(House of Representatives - September 25, 2017)

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[Congressional Record Volume 163, Number 153 (Monday, September 25, 2017)]
[Pages H7477-H7484]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the Speaker's announced policy of 
January 3, 2017, the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Evans) is 
recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader.
  Mr. EVANS. Madam Speaker, it is with great honor that I rise today to 
anchor tonight's CBC Special Order hour.
  I first want to thank the coanchors, Representative Veasey and 
Delegate Stacey Plaskett, for their work on coanchoring the Special 
Order hour for the caucus.
  Our thoughts and our prayers are with those in the Virgin Islands, 
Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, as well as those in Louisiana, Texas, and 
Florida, and others who have been impacted by the devastating 
hurricanes. We also pray for our brothers and sisters in Mexico, who 
are recovering and rehabilitating after the devastating earthquake that 
rocked their country. We encourage all to do what they can do to help 
our brothers and our sisters.
  Tonight, we are here to talk about how we must continue to root out 
racism. We are here to talk about how we should bring our 
neighborhoods, our Nation, together and not drive Americans apart.
  What took place in Charlottesville, and the dialogue with the NFL 
players, the NBA players, President Trump continues to highlight how 
our President does not seem to understand what is at stake and how his 
actions are undermining the strength and the stability of our 
  You have heard me say, as I have said it again and again two summers 
ago when speaking to members of an African-American community at a 
rally in Philadelphia, President Trump says: ``What do you have to 
  He actually said: ``What the hell do you have to lose?''
  That is right. What do you have to lose? Everything, Mr. President. 
We have everything to lose: good schools for our children, safe 
neighborhoods, reliable healthcare, quality jobs, peace of mind, and 
that the next generation will be better off.
  President Trump has been in office for almost 250 days, and all we 
have to show for it is division, division, division. He has divided our 
country in ways we didn't even think we wanted to acknowledge are still 
happening in 2017.
  For the next 60 minutes, we have a chance to speak directly to the 
American people on issues of great importance to the Congressional 
Black Caucus, the Congress, and the constituents we represent.
  Madam Speaker, I would like to yield to the chairman of the 
Congressional Black Caucus, the Honorable Cedric Richmond from the 
Second Congressional District of Louisiana.
  Mr. RICHMOND. Madam Speaker, I want to thank the gentleman from 
Pennsylvania, Congressman Evans, for leading this Special Order and for 
yielding to me, especially on a matter this important.
  As I reflect on the last 200 or so days in this country, I am 

                              {time}  1930

  The truth of the matter is I always thought this country was better 
than this. I thought that we had so many people, not just African 
Americans, but we had people of like mind, like Goodman, Chaney, and 
Schwerner, who gave their lives and who sacrificed blood, sweat, and 
tears so that this country could be a more perfect Union, so that I 
could go to some of the best schools in the country, so that I could 
dream the impossible dream, so that I could stand on the floor of this 
House and speak my mind, introduce legislation, but, more importantly, 
fight for the ideals that make this country an exceptional country.
  It is so easy for our President and our colleagues to say America's 
exceptional. Well, it is, but you have to understand how it got to be 
exceptional, because it didn't start off that way. In fact, we came 
here on boats. We survived middle passage. We built this Capitol as 
free labor. We have given as much blood, sweat, and tears as any people 
in this country.
  To see the President of the United States call people who would walk 
with neo-Nazis and the KKK and white supremacists, some of them are 
fine people--but young African-American males are taking a knee not to 
disrespect our country, but they are taking a knee because they want a 
better future for their sons. They want better community police 
interaction. What they want is that people who are with the color of 
law with misconduct against African-American men and women, sons and 
daughters, parents, grandparents, what they want is a better country 
for them.
  They didn't choose violence. They chose peaceful protests just like 
Martin Luther King. When Dr. King chose peaceful protests, what the 
President doesn't realize is that the country wasn't accepting of his 
ways either.
  ``Letter from Birmingham Jail'' was all about Dr. King responding to 
people of like mind who shared the cause of freedom and equality and 
justice. They just didn't like his tactics. And the question was: We 
should wait. His letter was addressing people of like mind.
  The problem here is I just can't address someone of like mind because 
I don't think that this administration has the maturity, the 
sensitivity, or the understanding, whether it is willful or unwillful, 
to understand what is going on in this country. Instead of doing the 
Presidential thing, instead of doing the right thing and bringing this 
country together, I am afraid that this country is being torn apart at 
its very core, and for that I know that we are a better country.
  Let me just say in closing that, in order for us to move forward in a 
more responsible and more perfect fashion, it is going to take ordinary 
citizens like you out there watching us at home, it is going to take 
you all standing up and speaking out. It doesn't matter if you are 
African American or if you are Hispanic or if you are Black, injustice 
is injustice. The words ``no justice, no peace'' are not a threat. It 
is that it is hard to accomplish peace when there is no justice in the 
  I would just ask that we all come together and that we not only look 
at words, but we look at policies, so when we now look at the opioid 
addiction through a loving mental health medical crisis standpoint, we 
don't forget the young people who were addicted to crack and who got 
involved in drugs back then that we have now decided that, with 
opioids, we are going to take a nurturing approach and with crack we 
locked everyone up. We should come in, take the approach that we are 
doing with opioids, which is the exact correct approach, and we should 
apply it to crack, and we should apply it to all of those millions of 
people who are incarcerated for drug crimes.
  When you start talking about root out racism, it has to be in policy, 
it has to be in our rhetoric, but it has to be in our daily lives.
  Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Pennsylvania, Congressman 
Evans, for yielding to me.

[[Page H7478]]


  Mr. EVANS. Madam Speaker, I would like to associate myself with the 
remarks of the distinguished chairman of the Congressional Black 
Caucus, who, under his leadership, has clearly demonstrated that he 
understands and gets it.
  Look at the President's actions just this past week. He is involved 
in an incredible, misguided, thoughtless, careless Twitter fight with 
the NFL, the NBA, and other athletes, while people in Texas, Florida, 
Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands need emergency housing, 
electricity, clean water, and other Federal aid.
  When Americans think of big things, they think of the Office of the 
President of the United States. Let me repeat that. When Americans 
think of big things, they think of the Office of the President of the 
United States.
  In these times, Americans--and the rest of the world, for that 
matter--think of the U.S. President as a person who takes time to think 
over the great ideas of the day, works to fix the biggest problems and 
find ways to make the world come together, no matter the party, no 
matter the person.
  Madam Speaker, I want to yield to a gentleman whom I have known for a 
long period of time, and I knew his father, who was a real leader, and 
he has definitely come along and carried that. As a matter of fact, we 
are neighbors. He is from the great Garden State, the honorable Donald 
Payne, Jr., of the Tenth Congressional District.
  Mr. PAYNE. Madam Speaker, I first want to thank the gentleman from 
Pennsylvania, Congressman Evans, for hosting tonight's Special Order 
Hour on rooting out racism in the United States. He has a long history 
of legislative accomplishments back in the Keystone State and has 
brought his understanding and talents here to the House of 
Representatives, and we appreciate him being a Member of this body.
  Before I begin, I also want to let the Americans in Puerto Rico and 
the Virgin Islands know that we stand with them as they rebuild.
  Madam Speaker, the First Amendment of the United States Constitution 
guarantees to all people in this country the freedom to speak out 
against injustice. When Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the 
National Anthem last year, he joined a long list of patriotic athletes 
who used their fame to do just that.

