STATEMENT BY CONGRESSMAN WM. LACY CLAY (D) MISSOURI
REGARDING THE DEATH OF CONGRESSMAN JOHN LEWIS (D) GEORGIA
The following in its entirety, is a first-person statement by
Congressman Wm. Lacy Clay (D) Missouri
“Fifty-five years ago, John Lewis marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge into American history. He was beaten, bloodied, but not broken; and his sacrifice propelled the passage of the Voting Rights Act.
John wore his humanity and decency on his sleeve and he never became bitter about the systemic racism he was born into or the vicious racial violence that he stared down time after time with the power of his dignity and non-violent civil disobedience.
Congressman John Lewis has been called home to take his rightful place of eternal honor beside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr,; Malcom X; Frederick Douglass; Nelson Mandela and all the brave souls who sacrificed so much for the cause of civil rights.
He believed in the promise of America, and that Black Americans would gain their full measure of freedom and take a seat at the table of power that guides our democracy.
As John said in his own words:
“Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.”
America has lost a champion for freedom, and I have lost a dear friend. The Clay family have known John Lewis for over 50 years and we send our deepest sympathies to his family at this hour of great loss for them and our nation. May his memory always be a blessing.”