John and C.T. marched, rode the bus, and sat at segregated lunch counters, risking arrest, police brutality, and even lynching for racial equality. They were the standard bearers of a generation that brought an end to Jim Crow and carried that forward with honor and dignity for decades. They are heroes and I will miss them dearly.
There is no President Barack Obama, there is no Pam Keith as a candidate for Congress, without the sacrifices of John Lewis, C.T. Vivian, and countless others, including those in SCLC, SNCC, and CORE, whose peaceful protests showed America the truth about racism and segregation.
There can be no distinction between “activist” and statesperson or politician. The two cannot be mutually exclusive — John Lewis taught me that. He recently said, “You must be able and prepared to give until you cannot give any more.”
And you know why we must continue this struggle. For Breonna Taylor, whose killers have yet to even be arrested. For George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, and Trayvon Martin. For all of them.
The Movement for Black Lives has inspired a new generation of activists to get into Good Trouble. We cannot back down now — we must continue forward with the courage of those who changed the way we view the world.
55 years after John Lewis and C.T. Vivian marched in Selma, the police brutality that John Lewis experienced then is still taking place on our streets, not just in the South but across the country. We are in the midst of a new Civil Rights movement. I intend to carry their lessons with me, as we fight to restore what I will advocate to be called The John Lewis Voting Rights Act.
Let's continue the work of achieving a more perfect union — one where Black Lives Matter.