A year after his fiery voting rights speech, Biden delivers another muted address

Mr. Warnock said in his victory speech that night that he had won despite voter suppression. Stories of Georgia voters waiting in long lines around buildings for hours “certainly aren’t a sign of voter suppression,” he said.

Preliminary statistics indicated that black participation in midterm elections nationally increased It fell to its lowest level since 2006, especially in states like Georgia. Analysts said several factors may explain why black voter participation has returned to levels typical of the era before President Barack Obama. An examination of the numbers suggested that low black turnout would not have changed the outcome of any major race.

But the change in elected states is striking. In Georgia, Louisiana and North Carolina, average black voter turnout was 26 percent lower than white voter turnout, compared with a 13 percent lower turnout in the 2018 midterm elections, according to state records. Both Georgia and Louisiana Passed new restrictions ahead of 2022 electionsNorth Carolina did not.

Nowhere was the problem more pronounced than in Georgia, where Dr. King led the fight for civil rights. Ebenezer is a holy ground for the civil rights movement, and the old church has long since grown into an elaborate complex of buildings and monuments, including the crypt of Dr. King and his wife, Coretta Scott King.

In the sanctuary opposite the former church, Mr. Mr. Biden Warnock joined more than 1,000 parishioners in raising his spirit on what would have been Dr. King’s 94th birthday. Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Mr. While Obama spoke at Ebenezer, the first sitting president to deliver a Sunday sermon, Mr. Biden is.

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Dr. King and Robert F. Kennedy was his hero as a youth, he said, as he had been in the past, Mr. Biden left the impression that he may have been more involved in the civil rights movement than others’ recollections suggest. He referred to himself as “a 22-year-old kid on the East Side in the civil rights movement,” though he did not say he had been arrested, as he had done last year. (Yet the Republican National Committee issued a statement saying, “Joe Biden Lies About His Life Story Again.”)

In his address, the President praised Dr. King as a “nonviolent warrior for justice” who remains an inspiration to today’s generation 60 years after his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

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