  Muhammad Ali was convicted of draft dodging because he refused to 
drop bombs and bullets on Brown people in Vietnam while the so-called 
Negro people in Louisville, Kentucky, were treated like dogs.
  Jackie Robinson, the great Baseball Hall of Famer who integrated 
baseball, admitted in 1972 that he no longer could stand and sing the 
National Anthem.
  The First Amendment to the United States Constitution endows all of 
us with the freedom of speech, the freedom to speak out our own truths. 
Muhammad Ali would not fight an unjust war; Jackie Robinson would not 
salute a flag that he believed symbolized his oppression; and Colin 
Kaepernick took a knee to bring America's attention to the fact that 
Black Americans are twice as likely as White Americans to be killed by 
police officers, to bring attention to the fact that 1 in every 10 
Black men in his thirties is in prison or in jail on any given day, to 
bring attention to the statistic that tells us Black people are twice 
as likely as White people to be in poverty in the wealthiest country on 
  It is easy to keep quiet, to do nothing in the face of injustice. But 
just like the muscles in our bodies, our Constitution will wither if we 
do not exercise our rights. To speak out against injustice is to 
exercise the constitutional right of free speech. What is more 
patriotic than exercising the rights our Nation stands for?
  When the President uses his right of free speech in an attempt to 
silence athletes, he is undermining the freedom for which patriotic 
Americans have fought during our 241-year history. When the President 
calls for men and women to be fired from their jobs because they dare 
use their public platform to combat injustice, he fuels the viciousness 
he claims that he wants to despise. As Langston Hughes put it: ``Let 
America be America again--The land that has never been yet--And yet 
must be--the land where every man is free.''
  Madam Speaker, I talk about the Constitution because it talks about 
all people. There are times where I have been disappointed and let down 
by this Nation not holding up its creed because, you see, I believe in 
America, but I am waiting for that day when all men are created equal. 
I am still waiting for that day.
  We are here tonight to bring attention to this matter. We are 
exercising our right to free speech, the right that has been given 
every American in this country, supposedly. But if the President of the 
United States can stand up somewhere in this country and call a section 
of this country, a certain people in this country, SOBs, then what does 
that say about where we are? This is the leader of the United States of 
America, the land of the free, the home of the brave. But is it that 
for everyone?
  We have a ways to go in this country. Yes, we have come a long way, 
and some people will say: Well, you know, why are you still talking 
about those old issues? And, you know, things are different now and 
better for you. And, look, come on, get over it.
  And then we see what we have seen over the last several years with 
African Americans constantly getting shot and there being no 
ramifications. It tears at your heart, Madam Speaker, to understand 
why, why, in the greatest nation on the face of the Earth, we still 
have these situations of such inequity.
  So we will continue to raise the issue until one day this country can 
live up to its creed that all men and women are created equal and 
endowed with certain inalienable rights.
  With that, Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Pennsylvania for 
yielding to me.
  Mr. EVANS. Madam Speaker, the gentleman from New Jersey is spot on, 
as usual. He has a very quiet demeanor, but he is someone who, when he 
speaks, is very clear and concise with his thoughts and his comments. 
In the short period of time that I have been here, I have watched him 
in action; and I think when you just heard his comments, you heard that 
he really understands, as he said, that we all do believe in America, 
but we know there is an awful lot of work to do, and he has certainly 
expressed that.
  Madam Speaker, professional sports is a system built on unity and 
bringing people together. As civic leaders, we should take our cue from 
them. Teams, coaches, players, spectators, football, basketball, ice 
hockey, tennis, they are all great unifiers in our country. It is 
disappointing to see players attacked in their effort to shed light on 
inequality in our neighborhoods.

                              {time}  1945

  We know division and inequality exists in our neighborhoods. We 
should be shining a light, as the gentleman from New Jersey just did, 
on how to change this and make it better.
  Madam Speaker, I yield to the gentlewoman from the great State of 
Illinois (Ms. Kelly), someone who I have watched a great deal, and she 
just did a fantastic job over the weekend. I watched her in action.
  Ms. KELLY of Illinois. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman for 
yielding and I thank him for leading this important hour tonight.
  Madam Speaker, I rise today with my colleagues in the Congressional 
Black Caucus and with Americans from our great country because it is 
time to root out racism.
  While racism has, tragically, been a part of the American story--from 
Jamestown to Jim Crow; to the Little Rock Nine, whose 60th anniversary 
is today--in 2017, we are seeing it rise in new and disturbing ways.
  Right now, there is a sham, ``Presidential voting commission,'' 
plotting to turn back the clock on our voting rights.
  Right now, African Americans live in fear that they will be stricken 
down, unjustly, because of the color of their skin.
  Right now there is an un-American and unconstitutional Muslim ban 
preventing families from reuniting.
  Right now the Attorney General is undoing consent decrees and pouring 
billions of tax dollars into the for-profit prison industry.
  Right now there are rabid racists, White nationalists, and White 
supremacists that this administration won't denounce.

