(Senate - February 16, 2006)

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[Congressional Record Volume 152, Number 20 (Thursday, February 16, 2006)]
[Pages S1447-S1448]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


  Mr. FRIST. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate 
proceed to the consideration of S. Res. 380, which was submitted 
earlier today.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       A resolution (S. Res. 380) celebrating Black History Month.

  There being no objection, the Senate proceeded to consider the 
  Mr. FRIST. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the resolution 
be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, and the motion to reconsider 
be laid upon the table.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The resolution (S. Res. 380) was agreed to.
  The preamble was agreed to.
  The resolution, with its preamble, reads as follows:

                              S. Res. 380

       Whereas the first African Americans were brought forcibly 
     to the shores of America as early as the 17th century;
       Whereas African Americans were enslaved in the United 
     States and subsequently faced the injustices of lynch mobs, 
     segregation, and denial of basic, fundamental rights;
       Whereas in spite of these injustices, African Americans 
     have made significant contributions to the economic, 
     educational, political, artistic, literary, scientific, and 
     technological advancements of the United States;
       Whereas in the face of these injustices, United States 
     citizens of all races distinguished themselves in their 
     commitment to the ideals on which the United States was 
     founded, and fought for the rights of African Americans;

[[Page S1448]]

       Whereas the greatness of the United States is reflected in 
     the contributions of African Americans in all walks of life 
     throughout the history of the United States, including 
       (1) the writings of Booker T. Washington, James Baldwin, 
     Ralph Ellison, and Alex Haley;
       (2) the music of Mahalia Jackson, Billie Holiday, and Duke 
       (3) the resolve of athletes such as Jackie Robinson, Jesse 
     Owens, and Muhammed Ali;
       (4) the vision of leaders such as Frederick Douglass, 
     Thurgood Marshall, and Martin Luther King, Jr.; and
       (5) the bravery of those who stood on the front lines in 
     the battle against oppression, such as Sojourner Truth and 
     Rosa Parks;
       Whereas the United States of America was conceived, as 
     stated in the Declaration of Independence, as a new country 
     dedicated to the proposition that ``all Men are created 
     equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain 
     inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and 
     the Pursuit of Happiness'';
       Whereas United States citizens of all races demonstrate 
     their commitment to that proposition through actions such as 
     those of--
       (1) Allan Pinkerton, Thomas Garrett, and the Rev. John 
     Rankin, who served as conductors in the Underground Railroad;
       (2) Harriet Beecher Stowe, who shined a light on the 
     injustices of slavery;
       (3) President Abraham Lincoln, who issued the Emancipation 
     Proclamation, and Senator Lyman Trumbull, who introduced the 
     13th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States;
       (4) President Lyndon B. Johnson, Chief Justice Earl Warren, 
     Senator Mike Mansfield, and Senator Hubert Humphrey, who 
     fought to end segregation and the denial of civil rights to 
     African Americans; and
       (5) Americans of all races who marched side-by-side with 
     African Americans during the civil rights movement;
       Whereas, since its founding, the United States has been an 
     imperfect work in making progress towards those noble goals;
       Whereas the history of the United States is the story of a 
     people regularly affirming high ideals, striving to reach 
     them but often failing, and then struggling to come to terms 
     with the disappointment of that failure before recommitting 
     themselves to trying again;
       Whereas, from the beginning of our Nation, the most 
     conspicuous and persistent failure of United States citizens 
     to reach those noble goals has been the enslavement of 
     African Americans and the resulting racism;
       Whereas the crime of lynching succeeded slavery as the 
     ultimate expression of racism in the United States following 
       Whereas the Federal Government failed to put an end to 
     slavery until the ratification of the 13th Amendment in 1865, 
     repeatedly failed to enact a Federal anti-lynching law, and 
     still struggles to deal with the evils of racism; and
       Whereas the fact that 61 percent of African American 4th 
     graders read at a below basic level and only 16 percent of 
     native born African Americans have earned a Bachelor's 
     degree, 50 percent of all new HIV cases are reported in 
     African Americans, and the leading cause of death for African 
     American males ages 15 to 34 is homicide, demonstrates that 
     the United States continues to struggle to reach the high 
     ideal of equal opportunity for all citizens of the United 
     States: Now, therefore, be it
       Resolved, That the Senate--
       (1) acknowledges the tragedies of slavery, lynching, and 
     segregation, and condemns them as an infringement on human 
     liberty and equal opportunity so that they will stand forever 
     as a reminder of what can happen when the citizens of the 
     United States fail to live up to their noble goals;
       (2) honors those United States citizens who--
       (A) risked their lives during the time of slavery, 
     lynching, and segregation in the Underground Railroad and in 
     other efforts to assist fugitive slaves and other African 
     Americans who might have been targets and victims of lynch 
     mobs; and
       (B) those who have stood beside African Americans in the 
     fight for equal opportunity that continues to this day;
       (3) reaffirms its commitment to the founding principles of 
     the United States of America that ``all Men are created 
     equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain 
     inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and 
     the Pursuit of Happiness'';
       (4) commits itself to addressing those situations in which 
     the African American community struggles with disparities in 
     education, health care, and other areas where the Federal 
     Government can help improve conditions for all citizens of 
     the United States; and
       (5) calls on the citizens of the United States to observe 
     Black History Month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, 
     and activities.

  Mr. FRIST. Mr. President, on S. Res. 380, I ask unanimous consent 
that I be added as a cosponsor, if I am not currently one.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.