Mainstream media outlets have portrayed the incumbent Sen. Ed Markey as a progressive. While some have applauded his efforts of co-authoring legislation to end qualified immunity for police officers and the Green New Deal. Senator Markey has a very troubling history in regards to race as Rep. Joe Kennedy III recently called him out on.
He Opposed Integrating Public Schools
Shortly after his election to the House of Representatives in 1976, Markey said he opposed busing to achieve racial integration in public schools, an issue that was pretty provocative after the 1974 federal court order mandating that Boston begin busing students to desegregate its schools. Markey instead advocated for an increase of funding to schools and non-discriminatory hiring policies in local school committees, saying he did not believe busing would improve education quality. By 1984, he had dropped his opposition to court-ordered busing according to an article in CommonWealth Magazine.
“If he wants to talk about the Kennedys, I’ll talk about the Kennedys,” the Newton Democrat and grandson of Robert F. Kennedy said during an eight-minute speech Monday in Boston, contrasting his family’s record on racial justice with the 74-year-old senator’s own 47 years in elected office.
Standing with Bob Jones University to Protect a Ban on Interracial Relationships
Another troubling moment in Markey’s history is his support for a 1981 amendment to prohibit the Internal Revenue Service from implementing, or the courts from enforcing, proposed IRS regulations to deny tax-exempt status to private schools that discriminated against racial minorities, an issue which was pushed to the forefront by Bob Jones University, which had prohibited interracial dating and marriage among students according to NBCBoston.Com.
He Voted in Favor of the 1994 Crime Bill
The 1994 Crime Bill is perhaps one of the most harmful pieces of legislation that is still negatively effecting people of color today. The effects of racial profiling, police misconduct, and other harsh provisions included in this racist legislation decimated a whole generation of African-American men.
Sen. Markey may be considered a progressive now, but his past actions depict an individual that really didn’t care about black lives until it was time for reelection. If you ask the family of DJ Henry, the Senator still doesn’t care very much about black lives.