DETROIT (WWJ) – An estimated 10,000 people packed Cobo Center for the 62nd Annual NAACP Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner.
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren was the keynote speaker Sunday night — making her first visit to the Motor City since 2014. She put a lot of focus on President Trump and the Republican controlled Congress.
She called out U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions saying he was on a mission to turn the clock back 157 years.
“We will not be silent when the White House wants to spend billons of dollars – building a wall on a border that won’t work, but refuses to spend a dime in Detroit on providing economic opportunity for thousands of people desperate for work — we will not be silent,” Warren told the crowd.
“That Sessions had used the awesome power of his office to chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens — I was thrown out — and it wasn’t just my voice that was silenced – no, it was Coretta Scott King who was silenced. And why was she silenced? No because what she said was untrue, not because her words were inflammatory — no her voice was silenced because Coretta Scott King spoke the truth. In 1986, she spoke truth to power and in 2017 the U.S. Senate used its power to stop the truth.”
The (hashtag) #ShePersisted went viral shortly after Warren was censured on the Senate floor in February and forbidden from speaking while reading a letter by Coretta Scott King during Sessions’ attorney general nomination debate. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) calling on an old Senate rule stating that Warren was ‘impugning the motives of our colleague’ then Sen. Sessions.
McConnell explained his actions after saying “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”
The letter from King was in protest of Sessions’ nomination to a federal court in 1986. His nomination was rejected by a Senate committee at the time.
Also at the event, the NAACP Detroit branch honored California Congresswoman Maxine Waters with its James Weldon Johnson Lifetime Achievement Award.