New McClellan Video Focuses on Her Family Background and the Fight for Equal Justice Passed Onto Her
McClellan: ‘I realized I’m fighting the same fights that they fought, and my grandparents fought. And I realized I have to do everything in my power to keep my children from fighting that fight.’
RICHMOND – Today, candidate for governor Senator Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) released a new video, “Still Fighting,” featuring McClellan’s family connection to the long struggle for equity and how the legacy of injustice still alive today has motivated her to continue fighting to secure equal justice for all.
As pictures of her family are shown, McClellan reflects on how Jim Crow and systemic racism impacted her parents and grandparents’ lives, from restricted economic opportunities to voter suppression. McClellan’s parents passed on to her a focus on rooting out the inequities baked into so many systems across Virginia.
In the video, McClellan says “What struck me now – when Trayvon Martin, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd were murdered – I felt that same trauma[my parents] felt. And I realized I’m fighting the same fights that they fought, and my grandparents fought, and my grandparents fought. And I realized I have to do everything in my power to keep my children from fighting that fight.”
McClellan has dedicated her 15-year legislative career to combatting the cycle of injustice. Last week, McClellan and Del. Cia Price’s (D-Newport News) Voting Rights Act of Virginia, the first Voting Rights Act ever passed in the South, was approved by Governor Northam. McClellan has successfully repealed vestiges of Jim Crow in Virginia law by repealing segregation laws that were still in Virginia’s code until 2020 and repealing exclusions from worker protections through the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, spearheaded the Senate resolution to make Virginia the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, and passed legislation to repeal Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage and the Virginia Values Act.
Find the transcript below.
McClellan: “For my mom growing up in Mississippi in the ‘30s and ‘40s, there were no opportunities for Black people, other than taking care of white people.
“My dad saw racism a little more up close. You know, his grandfather had to take a literacy test and find three white people to vouch for him before he could register to vote in 1901.
“Then, when my dad went to vote, I found, not too long ago, his poll tax receipt.
“My parents lived in Arkansas, Kentucky, and then Virginia between the 1950s and 1969 and were very active in the Civil Rights Movement. But they also felt the trauma themselves of Emmett Till being murdered, of Medgar Evers being murdered, of Martin Luther King being murdered.
“And, what struck me, now, when Trayvon Martin, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd were murdered, I felt that same trauma they felt. And I realized I’m fighting the same fights that they fought, and my grandparents fought, and my grandparents fought.
“And I realized I have to do everything in my power to keep my children from fighting that fight.”