.”
“Unbelievably, we are not so very far from the problems of 1963, despite the passage of time and landmark voting and civil legislation.”