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You have to know all of American history, “good and bad”, says Joe Biden



(Selma) Joe Biden on Sunday stressed the importance of knowing American history in its entirety, “good and bad”, as he commemorated the brutal crackdown 58 years ago on a civil rights march.

“History matters,” the Democratic president said during a speech outside the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, where hundreds of peace activists were violently suppressed by police on March 7, 1965 .

This “Bloody Sunday” had traumatized the United States and had resulted a few months later in the Voting Rights Act, a federal law guaranteeing access to the right to vote for all.

These demonstrators “forced America to face the truth and to act,” said Joe Biden, accusing the opposition of wanting, today, to “hide the historical truth”.

“You can’t choose to learn only what you want to know,” he said, as a debate rages over the teaching of the slavery and segregationist past in schools across the country. “We must know everything, the good as well as the bad”, he hammered.

Several conservative states have passed laws since 2020 to ban teaching “critical race theory,” an academic concept that has become a catch-all formula for racism awareness programs.

Florida Governor Ron de Santis, who harbors presidential ambitions, recently defended the banning of a high school course on African-American history, accused of “indoctrinating” young people.

In his speech, Joe Biden also called for remaining “vigilant” on the right to vote threatened, according to him, by the Supreme Court, which partly unraveled the Voting Rights Act, as well as by “dozens of restrictive laws” adopted in the conservative states.

The 80-year-old president, whose political career has hinged largely on the support of African-American voters, urged Congress to pass major electoral reform, blocked by Republican lawmakers. Without much chance of being heard.

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