President Joe Biden tripped on the stairs to Air Force One for the second time in two weeks when he visited Selma, Alabama to commemorate the 58th anniversary of Bloody Sunday.
His last stumble came on February 22 when he boarded the jet after a three-day visit to Europewhich included traveling to Kyiv via train, a journey that lasted 10 hours.
Over the weekend, Mr. Biden traveled to the site of the violent police attack on black protesters on March 7, 1965, which energized civil rights activists. Peaceful protesters were beaten with nightsticks and tear gassed by white officers.
The president said voting rights were “under attack” by the GOP, whose members are pushing laws that limit ballot access and redraw voting districts.
Mr. Biden said those who marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge had rejected the “forces of hate” and called for action that led to the signing of the Voting Rights Act just five months later.
“They forced the country to confront hard truths and to act to keep the promise of America alive,” Mr. Biden said, according to The New York Times.
Mr. Biden’s first trip to Selma as commander-in-chief was made as he is soon expected to announce a run for re-election in 2024 when he will need the support of black voters.
The president criticized the GOP’s attempt to limit how racial issues can be taught in schools. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is expected to take on former President Donald Trump for the 2024 Republican nomination, has come under fire for limiting what students can be taught in Florida schools.
“We can’t just pick and choose what we want to know and what we should know,” Biden said. “We should learn everything. The good, the bad, the truth, who we are as a nation. Everyone should know the truth about Selma.”
Mr Biden went on to criticize redistricting in Alabama – activists in the state say the votes of black voters have been diluted.
A court had ordered lawmakers to redraw a voting map in Alabama, saying black voters “have less opportunity” than others to choose the candidate of their choice.
But the Supreme Court reinstated the map last month in a five-to-four decision with Chief Justice John Roberts joining the three liberals in their dissent, The times noted at the time.
“When I come here to honor the memory, not to show off, Selma is a bill,” Mr. Biden said this weekend. “The right to vote, the right to vote, to have your vote counted, is the threshold of democracy and freedom. With it, everything is possible. Without it, without that right, nothing is possible.”