02.01.17

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Celebrates Black History Month

“Every February, we reflect on the numerous contributions African Americans have made to our nation’s history. Despite overwhelming odds, African Americans have persevered to become influential inventors, doctors, educators, business leaders, and even President of the United States.

“While Black History Month reminds us of the progress we have made as a nation, it is also a reminder of our nation’s dark history of slavery, racial injustice, oppression and the  continued struggle for civil and human rights.

“This month we celebrate the resilience of our people and our remarkable ability to strive and overcome. But even as we celebrate, we cannot afford to ignore the challenges that remain. African Americans still experience disproportionate rates of poverty and face institutional and systemic racism at every stage of life. Our criminal justice system continues to destroy African American families, and access to the ballot remains under attack.

“We also cannot ignore the bigoted rhetoric that elevated President Trump to the White House, or the dangerous advisors he has surrounded himself with. Elevating Steve Bannon to the White House and nominating Senator Jeff Sessions to lead our Justice Department is an insult to African American communities. Clearly, the Trump Administration will stop at nothing to roll back progress.

“This is simply unacceptable. After all that we have done to promote equality and racial justice, we must not allow this reality to become normal.

“As we celebrate Black History Month, let us recommit ourselves to resistance. Let us remember what African Americans have achieved when we organized in our own self-interest. This month and in the months to come, let us honor the legacy of our great African American trailblazers by refusing to accept or normalize the hatred and bigotry the Trump administration has embraced, and instead dedicate ourselves to ensuring that the promise of freedom, justice, and equality that is the foundation of our nation remains true and achievable for all Americans.”