[[Page H7479]]

  And right now our President refuses to blame White supremacists for 
racially motivated killings in Charlottesville. The individuals, who 
inspired this bigoted violence, he called ``some very fine people.''
  Just this weekend, we saw President Trump attack athletes for 
exercising their First Amendment rights; using terms like ``you 
people'' and ``those people'' in an effort to further divide us.
  Our Commander in Chief is uniting those who hate, while ignoring 
millions of Americans facing a humanitarian disaster in Puerto Rico, 
the Virgin Islands, Florida, and Houston.
  Madam Speaker, if we want to root out racism, we need to start at the 
top. Let's start with this White House.
  Racism is a cancer. You don't ignore a cancer. You don't let it 
fester and grow. You cut it out. You purge it. You remove it. That is 
what we must do with racism: remove it, stop it before it grows further 
and consumes us.
  America's greatest strength has always been our diversity. It is the 
source of our economic innovation that made us the world's largest 
economy. It is our ability to stand shoulder to shoulder and face down 
any threats that have been made to America, from the Contrabands and 
the Red Tails to Lance Corporal Jose Gutierrez. It is our ability to 
see ourselves and our families in one another that makes America great. 
It is our compassion and belief that we all share a higher purpose, as 
Americans, that propels us to higher heights.
  It is our capacity to come together and break bread, help someone 
with a flat tire, even give our own lives for those of others. These 
are the things that make America great, not some idealized, grayscale 
image of a misremembered past.
  It is all Americans who make America great, and that greatness comes 
in all colors, all genders, all faiths, all orientations. When we stand 
together, we are stronger. When we are divided, we will fail. That is 
why it is imperative that we call out racism, decry racism, and, most 
importantly, root out racism.
  Mr. EVANS. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman from Illinois, who 
was very succinct, and added points that she needed to. She was very 
potent in what she just said.
  Mr. Speaker, may I inquire how much time is remaining?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Comer). The gentleman from Pennsylvania 
has 38 minutes remaining.
  Mr. EVANS. Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentlewoman from New Jersey 
(Mrs. Watson Coleman). She and I had the chance to travel together 
during the summer, and she has been a fantastic friend.
  Mrs. WATSON COLEMAN. Mr. Speaker, I thank Congressman Evans for 
giving me an opportunity to speak and for hosting this Special Order 
  Mr. Speaker, this weekend, behind a podium adorned by the Seal of the 
President of the United States, Donald Trump, once again, sank even 
further in disgrace through remarks that were attacking peaceful 
American private citizens.
  It should not be lost on us that when referencing White supremacy and 
neo-Nazism, Donald Trump saw fit to speak with calculated language, 
unlike the phrases he used to describe the Black men and their mothers 
who used their platform to highlight longstanding injustices. His 
behavior continues to demonstrate that he is unfit to serve as the 
leader of this free world, and surely unfit to represent the American 
rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
  We have witnessed 9 months of discriminatory policies and proposals 
emanating from the Trump White House; bald-faced and bumbling attempts 
to reverse the progress made not only by President Obama, but progress 
won decades ago, fights that we thought we had already won, issues that 
had already been settled, from a woman's right to choose, to 
environmental protections, to civil rights, to workplace safety, and 
  In January, Donald Trump assumed the Presidency and made rescinding 
the freedoms of people of color, the poor, and the sick his first 
  We look at the establishment of the fraudulent Voter Suppression 
Commission; the appointments of Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, Betsy 
DeVos, Sebastian Gorka, and Stephen Miller, a group of people whose 
ideology directly stands against the advancement of an equal and 
more perfect union; his support for discriminatory voter ID laws; 
reinstatement of the failed war on drugs; attacks on affirmative action 
at colleges and universities; rollback of consent decrees that keep 
police accountable; the now extended Muslim ban; the transgender ban in 
our armed services; the rollback of our civil rights enforcement across 
Federal agencies; reinstating the use of private prisons; refusing to 
protect Americans and the Nation from White supremacists; all under the 
slogan of ``Make America Great'' under the guise of patriotism.

  Make no mistake about it, the world is imperfect, and a long view of 
history shows evil triumphing more often than we would like.
  But here in America, in the space in which I work, I will continue to 
stand with my colleagues here in the Congressional Black Caucus and in 
the Chambers of Congress to root out racism, sexism, bigotry, and 
hatred because it cripples this Nation. I will continue to gather in 
solidarity with my brothers and sisters of color, the Muslim and the 
Jewish communities, the LGBTQ community, the immigrant community, and 
every person that is targeted by those who seek to divide us, as this 
President is doing.
  I will take a knee, I will reclaim my time, I will raise my fist, I 
will stay awake, I will stay alert, and I am ready to mobilize.
  Mr. EVANS. Mr. Speaker, as usual, I am speechless as the gentlewoman 
gives her comments because she definitely lets people know where she 
stands, and I thank her for her comments.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentlewoman from Wisconsin (Ms. Moore), 
another person who also is what I consider a wordsmith.
  Ms. MOORE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Pennsylvania for 
leading this Special Order.
  Mr. Speaker, in 1971, then-President Richard Nixon declared the war 
on drugs, which he labeled as ``public enemy number one in the United 
  Now, at the time of this declaration, America's prisons and jails 
held fewer than 200,000 people. Today, that number sits at over 2 
million people. In fact, the United States incarcerates 25 percent of 
the world's prisoners, but we have only 5 percent of the world's 
  In fact, shamefully, my State of Wisconsin has the highest 
incarceration rate of African-American men on the planet Earth.
  Now, John Ehrlichman, then-counsel and Assistant to the President for 
Domestic Affairs under President Nixon, admitted, Mr. Speaker, that the 
war on drugs was an effort to vilify African-American leaders and to 
disrupt the African-American community; admitted that the war on drugs 
was contrived to diminish the reputation of African Americans. Indeed, 
they were successful because the burden of this failed war has fallen 
overwhelmingly on African-American communities.
  In 2014, African-American adults accounted for just 14 percent of 
those who used drugs, but close to one-third of those who are arrested 
for drug possession. And although African Americans and Whites consume 
drugs at a similar rate, African Americans are significantly more 
likely to be arrested.
  Now, this disproportionate enforcement of drug laws in a nation in 
which racial groups use drugs at the same rate points to one fact, Mr. 
Speaker. It can only be explained that race has played an inappropriate 
role in law enforcement's priorities and tactics.
  It is worth noting that in the face of the 1980's crack cocaine 
epidemic in Black communities, the public policy response was 
incarceration. Here in 2017, in the face of our current opioid epidemic 
in predominantly White communities, public officials on both sides of 
the aisle have banded together to pass landmark legislation to provide 
drug treatment assistance to those victims.
  In recent years, fortunately, leaders on both sides of the aisle have 
found common ground on the need to reform our broken criminal justice 
system. Stakeholders from the ACLU to the Koch Institute recognize the 
crisis of

