President Jealous, AG Holder Join SC NAACP for “King Day at the Dome”

NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder joined the South Carolina NAACP State Conference for its “King Day at the Dome” rally on Monday, January 16th. The event is annually on Martin Luther King Day at the South Carolina State House in Columbia, SC to commemorate Dr. King’s life, draw attention to economic and educational inequalities in the state, and protest the Confederate battle flag flying in front of the State House building.

Thousands showed up for this year's rally, which began at Columbia's Zion Baptist Church and continued to the State Capitol.

Voting rights was central to the theme of this year's rally. Holder’s appearance came just weeks after the U.S. Department of Justice struck down South Carolina’s suppressive photo identification law under the Voting Rights Act. The law would have disenfranchised tens of thousands of racial and ethnic minorities, students and disabled voters.

“If history has taught us anything, it is that attacks on voting rights and attacks on the rest of our rights are very connected,” stated Jealous. “When people come after your right to vote, it is usually to make it easier to come after so many other of your rights you may actually hold dearer.”

In his speech, Holder invoked the wisdom of Dr. King in the Justice Department's ongoing effort to ensure justice nationwide

"Dr. King taught us that feeling frustrated is fine, as long as it compels us to seek justice," said Holder. "I have the responsibility to protect the rights that Dr. King helped us earn."

Read President Jealous' King Day at the Dome speech here.