Congressman Lewis: A Rule of Law Revolution
Corrected: Congressman John Lewis, D-Ga., who will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom tomorrow, took the House of Delegates on a trip back to the segregated South at the start of the House’s meeting in Atlanta today.
“When people say nothing has changed, I say come and walk in my shoes,” he told the 560-member policymaking House of Delegates. “We have witnessed a non-violent revolution under the rule of law.”
“As a young child, I tasted the bitter fruits of racial discrimination. My parents would say that’s the way it is, don’t get in trouble,” Lewis said. But when he heard the words of Martin Luther King Jr. about non-violent protest on the radio, “I felt he was talking directly to me.”
“If it hadn’t been for lawyers and judges, we wouldn’t be where we are today,” Lewis said. “I went to jail 40 times, and it was members of the bar who got me out of jail, and I want to thank you.”
Corrected on Feb. 15 to list the proper name of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.