[[Page H7480]]

overcriminalization in this country and the need for immediate action.
  Both the House and the Senate have made strides toward the passage of 
bipartisan criminal justice reform in the 114th Congress, but, 
ultimately, a bill never made its way to the President.
  Now our U.S. Attorney General of the United States, Jefferson 
Beauregard Sessions, a most ardent opponent to bipartisan criminal 
justice reform, sits there and does not inspire hope that those 
fighting to address this obviously harmful and race-based status quo 
will do anything.
  And although our President has dubbed himself the ``Law and Order 
President,'' he has not taken the initiative to end this unfair policy.
  Just very briefly before I close, Mr. Speaker, I want to list three 
things that this bipartisan group found would be helpful:
  One, we should eliminate Federal mandatory minimum sentencing 
requirements. We should ensure true sentencing parity among crack and 
cocaine offenses, and deprioritize nonviolent drug offenders and seek 
medical treatment.
  Mr. EVANS. Mr. Speaker, as usual, Congresswoman Moore really gets to 
the point, and I have watched in the short period of time and knew her 
on the State level as we dealt in the legislature.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Johnson), 
someone who is very sharp and quick with his tongue.
  Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman, my friend 
from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Congressman Dwight Evans, for 
anchoring this Special Order hour, the subject of which is Root Out 
Racism, #rootoutracism. It is a sensitive topic, somewhat uncomfortable 
for people, both Black and White, or shall I say dark-skinned and 

                              {time}  2000

  It is an uncomfortable subject, and no one wants to be accused of 
being a racist. It has all kinds of emotional connotations and negative 
connotations, as it should. Because what racism actually is, is a 
belief, or a doctrine that inherent differences among the various human 
races determine cultural or individual achievements, usually involving 
the idea that one's own race is superior, and has the right to rule 
  So in other words, what racism is, is a concept that one believes 
that their race is superior to the race of someone else. And how racism 
manifests itself in America, historically, has been that if you are a 
racist, you are a White person, and you believe that your race is 
superior to that of a dark-skinned person, a Black person. That has 
been how racism has unfolded here in America since the White man came 
to America.
  Of course, when Christopher Columbus, an Anglo-Saxon from Spain, came 
to America and discovered America, America was populated, at that time, 
by what we called the Red man, the Indian, a dark-skinned individual--
darker than the Anglo-Saxon. And so this country has a history of 
mistreating people severely who are of a different color than white.
  First, it was the Indians. The feeling was that the European was 
superior to the Native American. That is the bottom line. Now, also, on 
that ship coming over in 1607, landing at Jamestown, Virginia, were 
some indentured servants, some of whom were dark-skinned people. Racism 
was not necessarily a part of slavery, or indentured servitude, but 
racism was used to ensure that the multitudes of dark-skinned people 
who were brought over here from Africa, who outnumbered in the South 
the number of Europeans, or White people there, racism was used to keep 
those Black people in their place.
  In other words, it was not indentured servitude. It was racism based 
on the subjugation of one group of people, or one race of people by 
another race of people because the race of people doing the subjugation 
impressed upon themselves and their children that those dark-skinned 
people are beneath us. And so slavery became an institution, as did 
  Those ideas of racial superiority still exist today, but it is so 
sensitive for people to talk about the fact that racism still exists, 
and even more uncomfortable when someone is accused of being a racist.
  What is a racist? A racist is a person who believes in racism; the 
doctrine that the human race is superior, and that one's race is 
superior to that of another. That is a racist.
  The problem is, when we don't understand that we are racists. Now, 
some even say that folks like Black Lives Matter are racists. But that 
cannot be further from the truth because Black Lives Matter activists 
are not saying that Blacks are superior to Whites. They are, in fact, 
saying that all lives are equal; that Black lives matter. So you can't 
call a Black person a racist when they are not proclaiming their race 
to be greater than the White race. No.
  Racism tends to rear its ugly head in America when White people use 
it to preserve their position on top, superior. And that is what Make 
America Great Again was all about. It really wasn't make America great 
again. It was make America White again. That is what the message was.
  The message was a racist message. It began 4 or 5 years ago when our 
President started this rumor that President Obama was not an American; 
he was not one of us; he was from Africa. That is appealing to the 
subliminal messaging, that subliminal messaging that has been implanted 
in each one of us since we were born. White folks have been led to 
believe that they are superior.
  Now, I am not accusing all White people of being racists, but I think 
it is a question that all White people have to ask themselves, whether 
or not they harbor feelings of superiority. Because I do know that when 
we look at the mass media, the images that Black folks get of 
themselves by looking at the media are that we are inferior. That is 
what is implanted in us.
  That is the legacy of slavery, the legacy of racism and slavery, and 
it has implanted in our minds that we are inferior. And we have to 
fight feelings of inferiority just to feel equal.
  White people, on the other hand, have been implanted with the theory 
that they are superior. And so this is the American society that we 
live in. When President Trump, 4 or 5 years ago, accused President 
Obama of not being an American, not being one of us, and being from 
Africa, it was code to provoke the racist instincts in people who 
harbor them. And not all White people harbor that. That is not the 
point that I am making.
  But the point is, there was an appeal made to those instincts. That 
instinct was further aggravated by the insinuation that President Obama 
was a Muslim; he is not one of us. It is almost dehumanizing. And so 
that was the code word.
  Then, when he descended those steps at the Trump Tower and said that 
all Mexicans were racists and murderers, that was another appeal to the 
racist instincts in people--in White people, not Black people, not 
Hispanics, but in White people.
  And so playing the racist game is what got President Trump elected, 
bottom line. And so now that he is in office, we see all kinds of 
racist policies coming back to fruition.
  My colleagues who have spoken before me have talked about it: 
criminal justice, drugs in society, the prison industrial complex. They 
have talked about it. I am not going to point out or go over what they 
have said, but I will say that racism is alive and well in America. We 
will never be able to root it out until we all have a conversation with 
ourselves to ask ourselves, and to probe our own minds and souls to 
determine whether or not we feel that we are superior, whether or not 
we place ourselves in line before others just because that is the way 
it has always been, and we want to make America great again.
  It is something that we have to think about. It is something that we 
have to discuss. I, for one, love my fellow man regardless of color, 
and I know that even many people who don't know that they are racists 
love their brothers and sisters, and so they will at least sit down and 
talk. That is what I have to do as a Black man, is to talk with as many 
people of different colors as I can to show them my humanity, to let 
them know that I appreciate their humanity, and that I love them.

  Maybe through love, we will be able to overcome the scourge of racism 
that is historical here in America and that is alive, well, and in 
living color today.

[[Page H7481]]

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Members are reminded to refrain from 
engaging in personalities toward the President.
  Mr. EVANS. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman because he speaks truth 
to power. He does not bite his tongue.

