Washington Free Beacon Staff
December 31, 2023
2023 Man of the Year: Edward Blum
It’s not clear that the Civil Rights Movement could have succeeded without the Jews.
Henry Moscowitz helped W.E.B. Du Bois found the NAACP. Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel joined Martin Luther King Jr. in King’s march on Selma. Jewish donors supplied the capital for numerous civil rights organizations and black colleges, and in 1964, Jews made up half of the participants in the Freedom Summer project, a voter registration drive aimed at black Mississippians.
So it’s only fitting that the civil rights hero of our own time is himself a Jew—born to Yiddish-speaking cobblers, no less.
Since the 1990s, Edward Blum has worked tirelessly to dismantle a sordid, state-backed regime of racial discrimination that has structured and subverted nearly every institution in the United States. His first victory, in 2013’s Shelby County v. Holder, chipped away at the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a patently unconstitutional law that gerrymanders electoral districts based on race and assumes all minorities vote the same way.
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