Midway through a panel discussion Thursday on the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, moderator George E. Curry asked if the act – which forbade discrimination based on race, sex or national origin – would pass Congress today.
All five said no, with one panelist, Melanie Campbell, president and chief executive of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, saying the legislation would pass the Senate but not the House of Representatives.
“We’re missing outside pressure (on lawmakers),” said State Rep. Alicia Reece, a Bond Hill Democrat who represents the 33rd District.
The panel, cobbled together in the absence of four scheduled members, most notable the Rev. Al Sharpton, painted a collective portrait of an America that has both gained and lost ground in the area of civil rights since the mid-1960s. Sharpton spoke Wednesday night at the funeral of Eric Garner, the New York man who allegedly was choked to death while in police custody. (Cincinnati Enquirer)