                             General Leave

  Mr. EVANS. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members have 
5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks, and to include 
any extraneous material in the Record on the subject of this Special 
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Pennsylvania?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. EVANS. Mr. Speaker, the next person is a rare blend of poise, 
grace, and elegance. In the short period of time I have had the 
pleasure working with her, she has been a gentlewoman, but she has been 
a very powerful voice.
  Those who watched her in the last month, she has fought for Hurricane 
Harvey funding, but she has also done her job. She has been extremely 
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentlewoman from the great State of Texas 
and city of Houston (Ms. Jackson Lee).
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the gentleman from 
Pennsylvania for guiding us and providing us an opportunity to really 
speak from the heart.
  I, likewise, want to acknowledge the chairman of the Congressional 
Black Caucus for his leadership as well, Chairman Richmond, and, of 
course, Congressman Evans, Congressman Veasey, and Congresswoman 
Beatty, who are conducting this CBC Special Order.
  I would also like to ask for them to beg my pardon for I wish to 
start with a commentary on those who are suffering and to bring 
attention to our friends in the Virgin Islands and in Puerto Rico.
  Before I came on the floor, the cable news was reporting again the 
kinds of vision--or the kinds of visions and scenes that we had in the 
early stages of Hurricane Harvey: Come help me; but also a reminder of 
those in Katrina with the big, large sign: Is somebody going to help 
me? Now, in Puerto Rico, where I am understanding in many parts of 
Puerto Rico, no government help has come, probably the same in St. 
  The picture I have here is a picture in my congressional district 
where we were attempting and did rescue about 60 people who were 
surrounded by water and certainly concerned, as others were, having to 
flee for their lives and looking for high ground.
  I am going to leave this picture up, because I would not want my 
comments going forward to suggest in any way that we are not concerned 
about those who are unhoused in Houston, Harris County, Port Arthur, 
Beaumont, and beyond; of course, in Florida; of course, in the Virgin 
Islands; and the cry for help in Puerto Rico.
  So I want to simply say that we in the government have to do our job. 
We have got to move faster, and we cannot move by Republican proposals 
for tax relief. We have to do this Democrats and Republicans. Work with 
us to craft the kind of language and relief that will provide these 
people with immediate housing resources. These are people without 
liability insurance. These are people in apartments where apartment 
owners are moving slowly to restore their apartments.

                              {time}  2015

  They need cash. They need the distribution of the millions of dollars 
that all of this representation of people raising money. There needs to 
be a pool for housing. We need to give a cash allotment so that someone 
can get into a clean apartment or they can begin to get their items out 
of the stores--I don't want to call names--that you go and get wood and 
begin to fix your homes.
  This becomes a race issue. My colleagues in the Congressional Black 
Caucus are really the ones who are going to be--along with a bipartisan 
effort, and our leader and our whip in the Democratic Caucus and 
working with the Speaker and the whip and the majority leader, let's 
get on with it. They actually need direct funding.
  This is a backdrop of the words that I want to be able to speak of as 
I talk about the tragedy of which brings us to the floor. Here is 
another example of people under water. This is happening all over in 
these storm-ravaged places.
  Yet we have to come to the floor to speak about an unnecessary 
distraction. While there is a fast-moving target toward North Korea by 
the boisterous words that have been coming out of the White House so 
that we might enter into an accidental war with North Korea, all I will 
say about that is: I don't know if the White House, the Commander in 
Chief, has been to the DMZ, but I have. I have looked a North Korean 
soldier in the eye, and that is what our soldiers do every day on that 
DMZ standing in the gap. Boisterous attacking and credulous language 
only will lead us into an accidental war.
  I further want to indicate that if there is ever a bill among others 
that continues to speak to Americans from all backgrounds, minorities 
in particular, that you are not prepared to address the healthcare of 
people who are in desperate need who have preexisting conditions. It 
is, though well-meaning, the Graham-Cassidy bill, another false attempt 
to undermine the Affordable Care Act.
  Having met with health professionals today, I will tell you: between 
diabetes, sickle cell anemia, kidney disease, and prostate cancer, they 
cannot afford the Graham-Cassidy bill.
  Get on with it. Support the Affordable Care Act, because it becomes a 
race issue. The predominant number of individuals impacted by prostate 
cancer and diabetes are African American.
  So I want to ask: What is going on in this atmosphere of the 
Commander in Chief?
  I try to understand it because, from my perspective, this is 
dangerous ground. It is particularly dangerous in setting the tone on 
the whole issue of race in America.
  Who is the guiding force of setting the tone for race in America?
  It is, in fact, the leader of this country. It is disappointing that 
the words that were said by the White House, this President, does not 
recognize that African Americans have been in the United States 
military. It does not recognize that, in fact, we are the most 
patriotic group. And in being patriotic, we take no backseat to the 
respect we have for the flag.
  I came down to the floor so that I could be standing behind the flag. 
My back is to the flag.
  Am I protesting the flag? Am I burning the flag?
  I abhor burning the flag. I abhor the destruction of the flag. But I 
respect silent protests.
  It bothers me that the one who is so boisterous would have top 
advisers and Cabinet picks that have histories of prejudice. A person 
who leads the country denied responsibility of racist incidents that 
followed his election.
  He launched a travel ban on targeting Muslims. He attacked the Muslim 
Gold Star parents. He claimed a judge was biased because he was a 
Mexican American. The Justice Department sued his company twice for not 
renting to Black people.
  This is not a mirage. This is not a rumor. These are facts. In fact, 
discrimination against Black people has been a pattern throughout this 
leader's life. He refused to immediately condemn the White supremacists 
who advocated for him. He questioned whether President Barack Obama was 
born in the United States not for 1 year, but year after year after 
year, to the point that I was embarrassed for the former President of 
the United States, not him.
  He treats racial groups as monoliths. He trashed Native Americans and 
encouraged the mob anger that resulted in the wrongful imprisonment of 
five young minority boys in the tragedy of the Central Park rape. They 
were not guilty. He took out a full-page ad in The New York Times 
wrongly and asked for their execution, the death penalty to those who 
are not guilty. He condoned the beating of a Black Lives Matter 
protester. He called supporters who beat up a homeless Latino man 
passionate. He stereotyped Jews and shared an anti-Semitic image 
created by supremacists.
  So now we defend him even more. Now we suggest that he is playing to 
his base, that it is okay, and that there are people who believe in 
what he is saying. There is a percentage of Americans who believe that 
we should not kneel during the national anthem. These are nothing but 
things that represent democracy. Democracy is living

[[Page H7482]]

and breathing. It is in your heart, your mind, and your soul. I am an 
American because of her values. The national anthem was written by a 
man, and we sing it with pride. But it is not God. The flag is not God. 
It is a symbol of the democracy, the Constitution, and the freedom of 
speech that is given.
  Let me be very clear: none of those football players and others 
desecrated the flag. They did not spit on it. They did not burn it. 
They did not desecrate it.
  So I came tonight to suggest that there are still two Americas, 
because it does not seem that there is any understanding of the heroism 
of people of color. And I have to talk particularly about African 
Americans who served in the United States military.
  Crispus Attucks was an iconic patriot engaging in a protest in 1770. 
He was shot by royalist soldiers in the Boston Massacre.

