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Ferguson events have made vivid how wide the gulf is between the police and those who are policed in our nation’s communities.

The SPLC’s president recalls the organization’s court battle against Frazier Glenn Miller and the white supremacist’s plot to assassinate founder Morris Dees.

With the support of thousands of people committed to equality, we’ve made great progress fighting hate and seeking justice in 2013, despite facing a historic backlash against the gains of the last 50 years – a radical attack on our country’s most fundamental ideals.

SPLC President Richard Cohen

This afternoon, I had the privilege of attending the Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony honoring Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley (Cynthia Diane Morris) — the four little girls who were killed in the Birmingham church bombing by Klansmen 50 years ago this month.

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, we should remember those who died for equality and recommit ourselves to the challenges ahead.

Forty-eight years ago, SPLC founder Morris Dees stood at the Alabama Capitol at the end of the Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march and heard Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speak on the importance of the vote in democracy. In his view, Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 — the section that contains extra voting rights protections that apply mainly to the South — is still necessary.

Today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court is a blow to Arizona’s anti-immigrant law and similar copycat laws that have sprung up in other states. The court’s decision affirms that much about these laws is unconstitutional because many of their provisions are preempted by federal law. The decision also shows the court has significant concerns about the one provision they allowed to stand.

We hope this ruling will help propel greater acceptance of the LGBT community – because we still have a lot of work to do, particularly in the Deep South, where old attitudes are most slow to change.

Today, we found out more about how the suspected Charleston church shooter, 21-year-old Dylann Storm Roof, became a violent racist extremist at such a young age.

Our hearts go out to the victims and their families.  Black churches, including those in South Carolina, have been the targets of hate crimes throughout our country's history.  We know that they will remain resolute and their faith unshaken in the face of this tragedy.