What an empowering day.
There in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza—in the shadow of the United Nations— we heard about the stark realities facing millions of Americans. Dr. Brenda Williams spoke of how she spent hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars helping her patients combat the barriers to obtaining state-issued ID in South Carolina. Anthony Papa talked about how it felt to learn that he would be ineligible to vote under laws that target the formerly incarcerated. One by one the speakers painted a picture of a shrinking pool of Americans who will be able to vote in the years ahead.
If we don’t take action to stop this, no one will.
In moments like these, the NAACP has always risen to the challenge, winning and preserving the rights we enjoy. Today those rights are in danger again. In 38 states and counting, strict new voter ID laws, restrictions on early voting and Sunday voting, and racially motivated bans on ex-felons have either been passed or proposed.
Our successful rally in New York City was just the beginning. I look forward to standing for freedom with you in 2012 and beyond.
Yours in the struggle,
Benjamin Todd Jealous