On the 50th anniversary of the assassination of civil rights hero Medgar Evers, his widow Myrlie Evers-Williams says segregation has not disappeared.
“Jim Crow is alive, and it’s dressed in a Brooks Brothers suit, my friend, instead of a white robe,” she said on PoliticsNation Wednesday.
She talked about the progress she’s seen in the last half-century–and current threats to that progress, like voter suppression.
“Look at some of the racist things that are still happening in America,” she said. “For instance when President Obama was reelected there was rioting at the University of Mississippi because of that. There are still deaths that take place. We look at those things that have happened to keep people from voting.”
“These negatives are not as pronounced as they were in the 50′s and 60′s because we don’t have people in the streets marching today,” she said. “But that’s serious.”
Evers-Williams became a civil rights leader in her own right after Medgar Evers’ death. She fought for decades to see his murderer, Byron De La Beckwith, brought to justice, and became the first Chairwoman of the NAACP.
When asked how she stood by her husband, despite the threats they dealt with as he pursued his activism, she had a simple answer.
“Love. I loved and respected Medgar tremendously,” she said. “He knew who he was. He was a veteran of World War II, he had seen many things happen in his area where he lived in Decatur, Mississippi, and had made a determination that he would do whatever he could to bring America around to the point of keeping its promises, because he had fought for the country and then had to come home and be a second-class citizen.”
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