  Does the White House know Crispus Attucks? Does he know those who 
have come through the ages, who fought for the Union in the Civil War?
  Yet, in doing so, the treatment of African Americans continued to be 
dastardly violent into the lynchings of the 1900s. Yet we remain 
patriotic. All we ask is the doors of opportunity be opened and that 
our leaders respect us.
  So let me say to those who don't understand that the First Amendment 
does not in any way define ``do not stand for'' or ``do stand for the 
national anthem and the flag.'' There is nothing in the law that 
indicates that these individuals are desecrating the flag.
  I join with the statements of Commissioner Roger Goodell. I join with 
the statement of the Texans by Bob McNair. I join the Seattle 
statement--the most potent statement--that talks about the facts that 
these individuals have a right to express themselves.
  But I do not join with the President, who would say: Wouldn't you 
love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our 
flag, to say, Get that son of a B off the field; out; he is fired; he 
is fired?
  I join with our NFL.
  Do you know what you are saying?
  You are talking about African-American mothers. You are calling them 
a son of a B. You are calling those children's mother--single mothers 
sometimes; mothers who have fought to overcome to get their children 
where they could be--and these boys--and I'm going to call them that--
who have gone out to the community and tried to be of good conscience, 
you have said that their mother is a son of a B. That is racist.
  If you don't understand that that is racist--as a mom, I come to this 
floor and I say to the mothers of those children: I love your sons. 
Thank you to the NFL and the owners who stood up. Thank you to those 
who are not African American, who joined with their fellow brothers on 
the field and knelt--not in desecration of the national anthem, not in 
desecration of the blood that was shed by the soldiers who are on 
battlefields; some of them supporting and shouting for those NFL in 
terms of the brotherhood.
  We will never dishonor our military. How can we? We are the military. 
We are everything. We are integrated into the American society. We 
simply ask for the dignity of respect to not call our mothers a son of 
a B. If they kneel--I heard a young man who is an NFL player say that 
he will kneel from now on, and the only reason he is doing it is 
because someone has the lack of judgment to provoke the situation and 
call their mothers a name.
  I refuse to accept that as a standard of leadership for the highest 
office in the world. Even if you never understand it, sir, if you think 
you are playing to your base, if you are not the unifier, then we will 
continue to stand in the gap, and racism is going to be under our foot.
  Do you know where else it is going to be?
  It is going to be under our knee because we in the Congressional 
Black Caucus have always stood for what is right.
  There is no basis in the First Amendment that says that you cannot 
kneel during the national anthem or in front of the flag. Congress 
shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech or of press. 
Prohibition against abridging freedom of speech applies to Congress and 
State and local governments through the Due Process Clause of the 14th 
Amendment. Speech may be abridged in two distinct ways: directly by 
regulating content of speech; indirectly by regulating time, manner, 
and place.
  So you cannot abridge by standing up with tweets. You cannot abridge 
without law and regulation. There is no regulation that says that these 
young men cannot stand against the dishonoring of their mothers by 
saying: Fire the son of a B.
  You tell me which of those children's mothers are a son of a B. That 
is racism. You cannot deny it. You cannot run from it.
  I kneel in honor of them. I kneel in front of the flag and on this 
floor. I kneel in honor of the First Amendment. I kneel because the 
flag is a symbol for freedom. I kneel because I am going to stand 
against racism. I kneel because I will stand with those young men, I 
will stand with our soldiers, and I will stand with America.
  Mr. Speaker, as a senior member of the House Committees on the 
Judiciary and Homeland Security Committee; Ranking Member of the 
Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and 
Investigations, and the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus, I rise 
today to express my views regarding the President's most recent 
racially inflammatory statements and actions.
  On Election Night the President-Elect pledged to the nation that he 
would be a president to all Americans.
  The President has failed spectacularly to keep that promise and his 
pledge rings hollow to tens of millions of Americans.
  Last Friday, in Huntsville, Alabama, a state that was a capitol of 
the Confederacy, and the locus of some many seminal events in American 
history and the Civil Rights Movement, that one of his fondest wishes, 

       Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when 
     somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ``Get that son of a 
     bitch off the field right now. Out. He's fired. He's fired!''
       You know, some owner is going to do that. He's going to 
     say, ``That guy that disrespects our flag, he's fired.'' And 
     that owner, they don't know it. They don't know it. They'll 
     be the most popular person, for a week. They'll be the most 
     popular person in this country.

  The President's remarks are wrong and display a shocking lack of 
understanding of the U.S. Constitution, the role of non-violent civil 
disobedience in bringing about social change, and the latest example of 
him falling short in upholding the honor of office.
  These are the subjects I will address in my remarks this evening.
  Trump Racial History
  1. African Americans in military;
  2. Name Trump called NFL players is offensive
  3. Non-violent protest is protected speech under the 1st Amendment
  Graham-Cassidy Is Worst Obamacare Repeal Attempt Yet
  Finally, Mr. Speaker, let me share with our colleagues 5 Ways the 
Graham-Cassidy healthcare repeal bill puts Medicaid Coverage At Risk 
and is a disaster for Americans.
  The Graham-Cassidy proposal goes beyond the American Health Care Act 
(AHCA) passed by the House in May and the Better Care Reconciliation 
Act (BCRA) that failed in the Senate in July.
  The Graham-Cassidy proposal revamps and cuts Medicaid, redistributes 
federal funds across states, and eliminates coverage for millions of 
poor Americans as described below:
  Ends federal funding for current ACA coverage and partially replaces 
that funding with a block grant that expires after 2026.
  The proposal ends both the authority to cover childless adults and 
funding for the ACA Medicaid expansion that covers 15 million adults.
  Under Graham-Cassidy, a new block grant, the ``Market-Based Health 
Care Grant Program,'' combines federal funds for the ACA Medicaid 
expansion, premium and cost sharing subsidies in the Marketplace, and 
states' Basic Health Plans for 2020-2026.
  Capped nationally, the block grant would be lower than ACA spending 
under current law and would end after 2026.
  States would need to replace federal dollars or roll back coverage.
  Neither the AHCA nor the BCRA included expiration dates for ACA-
related federal funds or eliminated the ability for states to cover 
childless adults through Medicaid.
  Massively redistributes federal funding from Medicaid expansion 
states to non-expansion states through the block grant program 
penalizing states that broadened coverage.
  In 2020, block grant funds would be distributed based on federal 
spending in states for ACA Medicaid and Marketplace coverage.
  By 2026, funding would go to states according to the states' portion 
of the population with incomes between 50% and 138% of poverty; the new 
allocation is phased in over the 2021-2025 period.
  The Secretary has the authority to make other adjustments to the 

