Farrakhan speaks at voting rights caravan in Shelby County

[lin_video src=http://eplayer.clipsyndicate.com/embed/player.js?aspect_ratio=16×9&auto_next=1&auto_start=0&div_id=videoplayer-1371255960&height=480&page_count=5&pf_id=9624&show_title=1&va_id=4097471&width=640&windows=2 service=syndicaster width=640 height=480 div_id=videoplayer-1371255960 type=script]BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — One of the most divisive issues in Alabama today involves the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

On Friday, a controversial figure toured the state, making his pitch to preserve the status quo.

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan made a passionate plea on Friday at Birmingham’s Kelly Ingram Park to save a portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which outlaws discrimination.

“It is mockery of a law if it is unenforced.”  — (Louis Farrakhan)

Shelby County has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to declare Section 5 unconstitutional.

This section requires certain states, including Alabama, to get approval from the Department of Justice before making changes to their voting rules.

“If Section 5 is repealed and affirmative action is eliminated, you will soon find the total situation. It will look like 50 years ago.” – (Faya Toure)

During rallies throughout central Alabama on Friday, some people said they were worried that without Section 5 in place, certain voters will be disenfranchised.

“So, we got to be conscious here in Alabama, as black people, of what happened in history. If we’re not careful enough it will repeat itself.” – (Todd Mohammed)

While Farrakhan’s appearance in Alabama has been criticized by groups like the Anti-Defamation League, Farrakhan says his critics should be more concerned with those who have sued to challenge the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act.

“Some of those, who did not want us to vote in the first place, would now be free to keep us going back and forth to court, litigating, litigating and litigating. Hell with litigation.” – (Louis Farrakhan)

Farrakhan and his supporters also visited Selma and the state capital Montgomery on Friday.

Copyright 2013 WIAT-TV CBS 42

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