Hartford, CT – Connecticut Democratic Party Chairwoman Nancy DiNardo today released the following statement commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 being signed into law:
“Separate is never equal. Discrimination should never be tolerated. And the right to vote must never be restricted. To achieve a more perfect union, we must always continue the fight for social progress.
“With Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by his side, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law 50 years ago today. It was historic for its symbolism – both a response to and a rebuke of the hateful rhetoric, gross discrimination, and hostile politics that pervaded the nation for a century prior. It helped our country turn the page on stains of the past.
“Though divisive at the time in its politics, it was visionary for the morals it codified into law – and for the social progress it ultimately achieved. No longer were countertops, bathrooms, and buses legally divided by race. No longer would the right to vote be systematically denied through intimidation. And no longer would the fabric of our country be marred by legal practices designed to deliberately undermine basic American rights.
“It was also indeed a tribute to President John F. Kennedy, with President Johnson telling Congress that ‘no memorial oration or eulogy could more eloquently honor President Kennedy’s memory than the earliest possible passage of the civil rights bill for which he fought so long.’
“Incredible progress has happened since its passage, but as always, there is more work to do. We must truly fulfill the Act’s vision by further integrating our schools, halt efforts to limit voting rights, and fight for economic and social equality wherever possible. The Civil Rights Act ended an ugly chapter in American history and started a new one – and we must be relentless in our fight for progress to ensure its spirit continues to touch the lives of all Americans each and every day.”