January 17, 2022

Senator Hirono Statement on Martin Luther King Jr. Day

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Mazie K. Hirono released the following statement on Martin Luther King Jr. Day:

“Today, we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day by honoring civil rights leaders who fought against inequality and sacrificed so much to move our country closer towards justice for all.

“But this year, on a day when we should be coming together to commemorate these civil rights achievements and recommit to the road ahead, we are instead fighting a battle we thought was won decades ago. 

“In 1957, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "Give Us the Ballot" address where he said, “The denial of this sacred right is a tragic betrayal of the highest mandates of our democratic tradition.” But here we are, in 2022, fighting back against hundreds of bills introduced in states with the clear intention of making it harder for certain people to vote.

“Our country’s legacy of racial discrimination in voting is undeniable.  And it’s undeniable that we are witnessing history repeat itself today. If we want to honor Dr. King’s legacy, we must put politics aside and pass the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.”