[[Page H7483]]

  This allocation would result in a large redistribution of ACA funding 
by 2026, away from states that adopted the Medicaid expansion and 
redirecting funding to states that did not.
  No funding is provided beyond 2026.
  Prohibits Medicaid coverage for childless adults and allows states to 
use limited block grant funds to purchase private coverage for 
traditional Medicaid populations.
  States can use funds under the block grant to provide tax credits 
and/or cost-sharing reductions for individual market coverage, make 
direct payments to providers, or provide coverage for traditional 
Medicaid populations through private insurance.
  The proposal limits the amount of block grant funds that a state 
could use for traditional Medicaid populations to 15% of its allotment 
(or 20 percent under a special waiver).
  These limits would shift coverage and funds for many low-income 
adults from Medicaid to individual market coverage.
  Under current law, 60 percent of federal ACA coverage funding is 
currently for the Medicaid expansion (covering parents and childless 
  Medicaid coverage is typically more comprehensive, less expensive and 
has more financial protections compared to private insurance.
  The proposal also allows states to roll back individual market 
protections related to premium pricing, including allowing premium 
rating based on health status, and benefits currently in the ACA.
  Caps and redistributes federal funds to states for the traditional 
Medicaid program for more than 60 million low-income children, parents, 
people with disabilities and the elderly.
  Similar to the BCRA and AHCA, the proposal establishes a Medicaid per 
enrollee cap as the default for federal financing based on a 
complicated formula tied to different inflation rates.
  As a result, federal Medicaid financing would grow more slowly than 
estimates under current law. In addition to overall spending limits, 
similar to the BCRA, the proposal would give the HHS Secretary 
discretion to further redistribute capped federal funds across states 
by making adjustments to states with high or low per enrollee spending.
  Eliminates federal funding for states to cover Medicaid family 
planning at Planned Parenthood clinics for one year.
  Additional funding restrictions include limits on states' ability to 
use provider tax revenue to finance Medicaid as well as the termination 
of the enhanced match for the Community First Choice attendant care 
program for seniors and people with disabilities.
  Enrollment barriers include the option for states to condition 
Medicaid eligibility on a work requirement and to conduct more frequent 
  Much is at stake for low-income Americans and states in the Graham-
Cassidy proposal.
  That is why I strongly urge our Senate colleagues to reject this 
latest attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
  Mr. Speaker, I include in the Record articles, statements, and tweets 
regarding this topic.

          1st Amendment Freedom of Speech Clause in a Nutshell

       ``Congress shall make no law'' . . . abridging the freedom 
     of speech, or of the press''--United States Constitution, 
     Amend. I (ratified December 1791)

                        FREEDOM OF SPEECH CLAUSE

     A. General principles
       1. prohibition against abridging freedom of speech applies 
     to Congress and state and local governments through the due 
     process clause of the 14th Amendment
       2. Speech may be abridged in two distinct ways:
       a. directly, by regulating content of speech
       b. indirectly, by regulating time, manner, and place
       3. A law or regulation may be invalid on its face or 
     invalid in its application to specific facts
       a. facial invalidity: vagueness or overbreadth
       b. examples of invalid as applied: parade and protest 
       4. Prior Restraints'' are presumptively invalid (e.g. 
     Pentagon Papers case)
     B. Regulation of Speech Content
       1. Advocacy of Illegal Conduct can be punished if the 
     speech advocates action and amounts to incitement of 
     immediate and probable lawful conduct
       2. Defamation: public officials and public figures cannot 
     sue for defamation unless statements are false and made with 
     ``actual malice,'' which requires proof of knowing or 
     reckless disregard of statement's falsity. (New York Times v. 
       3. Obscene Speech is not protected by the First Amendment. 
     Examples: National Endowment for the Arts funding, ``gangster 
     rap'' music and lewd lyrics, etc.). To be considered obscene, 
     speech or material must satisfy multi-part test:
       a. an average person, applying contemporary community 
     standards, would find
       b. the material, taken as a whole,
       c. appeals to prurient interests, and
       d. lacks redeeming social, educational, political, or 
     artistic value
       4. Symbolic Speech is protected by First Amendment. 
     Examples of symbolic speech:
       a. Flag Desecration (Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397(1989)
       b. Draft Card Burning (U.S. v. O'Brien, (1968))
       c. Arm Bands in school to protest Vietnam War (Tinker v. 
     Des Moines School District (1968))
       d. Campaign Finance Laws (Buckley v. Valeo, (1976))
       5. Commercial Speech may be regulated much more easily and 
     extensively than political speech to protect public health 
     and safety. Examples of advertising that can be banned
       a. Tobacco products
       b. Distilled Spirits and Alcohol products
       c. Handguns and assault weapons
       d. Illegal Drugs

               [From the Huffington Post, Aug. 14, 2017]

                Here Are 16 Times Trump Embraced Racism

  Trump has a history of being hesitant to condemn white supremacists

                   (By Lydia O'Connor, Daniel Marans)

       Examples of Trump's racism dating as far back as the 1970s.
       1. Some of his top advisers and cabinet picks have 
     histories of prejudice
       2. Trump denied responsibility for the racist incidents 
     that followed his election
       3. He launched a travel ban targeting Muslims
       4. He attacked Muslim Gold Star parents
       5. He claimed a judge was biased because ``he's a Mexican''
       6. The Justice Department sued his company--twice--for not 
     renting to black people
       7. In fact, discrimination against black people has been a 
     pattern throughout Trump's career
       8. He refused to immediately condemn the white supremacists 
     who advocated for him
       9. He questioned whether President Barack Obama was born in 
     the United States
       10. He treats racial groups as monoliths
       11. He trashed Native Americans, too
       12. He encouraged the mob anger that resulted in the 
     wrongful imprisonment of the Central Park Five
       13. He condoned the beating of a Black Lives Matter 
       14. He called supporters who beat up a homeless Latino man 
       15. He stereotyped Jews and shared an anti-Semitic image 
     created by white supremacists
       16. He treats African-American supporters as tokens to 
     dispel the idea he is racist

                 Military History of African Americans

       The Military history of African Americans spans from the 
     arrival of the first black slaves during the colonial history 
     of the United States to the present day. In every war fought 
     by or within the United States, African Americans 
     participated, including the Revolutionary War, the War of 
     1812, the Mexican-American War, the Civil War, the Spanish-
     American War, the World Wars, the Korean War, the Vietnam 
     War, the Gulf War, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as 
     well as other minor conflicts.

