In Recognition of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday

On this year’s Martin Luther King, Jr. national holiday, the nation should not lose sight of ongoing threats to American democracy, which Dr. King struggled to fulfill for all its citizens. We should recognize those who, in the last two years, sought to defend it---the members of the House Select Committee on the January 6th Attack, and especially its Chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson. His wise leadership of the committee has been passed over in most media accounts.

We knew Congressman Thompson was the right person to lead this committee. The A. Philip Randolph Institute mobilized Black voter participation during his initial run for Congress in Mississippi in 1993 as a champion of civil rights and equality. Growing up in a region where tyranny and insurrection from prior centuries were still openly defended, Chairman Thompson could relay to the American people the full gravity of the Select Committee's purpose: to find out the truth about another insurrection, this time incited by a sitting president bent on overthrowing the Constitution and the people’s will, notably again that of Black and other minority voters. Chairman Thompson's leadership of the bipartisan Select Committee will be remembered as a blow against authoritarianism and racism and a significant contribution to defending --- and hopefully preserving --- America’s multiracial democracy.

Norman Hill, President Emeritus
A. Philip Randolph Institute

Clayola Brown, President
A. Philip Randolph Institute

Velma Murphy Hill
Civil Rights Activist and Former Board Member, APRI