Was the March on Washington Ignored by The Republicans?

| September 1, 2013 | 0 Comments
President Barack Obama with members of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr's family

President Barack Obama with members of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr’s family

The official commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s famous speech was celebrated on Wednesday, August 28th at the nation’s capital with thousands of people in attendance. Amongst the people with overjoyed faces and proud hearts, were people who were just as triumphant in the wake of 50 years passed, but at the same time skeptical, about just how much progress has been made since the historic day in 1963.

It was noted on NPR.org that there were no prominent Republican officials represented as speakers at the event last Wednesday, which left some wondering why it wasn’t a more bipartisan celebration than a democratic gathering. Following his invitation by event organizers, Former President George Bush declined because of his recent heart surgery. Also, House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio was in attendance but he was present at an earlier march commemoration on Capitol Hill. Others also declined because of other prior set engagements.

Ms. Ericka Blackwell, a Pennsylvania resident, was unable to make it to the march but said she didn’t really notice the absence of Republican speakers. “The event was nicely set up and they had a good round up of speakers, but it didn’t even occur to me that they didn’t have any Republicans,” she said. “I didn’t even think about it, but I’m not even surprised. It would have been nice even if one of them supported the event, but honestly, I’m not surprised.”

The Republican National Committee communications director, Sean Spicer said in their defense to the Washington Post that they recommended possible speakers to the organizers of the March via email on August 14th. The event organizers, however, rebutted that they sent the invitations to the Republican speakers but received no favorable responses.

In attendance were former presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, and also the daughters of John Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. In his speech, President Obama spoke about the change reflected in the nation since the days of 1963, which surely both Republicans and Democrats can agree.

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