                        Texans Release Statement

       ``The NFL specifically, and football in general, has always 
     unified our communities and families. The comments made by 
     the President were divisive and counterproductive to what our 
     country needs right now. I hope the reaction from our players 
     results in positive action for our league, our communities 
     and our country as a whole to make a positive difference in 
     our society. Texans players are caring, intelligent men who 
     do so much good, as was shown in the past month when our city 
     was devastated by Hurricane Harvey. I have never been more 
     proud of our players and our team than during this time. It 
     was a display of what is truly possible when we all work 
     together. We will continue to support our players to work 
     together to promote the values of respect and unity.''

                       Other Statements From NFL

                       COMMISSIONER ROGER GOODELL

       The NFL and our players are at our best when we help create 
     a sense of unity in our country and our culture. There is no 
     better example than the amazing response from our clubs and 
     players to the terrible natural disasters we've experienced 
     over the last month. Divisive comments like these demonstrate 
     an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game 
     and all of our players, and a failure to understand the 
     overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent 
     in our communities.

          New York Giants co-owner's John Mara and Steve Tisch

       ``Comments like we heard last night from the president are 
     inappropriate, offensive and divisive. We are proud of our 
     players, the vast majority of whom use their NFL platform to 
     make a positive difference in our society.''

                   Indianapolis Colts Owner Jim Irsay

       ``I am troubled by the President's recent comments about 
     our league and our players. Sports in America have the unique 
     ability to bring people from all walks of life and from 
     different points of view together to work toward or root for 
     a common goal, and the Indianapolis Colts are proud to be a 
     part of that tradition in our home city and state. The vast 
     majority of players in the NFL--especially those who have 
     worn and continue to wear the Horseshoe--have donated 
     millions of dollars to charities, raised money for

[[Page H7484]]

     those affected by recent hurricanes, created charitable 
     foundations, visited schools, mentored students, worked in 
     homeless shelters, cleaned up parks, and put in hours of 
     their personal time toward improving their communities and 
     the lives of those around them. That's the spirit in which 
     this nation was founded, and we all need to work tirelessly 
     to bring people together to take on the challenges that face 
     us and give back to the people of our communities. More so 
     than any result on the field, that is a common goal worth 
     rooting for.''

                Seattle Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll

       ``In this incredibly polarizing time, there's no longer a 
     place to sit silently. It's time to take a stand. We stand 
     for love and justice and civility. We stand for our players 
     and their constitutional rights, just as we stand for 
     equality for all people. We stand against divisiveness and 
     hate and dehumanization. We are in the midst of a 
     tremendously challenging time, a time longing for healing. 
     Change needs to happen; we will stand for change. May we all 
     have the courage to take a stand for our beliefs while not 
     diminishing the rights of others, as this is the beating 
     heart of our democracy. As a team, we are united in a mission 
     to bring people together to help create positive change. We 
     can no longer remain silent. I will stand with our players.''

                      Tweets From President Trump

       Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
       Many people booed the players who kneeled yesterday (which 
     was a small percentage of total) These are fans who demand 
     respect for our Flag! 7:31 AM--Sep. 25, 2017.
       Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
       The issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race. It is 
     about respect for our Country, Flag and National Anthem. NFL 
     must respect this! 7:39 AM--Sep. 25, 2017.
       Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
       So proud of NASCAR and its supporters and fans. They won't 
     put up with disrespecting our Country or our Flag--they said 
     it loud and clear! 7:25 AM--Sep. 25, 2017.
       Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
       Sports fans should never condone players that do not stand 
     proud for their National Anthem or their Country. NFL should 
     change policy! 6:25 PM--Sep. 24, 2017.
       Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
       If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop 
     disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take 
     place fast. Fire or suspend! 6:44 AM--Sep. 24, 2017.
       Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
       If a player wants the privilege of making millions of 
     dollars in the NFL, or other leagues, he or she should not be 
     allowed to disrespect . . . 2:11 PM--Sep. 23, 2017.
       Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
       . . . our Great American Flag (or Country) and should stand 
     for the National Anthem. If not, YOU'RE FIRED. Find something 
     else to do! 2:18 PM--Sep. 23, 2017.
       Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
       Roger Goodell of NFL just put out a statement trying to 
     justify the total disrespect certain players show to our 
     country. Tell them to stand! 6:25 PM--Sep. 23, 2017.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Members are reminded to refrain from 
engaging in personalities toward the President, and to direct their 
remarks to the Chair.
  Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, back in March, the 
Congressional Black Caucus met with President Trump to deliver a 130-
page policy document which highlighted a host of issues facing the 
black community in America. From voting rights to criminal justice 
reform, and economic justice to education and the workforce, there are 
many areas of society that still experience elements of 
institutionalized racism and discrimination against people of color and 
other vulnerable segments of the population.
  The undermining of the Voting Rights Act in the wake of the Shelby 
County Supreme Court decision paved the way for countless states, 
including Texas, to adopt discriminatory voting laws that were aimed at 
disenfranchising entire segments of the population. Participation in 
our elections and the inalienable right to vote are fundamental pillars 
of our democracy. Our democracy does not function properly without the 
successful and unimpeded participation of the voting public. Yet, these 
discriminatory voting laws have been found to do exactly that, while 
disproportionately affecting minority populations, the elderly, and the 
  The criminal justice system is another area that is ripe for reform 
as we consider the fact that African Americans make up only 13 percent 
of the U.S. population, yet account for 37 percent of prison inmates. 
In some instances, harsh mandatory minimum sentences condemn relatively 
minor criminals to a life behind bars. In other examples, we see non-
violent drug offenders facing decades in prison over a crime that is 
better addressed by health professionals, not the criminal justice 
system. The use of private prisons in states such as Texas has also 
created a dangerous profit motive behind keeping individuals 
incarcerated. These toxic conditions are a recipe for disaster that has 
propelled the United States as the world leader for its prison 
population rate.
  Mr. Speaker, there is much that we can do as a nation to root out any 
last remnants of racism in our country and address many of these 
issues. However, it requires the participation and cooperation of a 
wide range of stakeholder, regardless of party affiliation or 
background. Restoring Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act through 
legislation would help address many of the discriminatory voting laws 
that we have seen emerge, thereby restoring full access to voting for 
every American. Eliminating mandatory minimum sentencing and treating 
non-violent drug offenses as a health issue instead of a criminal 
matter would help reduce the prison population while giving law-abiding 
citizens a well-deserved second chance. These are tangible steps that 
we can take today to lessen the racial disparities that exist in our 
society. I encourage each of my colleagues to work cooperatively to 
achieve this end. The American people demand it, and we will be a 
better nation for it.