ACLU Mourns Coretta Scott King’s Passing; Praises Life of Activism and Compassion

January 31, 2006 12:00 am

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Statement of Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union

WASHINGTON— The American Civil Liberties Union today mourns the passing of Coretta Scott King, widow of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and a tireless advocate for social justice in her own right. I had the honor of meeting Mrs. King on several occasions commemorating the enormous legacy of Dr. King. She was an extraordinary person in every respect and in her own right.

Mrs. King rose from humble beginnings in the segregated South to become Dr. King’s partner in the historic campaign to guarantee African-Americans and other voiceless minorities in America their civil rights and the equal protection of our laws and Constitution.

After Dr. King’s death, Mrs. King continued the march. She took up his mantle, and fought ceaselessly for social justice, basic fairness and the values enshrined in the Bill of Rights for close to four decades.

Crucially, Mrs. King became more than a civil rights leader. She was a national advocate for the disenfranchised, regardless of race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or ethnicity. She extended her campaign for social justice internationally, arguing forcefully for global peace. And she embodied a progressive vision for the world, a vision in which prejudice, hate and bigotry have no role in determining one’s fate.

Our thoughts are with Mrs. King’s family and friends on this sad day.

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