Ken Blackwell

Several of the speakers—Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) re-told the Philip Reid story, or portions of it. That’s actually good and long overdue. The silence of the centuries now yields to a swelling chorus of the Union. Today was one of those rare moments when Republicans and Democrats, Americans black and white, could come together for justice.

I was proud to be a part of history today. But I have one suggestion: we should re-name the Rayburn Room where we met today the Philip Reid Room. There was some confusion getting to the ceremony, since there is already a Rayburn House Office Building just across Independence Avenue. It would be no disrespect to the already greatly honored Speaker Sam Rayburn at long last to give Philip Reid his due.

In that way, we can honor this respected artisan, his labors, and the labors of all those black Americans who worked to build up this Temple of Freedom.

Ken Blackwell

Ken Blackwell, a contributing editor at, is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and the American Civil Rights Union and is on the board of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. He is the co-author of the bestseller The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency, on sale in bookstores everywhere..
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