In a powerful speech commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan 15, the Vice President said threats to freedom, particularly those emerging from recent Supreme Court decisions and cultural movements, need the most attention.
Delivering the keynote address at the South Carolina NAACP’s annual “King Day at the Dome” event, Harris pointed to the so-called “war on wokeness” and conservative-led efforts against accurate Black history education.
Quoting Dr. King’s words from the Letter from Birmingham Jail, Harris emphasized:
“As Dr. King wrote, ‘the goal of America is freedom.’ And so, as we gather to honor his legacy, I pose a question I believe Dr. King would today ask: In 2024, where exactly is America in our fight for freedom?”
Harris expressed concern about the profound threat to freedom in America, addressing issues such as book bans and attempts to distort historical facts, especially related to the Civil War and slavery.
She criticized extremists who try to erase and rewrite parts of the nation’s past, calling it an attempt to divide and distract.
The vice president also appealed to young people, acknowledging the lived experience of this generation, witnessing the erosion of constitutional rights and enduring challenges such as active shooter drills and voting obstacles.
Harris pointed out that the current generation has fewer rights than their predecessors, emphasizing the need for collective action to address these issues.
Referring to the conservative-leaning Supreme Court and its impact on constitutional rights, Harris stated:
“For our young leaders, the assault on freedoms is not hypothetical. It is lived experience… This generation has witnessed the highest court in our land, the court of Thurgood, take a Constitutional right from the people of America, from the women of America.”
Harris concluded her speech by quoting Coretta Scott King:
“Freedom is never truly won. You earn it and win it in every generation,” and urged Americans to roll up their sleeves and continue the fight for justice and freedom.