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Gov. Rick Snyder commemorates Civil Rights Act

Michiganders played important role in bringing civil rights to both state and nation

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder offered the following statement on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

The Civil Rights Act is a landmark piece of legislation, and its tremendous impact is still felt today.

“With the stroke of a pen, President Johnson ended segregation in schools, at the workplace, and at the lunch counter. Though more work had to be done to enforce its guarantees, the Civil Rights Act was an important step to ensuring our nation's promise of equal rights protection under the law.

“In Michigan, we're proud of the role our fellow Michiganders played in bringing civil rights to our state. We owe a debt of gratitude to the great Rosa Parks who made her home in Michigan after taking a stand in Alabama.  Former Gov. George Romney helped lead the nation into a new era of equality through significant changes to our state constitution.  U.S. Representative John Dingell was a strong champion for the Civil Rights Act in the halls of Congress. John Conyers fought for change in Selma on Freedom Day before carrying his fight to the U.S. House. Judges Damon Keith and John Feikens served on the Michigan Civil Rights Commission in its early days, helping to carry out Michigan's constitutional guarantees against discrimination.

“There are countless other Michiganders, too, who joined in the effort to call for much-needed change. In their own way, they marched to help fulfill Dr. Martin Luther King's dream. We remember their work today.  But the civil rights movement did not end in Washington fifty years ago. The struggle for equality went on, and it continues today. Discrimination should never be tolerated, and equality must always be defended.”

 

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